Coronation Chicken with Fennel

Coronation Chicken is one of those seemingly  old-fashioned dishes that continually gets revived and goes from strength to strength. I remember reading around the times of the Queen’s Jubilee and Will & Kate’s royal wedding that street parties up and down the country were rolling out their versions of coronation chicken in celebration and in actual fact the dish was originally conceived at the time of the Queen’s coronation. So the royal family may have inadvertently led to its creation but the great British public have ensured its survival. With usage as varied as sandwich and jacket potato fillings to being eaten as a dish in its own right Coronation Chicken is still very much on the menu.

Coronation Chicken

My sudden interest in the dish came last week as the weather here in Lombardia started to warm up finally and I wanted something over and above a standard salad as a lunch time filler. Add in my love of curry and suddenly I was scrolling online for coronation chicken recipes.

Most use mayonnaise as a base for the sauce but I’ve substituted this for natural yoghurt to make it lighter and fresher and for added crunch I added in some fresh fennel. You can play with the quantities of sultanas and sliced almonds depending on your own personal tastes as is true with some of the other ingredients.

My memories of coronation chicken as a child were of a stodgy, sticky mound of mayonnaise with chicken and raisins but having recreated the dish I’ve officially fallen back in love with it. By making it healthier and more flavoursome with some new ingredients  the dish has become relevant once more to me and how I like to cook.

Served with a fresh leaf salad it made for the perfect al fresco lunch.

Mixed salad

Ingredients: (Serves 4) 2 Chicken breasts, 4 tablespoons natural yoghurt (or mayonnaise), 1 tablespoon mango chutney (can also use apricot jam), 1 teaspoon medium madras curry paste (or curry powder), 50g sliced almonds, 50g sultanas, 1/2 chopped fennel, salt and pepper, chopped coriander to serve

Preparation: 30-40 mins

1. Wrap the chicken breasts in tin foil and oven bake for 20-30 mins until cooked through. You can test by cutting into one of the breasts after c. 20 mins. The tin foil wrap ensures the meat remains moist as it effectively steams inside the foil. Once cooked, leave to cool before shredding by hand into smaller pieces.

2. In a salad dish mix the yoghurt, mango chutney, curry paste, almonds and sultanas and combine well.

3. Add in the chicken and once again combine well to ensure fully coated by the sauce.

4. Season with salt and pepper and if need be adjust the curry paste if you prefer it stronger.

5. Sprinkle with the chopped coriander to serve.


6 Responses to “Coronation Chicken with Fennel”
  1. Sounds wonderful using yogurt instead of mayonnaise. Definitely fresher…looks great!

  2. Sounds like you brought an old dish into the 21st century. I enjoyed reading about the background of this dish, Claire.

  3. chef mimi says:

    My husband ordered this once and I thought he was going to die! He hates mayonnaise, and neither of us had any idea what coronation chicken salad was!!! It was even tough for me, and I love mayo! Glad you’ve lightened it up. Yours looks fabulous!!!!!

    • It can be truly horrible and I certainly didn’t remember it fondly!!! However a few simple changes really can transform it and tender chicken with yoghurt works much better 🙂

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