If you love curry and a sweet-salty combination, you are going to love this coronation chicken salad. So delicious and hard to stop eating!
What To Serve When It Is Very Hot Outside
There’s not much more southern than making a dinner of salads. Not all green salads. I mean cold all-kinds-of-salads.
When the temperature soars into the 90s and 100s, the last thing you want to do is turn on the oven and heat up the kitchen. So salads are where it’s at:
- Mom-Style Macaroni Salad
- Summer Tomato Peach Panzanella
- a nice wedge salad
- Salted Potato Salad
- Marinated Cucumbers
And let me introduce you to my new favorite salad: coronation chicken salad, or curried chicken salad.
Hey, Isn’t That Coronation Chicken Salad?
I didn’t refer to a recipe for the curried chicken salad. I just added some curry-ish ingredients and made a dressing spiked with curry powder. It was delicious, so I decided to write it up. As a teaser, I shared a photograph of it, and my friend Deon from Food Jam asked if it was like Coronation Chicken Salad.
This was the first time I’d ever heard of Coronation Chicken, so I went and looked it up on The Google. Chicken, fruit, curried dressing. I told him that it was indeed more or less the same thing as Coronation Chicken, and then I started doing some research into the dish.
A Brief History of Coronation Chicken
As you can guess, Coronation Chicken (really just a schmancy curried chicken salad) was invented in celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation.
The dish was developed by Constance Spry and Rosemary Hume, both of Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in London.
This curried chicken not so subtly paid homage to the contracting British Empire, borrowing some flavors from India, the “crown jewel of the British Empire” until 1947.
Over the ensuing years, it seems that Coronation Chicken lost some of its luster, ending up in soggy sandwiches on buffet lines and being made fun of in the way that Spam is made fun of in the US. Except in Hawaii. It became something of a wink and a nod recipe. I imagine British hipsters eating it ironically.
In Praise of Curried Chicken Salad
A good curried chicken salad made with mild, juicy chicken punctuated by pops of chewy fruit and bathed in a silken saffron-hued dressing is a beautiful thing.
The British seem to think so, too. The dish seems to be making a comeback in the UK, getting updates in both the cooking method and ingredient list.
It has also been kept alive with updates called “Jubilee Chicken,” commemorating Elizabeth’s fifty and now sixty years (and counting–sorry, Charles) on the throne.
Unintentional Coronation Chicken Salad
The components to any great chicken salad are:
- moist chicken (generally white meat)
- a mixture of crunchy, fruity, and chewy mix-ins
- a creamy dressing
For my version of coronation chicken salad, here are the components:
- for the chicken: chicken breast poached in chicken stock with turmeric
- mixins: roasted cashews, raisins, red onion, apple
- dressing: mayo, cider vinegar, honey, curry powder, salt & pepper
More Chicken Salad Recipes
Here are some more recipes for Coronation Chicken and Jubilee Chicken:
- Coronation Chicken To Die For
- How to Cook Perfect Coronation Chicken (with links to/descriptions of several versions)
- Coronation Chicken Salad with Mangoes and Almonds
- Diamond Jubilee Chicken
- Golden Jubilee Chicken
Thanks, Deon, for innocently asking if what I made was Coronation Chicken because I love learning.
And thank you all for taking the time to read. The chicken salad is truly lovely.
I really hope you love this sald recipe, you guys! It’s so perfect for summertime. If you make it, please share a photo with me, either in the PCO Facebook Group or on instagram by tagging @onlinepastrychef and using hashtag #pcorecipe. Thanks, and enjoy!
For the Chicken
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- black pepper, to taste
- 2 teaspoons turmeric
For the Dressing
- 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise, (See Notes Below)
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2-3 Tablespoons honey
- 2-3 teaspoons mild curry powder
- salt and pepper, , to taste
For the Mix-Ins (cup measurements are approximate)
- 1 apple, cut into bite-sized pieces. Peeled or not--your call
- 1/3 cup golden raisins, (or "regular" raisins)
- 1/4 cup cashews, (chopped. I used roasted and salted cashews)
- 1/4 cup red onion, , finely chopped
For the Chicken
- Whisk the stock, salt, pepper and turmeric together in a pot just large enough to hold the chicken.
- Place the chicken in the pot. Cover and bring to a simmer.
- Keep the chicken at a low simmer until the internal temperature of the breasts is 165F. You may need to flip the chicken with tongs a couple of times to make sure it cooks evenly.
- Allow the chicken to cool in broth and then chill until cold.
- Cut into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
For the Dressing
- Whisk all the ingredients together. You may need to adjust the salt, sweetness, acidity and/or spice, so taste and adjust accordingly.
- Thoroughly fold the dressing together with the chicken and all the mix-ins. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
- Refrigerate for at least a couple of hours or overnight to let the flavors meld.
- Serve on lettuce/mixed greens as a salad or on a sandwich. Enjoy!
If you are not a mayonnaise fan, substitute all or part of the mayo with Greek yogurt or sour cream.
I didn't do this, and I didn't see any other recipes that did either, but I think this chicken salad would be excellent made with some of the thick "cream" from full-fat coconut milk substituted for some of the mayonnaise.
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Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per ServingCalories 521 Total Fat 37g Saturated Fat 6g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 29g Cholesterol 91mg Sodium 1006mg Carbohydrates 17g Fiber 1g Sugar 12g Protein 30g
Thanks for spending some time with me today. Take care, and have a lovely day.