Classic Coronation Chicken Recipe (2024)

Recipe from

Adapted by Jeff Gordinier

Classic Coronation Chicken Recipe (1)

Total Time
1 hour 15 minutes
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To celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, a dish of cold poached chicken with a curry cream sauce was served at a banquet luncheon for 350 of the queen’s guests. That dish, originally called “Poulet Reine Elizabeth,” became known as coronation chicken, spurring a thousand variations in Britain and beyond. This one, from Tea & Sympathy in New York City, is closely based on the original recipe, and includes a mix of curry powder, red wine and tomato purée folded into a mayonnaise dressing. At the luncheon, the chicken was served alongside a rice salad studded with peas. But it’s also excellent piled on lettuce leaves or stuffed into sandwiches. For a meatless version, you can try these cauliflower salad sandwiches. —Jeff Gordinier

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Yield:6 to 8 servings

  • 3 to 4pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
  • 1tablespoon olive oil
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • Fresh black pepper, as needed
  • 2tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1large yellow onion, diced
  • ½cup red wine
  • 6tablespoons mango chutney
  • ¼cup tomato purée
  • 3tablespoons curry powder
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1fresh or dried bay leaf
  • 1cup mayonnaise
  • 3ounces dried apricots, finely chopped (about 15 apricots)

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (8 servings)

684 calories; 46 grams fat; 11 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 15 grams monounsaturated fat; 18 grams polyunsaturated fat; 23 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams dietary fiber; 17 grams sugars; 43 grams protein; 722 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Classic Coronation Chicken Recipe (2)


  1. Step


    Heat oven to 350 degrees. Rub chicken on all sides with olive oil, season generously with salt and pepper and arrange on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until skin is golden and meat is cooked through, about 45 minutes. Let chicken cool slightly, then remove skin and bones and chop meat into bite-size pieces. Set aside.

  2. Step


    Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the red wine, mango chutney, tomato purée, curry powder, lemon juice and bay leaf and bring to a simmer. Continue simmering, stirring occasionally and adjusting heat as necessary, until sauce is quite thick, 8 to 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper; remove and discard bay leaf.

  3. Transfer sauce to a large bowl and let cool to room temperature, then add the mayonnaise and stir to combine. Add the cooled chicken and the apricots and stir to coat them in the sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. For sandwiches, spread the chicken salad on thick slices of English white bread or seven-grain bread. Cut off crusts if making finger sandwiches for tea.



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Cooking Notes


Extremely tasty and very reminiscent of the chicken salad ubiquitous in sandwich shops in the UK. There it is most often made with golden raisins instead of dried apricot, and the family (we all lived in the UK for 3 years) agreed they preferred the raisin version. Another suggestion (not in keeping with original) was to introduce a crunchy element like blanched almonds. If you live near a Trader Joe's, their mango chutney is inexpensive and works great on this recipe.


I wouldn't change a thing. I made this for a catering gig, a school board meeting. I did add some mixed greens to serve as a salad with crostini with apple/onion confit on gorgonzola. They couldn't stop talking about it.


Fantastic flavor. The most tasty chicken salad I have fixed in years. I served it as a salad with salad greens as the base with grilled peaches as accompaniments.

Jane Eyrehead

This is perfect as is. Perfect! However....if you are in a hurry, make a batch of chicken salad (with mayonnaise) and stir in an entire jar of Major Grey's chutney (Crosse and Blackwell) and make sandwiches with crusty French bread.


Awesome recipe. I used craisins and added chopped almonds and walnuts. Not a fan of mayo so I used nonfat Greek yogurt. I have eaten this for 2 days straight for lunch and dinner, on sourdough toast, inside a pita, and on top of some romaine lettuce as a salad. Ok I've had it for breakfast too. It's just so good!

Kirk Breault

Doesn't seem like it would, but this makes a great open-faced sandwich on a piece of toast with cheddar melted on top.

Susan Ohanian

I just made it: This is a GREAT, simple recipe. I keep tasting and hope there's enough left for dinner salad, not sandwich.

I had apple chutney on hand & substituted chopped apple for apricot, plus added some raisins.
There's no way I'd ruin this with mayonnaise. Hubby & I are in discussion of whether to add Greek yoghurt. It's very good, as is.
I also added Turkish seasoning to the chicken.

Elle Kaye

No. Tomato paste is and is much thicker, and usually tastes more "cooked" and sweeter. It is more like pizza sauce on an overbaked chain-store pizza.

