Coronation Chicken

DSCN2327There is something wonderful about lazy rainy days. Today is one of those days. It’s a Bank Holiday which means Ryan has the day off. We spent most of the weekend out and about. Today, we get to stay in. It’s rainy and we are cozy on the couch watching episodes of Rome on Netflix. We are snacking on candy and leftovers and it is glorious. I love rainy days for lazy reasons but I also love them because it gives me the chance to cook things that are a little more complex and time consuming. On rainy days I can take my time, fix things on the wish-list that are unfamiliar, make a big mess, and not worry about the time. 

This is one of those recipes. Coronation chicken was created in 1953 for banquet of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Ryan and I have had it a few times for lunch and it’s really tasty. It’s a cold, sweet, and savory chicken salad. In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve only had this recipe at one place. That means I don’t have enough experience to say what is most authentic, best, or worst. All I can say, is that what I’ve had in the shop is good and what I made was good. What I made tasted similar to the restaurant version, but not the same. And that seems to make sense because there are tons of recipe variations out there. I found simple three ingredient recipes, complex and difficult recipes, and ones somewhere in between. I chose this one from the Guardian, and I liked it because it was a mix of ingredients I already had in the pantry and a few special ones I had to buy. Hope you enjoy.

Ingredients:

1 chicken, about 1.5kg/3.3 lb

1 cinnamon stick

5 black peppercorns (or a few twists from a pepper mill)

1 tsp salt

pinch of saffron

thumb size piece of ginger, peeled

bay leaf

5 tbsp mango chutney

50g/ 1/3 cup dried apricots, finely chopped

2 tbsp curry powder

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

200 ml or a little more than 3/4 cup mayonnaise

200 ml  or a little more than 3/4 cup Greek yogurt

50g/ 1/3 cup sliced almonds

Small bunch of cilantro, chopped

Directions:

1. Put the chicken, breast side up in a large pot. Add the cinnamon, pepper, saffron, salt, bay leaf, and half the ginger. Fill with cold water until only the top of the breast is exposed. 

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2. Cover the pot and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to low and cook for 1.5 hours. Take out of the pan and set aside to cool. 

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3. Remove the meat and cut or rip into bite sized pieces. Set aside until lukewarm. 

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4. Finely chop up the rest of the ginger. 

5. Put the chutney and apricots in a large bowl. 

6. In a pan, toast the curry powder until fragrant. This takes only 45 seconds or so. This is done to help bring out the flavors more strongly. 

7. Add the curry and ginger into the bowl with the chutney and apricots. 

8. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, then mayonnaise, then yogurt. Taste. Season to your liking. I added more curry. 

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9. Once the chicken is cold, mix in the dressing. Refrigerate for a couple hours. Try your best to do this, it really improves the flavors!

10. Add the cilantro and almonds. 

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11. Eat on a salad or on a roll. 

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4 spoonMessy level: This recipe is pretty messy simply because there are so many steps. I found it messiest working with the chicken. I had a hard time getting it neatly out of the pot and onto a plate and then I used my hands to remove the chicken. This was a bit drippy and sticky. I also felt I needed a lot of bowls and utensils for cutting, for the sauce, and for the chicken. Still, a long lazy day at home gives me time for a big clean up. 

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