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The Original Coronation Chicken – The Petite Cook

Can you believe it takes only 10 minutes to make a British royal dish? The Original Coronation Chicken is super easy to prepare, and makes a great condiment for anything from sandwiches, salads, baked potatoes or simply toasted bread!

The recipe for the original Coronation Chicken couldn’t be easier, requiring just 10 minutes to make and a few simple ingredients, and it all comes together in a couple of simple easy-to-follow steps.

Coronation Chicken: A Royal Dish 

The original Coronation chicken was invented by writer Constance Spry and the founder of the famous Le Cordon Bleu cookery school Rosemary Hume, while preparing the food for the banquet of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.
The original dish is basically cooked chicken meat with a simple curried mayonnaise dressing, and it’s quite funny that such a simple recipe made its way into Buckingham Palace. You might find it surprising, but the original recipe calls for curry powder, because fresh curry spices were almost impossible to find in post-war Britain. 
Nowadays you can easily find Coronation Chicken everywhere in UK, from supermarkets, deli shops to sandwich bars.
Unfortunately, over the years this recipe has lost a bit of its charm, with so many ingredients and variations added, it looks now a really vague reinterpretation of the royal dish.

Most Coronation Chicken versions out there include ingredients that have nothing to do with the original version, such as sultanas.
The original Coronation Chicken recipe doesn’t contain a single sultana, only dried apricots (that can be chopped or pureed), and the dressing includes a balanced mix of mayonnaise and whipped cream.

Ingredients For The Original Coronation Chicken

The Coronation Chicken recipe I’m sharing today follows very precisely the original recipe, and it couldn’t be easier to make.

coronation chicken ingredients on a marble board

All you need is just a few simple ingredients: cooked chicken, dried apricots, mayonnaise, crème fraîche, olive oil, curry powder, white onion (or shallot), red wine, bay leaf, lemon juice, a pinch of sugar and of course, salt & pepper.
The only minor change I made to the original recipe it’s swapping the whipped cream with light crème fraîche for a lighter result. But you can totally follow the traditional route if you want, and use fresh unsweetened whipped cream. And if you want to lighten things up a little bit more, swap the cream with Greek yogurt.

The dressing for your Coronation Chicken comes together in as little as 7-8 minutes. Once you have stir-fried the onion with the bay leaf and curry powder, add in the lemon juice, tomato puree, red wine and water, and cook for a couple of minutes, then strain and cool.
Transfer the prepared mixture in a bowl, add chopped dried apricots, mayonnaise ( I use homemade mayo whenever possible) and whipped cream (or crème fraiche/yogurt), and mix everything together.

Now, all you have to is add in the chicken and mix everything gently together.
Et-voilà! Your Coronation Chicken is all ready.Coronation Chicken on a bed of salad leaves with fork on the right side

How To Cook The Chicken For Coronation Chicken?

For the cooked chicken meat, you can simply grill or steam the skinless chicken breasts (you can also use skinless and boneless chicken thighs if you like).
I usually poach the chicken in water with a peeled carrot, onion, potato, celery stalk and a bay leave. This way I can save up all the chicken stock and use it for other tasty recipes.
The original Coronation Chicken recipe instructs to poach the chicken in a big pot of water with a carrot, a bay leaf, a splash of wine, a little fresh thyme and parsley, and four peppercorns.
Use your preferred method from the two above mentioned, and poach the chicken for 40 minutes, then cool it down, chop into chunks and mix it with the prepared coronation chicken dressing.

How To Serve Coronation Chicken

There are endless ways to serve your Coronation Chicken! Here are a few of my favorite ways: in a sandwich, on top of lettuce leaves, with basmati rice, a salad, grilled veggies or as a topping for a baked potato.

How To Store Coronation Chicken

This Coronation Chicken in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to two days. I don’t recommend storing it in the freezer.

Ingredients You Can Add To Your Coronation Chicken

Once you have mastered the basics, feel free to add a few extra ingredients to your Coronation Chicken. Some of my favourite includes:
– finely chopped celery
– toasted almond flakes
– a little bit of mango chutney
– a little bit of fresh finely chopped coriander
– few drops of Tabasco

How Can I Make Coronation Chicken Allergy-friendly?

The original Coronation Chicken is naturally gluten-free, soy-free, peanut-free and nuts-free.
To make it egg-free use a suitable store-bought mayonnaise, and to make it dairy-free I recommend swapping the crème fraiche with a thick dairy-free yogurt (try coconut yogurt).

More British Recipes You’ll Love:
Coronation Chicken on a bed of salad leaves with fork on the right side

Print Recipe

The Original Coronation Chicken

Can you believe it takes only 10 minutes to make a British royal dish? The Original Coronation Chicken is super easy to prepare, and makes a great condiment for anything from sandwiches, salads, baked potatoes or simply toasted bread!

Prep Time5 mins

Cook Time10 mins

Total Time15 mins

Course: Appetizer

Cuisine: British

Servings: 4

Author: The Petite Cook


  • 1 tbsp extravirgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp white onion (or 1 shallot) finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp double-concentrated tomato paste
  • 60 ml red wine (1/4 cup)
  • 60 ml water (1/4 cup)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp brown sugar
  • 250 gr mayonnaise (1 cup)
  • 250 gr creme fraiche (or unsweetened whipped cream) (1 cup)
  • 1 tbsp dried apricots finely chopped
  • 2 large skinless chicken breasts cooked and cut into chunks
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp toasted almond flakes (optional)


  • Heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-low heat.

  • Add in the onion, bay leaf and curry powder and gently cook for 2 minutes.

  • Add in the tomato paste, red wine and water and bring to a gentle boil.

  • Add in the lemon juice and a pinch of sugar, then season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste.

  • Simmer for 2 minutes, until the sauce is slightly reduced, then remove from the heat. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve and allow it to cool.

  • In a large bowl mix together the prepared sauce with the mayonnaise, creme fraiche and finely chopped apricots.

  • Add in the chicken breast chunks and mix gently all the ingredients together. Fold in toasted almond flakes if you like.

  • Serve the coronation chicken with a salad, rice or as a filling for jacket potatoes and sandwiches. Enjoy!

** This post was originally published in April 2015 and updated with new info and a more clear recipe**

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