Tomato purée is canned (or fresh) tomatoes strained to remove the seeds and blended. If your store does not sell it, start with fresh tomatoes and "peel, seed, and chop" as some recipes say. Or buy canned tomatoes, pull the tomatoes out of the liquid, and blend, mash, or rice the tomato solids.


I'm not a great lover of mayonnaise. So a friend made this recently with half mayonnaise and half yougurt. It was delicious.


Made this for a staff lunch. Big hit. I added sriracha as I thought it needed a little more zing. Made wraps instead of sandwiches, lining the wrap with romaine and scattered some watercress on the chicken and a squeeze of lemon, for a little more punch. Excellent!!!


I made it per the recipe, but it turned out an unattractive brown unlike the pale yellow in the picture. I assume the red wine accounts for that, but why did the picture look so different?

Vicki Albright

Ther’a 1/2 C of red wine in the ingredients above.


I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs and roasted for 40 minutes. It's handy to know that 2 Tbsp of butter weighs 1 oz. I wasn't sure what the writer means by "thick," but I decided to go for sour-cream thick and reduced the sauce to around that thickness.

Extremely tasty, and I look forward to making it more times, trying out different curry powders and different dried fruits.

I suggest measuring out all the sauce ingredients before cooking: much easier.


Shove a thermometer into the breast when roasting and you'll never have dry breast again. Pull the breast out at 160 degrees, cover and let rest for 15 minutes MINIMUM.This resting period will get your breast up to 165 and more importantly all the juices will reabsorb into the meat. enjoy.


good idea, the peaches!


This is the best chicken salad I’ve ever had. I used boneless skinless chicken breast roasted in the oven to around 164F. My chutney was made in house because my local grocer had ñone (Ridgewood, BY) and I included the lemon zest with the juice from one small lemon. I served on a bed mixed greens and it really was spectacular. Next day I had some on toast and thoroughly enjoyed it and today in a Sandwich. Each way just as good as the last. I stuck with fine chopped dried Turkish apricots.

Chris B.

In Melissa Clark’s version of this recipe she wrote to use Madras curry powder which is hotter than regular curry powder or use just curry paste.


I needed this in a hurry to replace a different (failed) entrée for a pot luck dinner. I cooked frozen chicken breasts in my instant pot (worked really well) and went on from there. It really makes a difference when you "bloom" the spices before adding them to the mayonnaise/whipped cream sauce base.


I made this as directed, substituting halved grapes for dried apricots, and it is a winner! The curry is v subtle, much to my partner’s relief. The salad benefits from refrigeration for an hour or so to allow the flavours to meld. Long live the king!

Thomas Bandolini


Souad Sharabani

In Classic Coronation Chicken there is far too much mayo in it. You can cut it into half.


How about rotisserie chicken?


The introductory paragraph describes the chicken as ‘cold poached’, not roasted.


The original recipe used poached chicken. This version is from Tea & Sympathy.


Shove a thermometer into the breast when roasting and you'll never have dry breast again. Pull the breast out at 160 degrees, cover and let rest for 15 minutes MINIMUM.This resting period will get your breast up to 165 and more importantly all the juices will reabsorb into the meat. enjoy.


Delicious and worth the extra steps. I didn’t have red wine so I used vermouth. I swapped out apricots for golden raisins. Based on reviews I added celery which is needed for crunch. I might add slivered almonds next time for good measure.


You made your own version of chicken salad, not coronation chicken.


Welll, bummer. I misread. Used red wine vinegar. Sigh. That’s a lot of wasted chicken. I could not figure out why it was so overly tart! Anyone think of a fix? I kept thinking “maybe the Mayo will tame it….”.


I had 3.3 lb chicken breasts and used half a chopped apple and some toasted almond slices in place of the apricots and added an extra tablespoon of curry powder. Otherwise I made the recipe as written. Ended up with way more sauce than needed and used at most 65% of the sauce. Otherwise quite delicious and received many compliments. The red wine and tomato definitely gave this a different twist on the standard curried chicken salad.


Used 1/4 fat free Greek yogurt and 3/4 mayo. Garnished with something green and coconut flakes on open face grainy bread!

Peter Larson

Great salad! I had fresh sweet cherries and pitted them and used them instead of the apricots - - - gave a pinkish tinge, but the salad was fine with them.


My 95 year old mother printed this off and asked me to make it. We liked it so much that she asked me to make it again the next week!! I made exactly as written but in reading the notes, I think some hot sauce or more curry powder would be good. It could stand a bit more heat. 4 pounds of chicken is a lot of chicken.

