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Celebrating the Coronation Anniversary… with Chicken

On Tuesday, The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh  and 2000 guests will attend a service at Westminster Abbey to mark 60 years since her Coronation. Although she became Queen upon the death of her father on February 6, 1952, Queen Elizabeth II was not officially crowned until June 2, 1953 because the country went into official mourning for King George VI.

There were two million people on the London streets to watch the horse-drawn coronation coaches pass. The Queen and her family were called out on to the balcony six times that evening by the euphoric crowd in the Mall. Despite the bad weather, all over the country people held street parties to celebrate. On just about everyones menu was a dish called Coronation Chicken. It was invented for the Coronation by chef Rosemary Hume and was a lightly curried cold chicken salad that, although not served at Buckingham Palace on the day of the Coronation became a dish that Her Majesty still enjoys at the royal table to this day.

Of course over the years the recipe has been tweaked by the royal chefs but here the Coronation Chicken  recipe I prepared when I was rattling pans at the Palace. Enjoy it tomorrow while watching the parade.

Coronation Chicken 

I prepared this dish most when the royal family were at Balmoral Castle and Sandringham House. It was very popular for picnics either as a salad and also by chopping the chicken smaller it was fabulous in royal tea sandwiches too. My favorite way of enjoying this dish is over a fresh baked potato… Yum !

Makes 6 portions

For poaching the chicken;

2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 medium onion, peeled and sliced

4 ribs celery, rough chopped

6 cups cold water

1 bay leaf

For the sauce;

1 cup mayonnaise

½ cup Greek yoghurt or sour cream

¼ cup double cream

1 Tbs curry paste (or to taste)

¼ cup diced red pepper

¼ cup diced red onion

½ cup diced ripe mango

¼ cup diced fresh pineapple

¼ cup diced tinned apricot halves

1 tsp sugar

juice of 1 lime

salt and pepper to taste

For the rice;

2 cups basmati rice

1 Tbs olive oil

4 cups reserved broth (from poaching the chicken)

1 bunch spring onion, finely chopped

1 cup toasted sliced almonds

1 cup diced red peppers

salt and pepper to taste

Place the chicken, onion, celery, bayleaf and water in a large pan and poach the chicken until fully cooked. Remove the chicken to cool, reserve the poaching liquid.

In a large bowl combine all of the sauce ingredients and mix well. Cut the chicken into bite size pieces and fold into the sauce mix. Spoon into a large serving bowl.

In a large pan over a high heat, add the olive oil and the rice and stir until the rice is coated with the oil. Add the chicken stock, stir, bring to a boil. Cover with a lid and reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 18 minutes. Remove the rice to a large bowl to cool. Stir in the spring onions, red pepper. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with the almonds before serving.

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