Coronation Chicken

Coronation-Chicken-(5163)One of the things we learnt when we moved to England was to take advantage of the countryside. Even though it’s not really my style, I have grown to love the outdoors because of various reasons. I wouldn’t say that our last trip to the Lake District was a total success but at least it was enjoyable, and the peaceful surroundings were truly priceless. We are lucky because in Surrey there are quite a few National Trust houses with beautiful grounds. Apart from loving the many houses and gardens we also like to visit the shops and most often than not we purchase a couple of books.

During a short trip up to Cambridge I got The National Trust Complete Traditional Recipe Book by Sarah Edington – mostly because I liked the cover. I don’t know what it is with me and book covers. I have bought loads of books for that reason (and I *know* I’m not the only person to do that, so please don’t give me that look). Unlike some other NT publications it looks modern, definitely neater and it’s also a good read. I love reading where each recipe originates from and how it was developed, and there is such a good recipe selection. I am going through some of them very slowly, and was planning to write about this book much further along the way. However I cannot help including the recipe for Coronation Chicken right here. It’s an oldie I know, but hey, the book says *traditional* so you were advised. Traditional does not necessarily mean boring, so with a few tweaks here and there it is possible to make something really tasty. It’s great for when you have people round for lunch or an informal summer supper, and adding coriander makes it even fresher.

For this recipe you need some cooked chicken, either leftovers from a roasted bird or you may prefer to get some boneless and skinless thighs from the store and cook them beforehand, as I did this time round. The quantities given here will make enough for 6 to 8 servings, depending on how hungry you are. I would serve it with rice and some salad on the side. My take on the recipe goes like this:

For cooking the chicken:

  • around 1½ kg chicken, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon ginger powder
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder
  • (You might need to add 1 tablespoon of water to all this.)

For the sauce:

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • ½ teaspoon ginger powder
  • 2 small cubes glacé ginger, chopped (replace by another ½ teaspoon of powder if needed)
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons mango chutney
  • 150ml (½ cup) good quality mayonnaise
  • 100g (approx. ½ cup) plain yoghurt
  • 50g almond flakes, toasted *without any oil* in a small pan
  • a little salt and pepper, to taste
  • fresh coriander, to serve
  1. In a shallow pan heat the oil and add the onion, garlic, ginger and curry powders and finally the chicken pieces. Toss together until well combined and make sure the chicken pieces are cooked through. Place these in a large bowl and set aside to cool.
  2. In the same pan add another tablespoon of oil and toss in the onion, both gingers and curry. Cook these together until the onion turns soft and transparent. Scrape this mixture into the bowl containing the chicken.
  3. To the chicken mixture add the mango chutney, yoghurt, mayonnaise, a little salt and pepper. It would be good to taste at this stage. Place in a serving dish and top with the toasted almonds and coriander.

Serve with plenty of rice and some salad. It’s a dish for all seasons.

P.S. I tried this with around 50ml mayonnaise and added more yoghurt to the recipe. It worked out great. The only thing is that the mixture was more of a liquidy consistency but other than that it was fine.

Rob x

Note (11. 12. 2013) : The National Trust are now in the process of updating most of their cookery books. I bought a few lately and they look as good as all those recipe books being published as of late. 

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