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Classic Coronation Chicken Recipe (2024)


What is the recipe for the Queen's coronation chicken? ›

  1. Mix the mayonnaise, curry powder, cinnamon, chutney and sultanas together and season with black pepper.
  2. Add the shredded chicken and stir to coat in the sauce. Stir in 2 tbsp water to loosen if needed, then season and serve as desired.

What is coronation chicken sauce made of? ›

Coronation chicken or Poulet Reine Elizabeth is an English dish of boneless chicken traditionally seasoned with parsley, thyme, bay leaf, cumin, turmeric, ginger and peppercorns, mixed with cream or mayonnaise, and dried apricots (or sultanas). Some modern variations also incorporate cinnamon.

Does coronation chicken have raisins? ›

Dried apricots or raisins are also usually among the ingredients in Coronation chicken, and dried fruit may contain Sulphur Dioxide - another of the 14 allergens. Depending on the exact recipe used, Celery and Mustard may also be present.

What do they eat at the Queen's coronation? ›

As part of the coronation luncheon on 2 June 1953, guests were served “Poulet Reine Elizabeth”, a dish credited to Rosemary Hume and Constance Spry from Le Cordon Bleu London, who catered the event, with the original recipe consisting of “young roasting chickens, water and a little wine to cover carrot, a bouquet garni ...

Can you buy coronation chicken sauce in a jar? ›

Stokes Coronation Sauce Jar 220g - Pack of 12.

What is a coronation Sussex chicken? ›

The Coronation Sussex is essentially the same as the light, but the black markings are replaced by the pigeon grey/blue colour. This grey/blue colour is described as 'lavender' by poultry breeders and is caused by a gene that dilutes the black colour.

What is the royal sauce? ›

The Royal Sauce mixes sweet ketchup and mayo with tart vinegar. The Royal Sauce is a soft symphony of flavors, layering sweet tomato-ey ketchup and mayo with tangy onion, garlic, pickles, basil, and a hint of spicy mustard.

Why is it called coronation chicken? ›

Just like King Charles III's Coronation Quiche recipe, in 1953 Queen Elizabeth II's coronation was marked with a dish. It was Poulet Reine Elizabeth, a chicken dish made with an Indian-inspired creamy curry sauce.

What does coronation sauce taste like? ›

Creamy, fruity and spicy all at once! Made with apricots, sultanas and curry spice for the delicious classic chicken sauce. Make a dip to remember when you mix Stokes Coronation Sauce evenly with crème fraiche for a delicious fruity curry dip.

What is the coronation dish of King Charles? ›

The coronation quiche was chosen by King Charles III and Queen Camilla as the signature dish of their coronation celebrations in May 2023.

What did the Queen eat every night? ›

Game Meats and Wild-Caught Fish Dinners

The queen's preference for game meats even extended to more casual meals; she was, reportedly, a big fan of hamburgers made with ground venison. She usually skipped any potatoes, pastas or grains at her evening repast, but almost always had room for dessert.

What is the coronation meal for King Charles? ›

Elsewhere, quiche has been revealed as the Coronation recipe for the Big Lunch. Featuring spinach, broad beans and tarragon, Their Majesties have shared the quiche recipe in celebration of the Coronation Big Lunches taking place over the bank holiday weekend.

What is coronation chicken sandwich made of? ›

Leftover chicken is shredded and mixed with mayonnaise, yogurt, curry powder and chutney to create the ultimate sandwich filling. Coronation chicken is a retro favourite and one of our essential street party recipes. Fancy celebrating the coronation of King Charles?

What was served at the Coronation luncheon? ›

There has been some controversy surrounding the choice of a French dish for the coronation of a British monarch as well as whether it really is a quiche and not a tart. That aside though, the Coronation Quiche features cheddar, broad beans, spinach and tarragon in the egg and cream filling baked in a light pastry.

What is Princess Chicken made of? ›

Princess chicken is an Asian dish commonly found on take-out menus, but it is also easy enough to make at home. The chicken is marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, sherry, five-spice powder, and cornstarch and then stir-fried with fresh mushrooms, sliced red bell pepper, and cashews.

What is the coronation meal? ›

A deep quiche with a crisp, light pastry case and delicate flavours of Spinach, Broad Beans and fresh Tarragon. Eat hot or cold with a green salad and boiled new potatoes - perfect for a Coronation Big Lunch!


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