Coronation chicken: Recipe of the day
Last winter while visiting friends in Surrey England, the chef prepared coronation chicken. While there was no immediate coronation on the horizon, the dish is quite popular as is sardine surprise. A lovely friend brought a jar of sardine surprise with her from London. She uncapped the treat at the breakfast table because some people there truly like sardine spread on their toast. For me, this is most unappetizing, not that I don’t like sardines. Having them all scrambled up in jar and transported the journey from London to Surrey just didn’t seem quite right as I thought they might be off.
Anyway, coronation chicken is appropriate this day even though Prince William is married and not crowned King of England. Let’s take vote. 2 billion television viewers would likely vote Prince William as King.
Camilla whispers, “Off with their heads.”
“Coronation chicken is a combination of precooked cold chicken meat, herbs and spices, and a creamy mayonnaise-based sauce which can be eaten as a salad or used to fill sandwiches. Normally bright yellow, coronation chicken is usually flavoured with curry powder or paste, although more sophisticated versions of the recipe are made using fresh herbs and spices and additional ingredients such as almonds, raisins, and crème fraîche. The original dish used curry powder, as fresh curry spices were almost unobtainable in post-war Britain.”
“Florist Constance Spry and chef Rosemary Hume are credited with the invention of coronation chicken. Preparing the food for the banquet of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, Spry proposed the recipe of cold chicken, curry cream sauce and dressing that would later become known as coronation chicken.
Coronation chicken may have been inspired by jubilee chicken, a dish prepared for the silver jubilee of George V in 1935, which mixed chicken with mayonnaise and curry. Additionally, for the Queen'sGolden Jubilee in 2002, another celebratory dish was devised, also called "jubilee chicken".
Coronation Chicken appealed to a Britain that wasn’t quite ready for the ready meal: it was easy to make but it still gave the cook something to do. In the 1950s, eating in front of the TV became commonplace, but television viewing was highest among the over-forties, who were more likely to be accomplished cooks. For this new generation of TV viewers, dishes such as Coronation Chicken offered the right blend of convenience and culinary skill. It is not quite such a voguish dish today, and is most often encountered as a filling for shop-bought sandwiches.”