Coronation chicken is a British classic for a very good reason, and this 5-minute recipe couldn’t be easier. Sweet, spicy creamy sauce mixed with shredded chicken might sound strange, but it’s a seriously delicious combination, perfect for salads, sandwiches or wraps. It’s also a wonderful way to use up leftover roast chicken.
This recipe keeps things SUPER simple by using cooked chicken (it’s also the perfect use for any leftover juicy herb-roasted chicken), but you can cook fresh chicken if you like, and I’ve included instructions for that in the recipe card.
Originally created by Le Cordon Bleu as part of the celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953, coronation chicken has become a classic British dish, evolving slightly to become what we commonly recognise today. It’s most often used as a filling for sandwiches or wraps, but it’s also great tossed through a crunchy green or grain salad (or even just by itself!)
My favourite way to serve it is in gem or cos lettuce cups, which is what you’ll see in the photos below. This is a lovely fresh way to serve it and makes for a very tasty lunch.
Ten easy-to-find ingredients go into this recipe, and you’ll probably have the majority of them already.
- Aioli. I love using aioli rather than plain mayonnaise here, just for the added garlicky flavour. Try my egg-free garlic aioli – it’s what I’m using and it really is delicious. You could of course use regular mayo, or use a mix of aioli/mayo and Greek yogurt.
- Sultanas. If you don’t like them, use another dried fruit like apricots, cranberries or even mangoes. You’ll need to chop the apricots or mangoes if you do use them.
- Flaked almonds. These provide a lovely crunchy element to the sauce and the finished dish, but you can use chopped almonds, or cashews, pistachios, walnuts or hazelnuts instead. And to keep it nut-free, use pumpkin (pepita) seeds or sunflower seeds.
- Sweet chilli jam. Most recipes call for mango chutney, and you can of course use that if you prefer, but I never have it and prefer the depth of flavour sweet chilli jam provides.
- Cooked chicken. Use either cooked chicken from the store, or this is a wonderful way to use up any leftovers you might have from a roast. Smoked chicken is also lovely here.
- Spring onions (scallions). They bring freshness and I recommend including them, though you could use herbs like mint, flat-leaf parsley or coriander (cilantro).
- Nigella seeds. These pair well with the spring onions, with their subtle onion flavour. You could use white or black sesame seeds if you can’t find them.
How to make it
Mix all the ingredients for the coronation sauce, then shred your chicken (or cook it according to the recipe in the notes below).
Combine the shredded chicken, coronation sauce, sliced spring onions and nigella seeds then mix well so that everything is well-coated in the sauce.
It’s now ready to serve. I love to pile it into little gem lettuce cups – they make a lovely crunchy and fresh vessel for the chicken. But you can use it however you like – in a sandwich, piled onto toast, tossed through a salad or as a topping for a baked jacket potato.
Got a question?
You can use whatever cut you like here – I’m using leftover chicken breast, but you could use chicken thighs or tenderloin.
The original recipe was created by Le Cordon Bleu to be served at Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation luncheon in 1953. At that time, it was called Poulet Reine Elizabeth and was chicken served in a curry cream sauce. Over time, it’s developed into what we now commonly recognise as coronation chicken, usually served cold or at room temperature.
I love serving it inside a little lettuce leaf because it provides lovely freshness and crunch, but it’s great in sandwiches, inside baked potatoes or tossed through salads.
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If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear from you! You can leave me a comment below.Print