Coronation chicken recipe fit for a queen

Originally made for the coronation banquet of Queen Elizabeth I in 1953, coronation chicken is a British classic, accompanied by pilau rice in this recipe. Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients, this is easy to make and easy to enjoy.

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour 10 minutes plus cooling

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken, about 1.5 kg
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 large carrot, coarsely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 6 black peppercorns, lightly crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 large banana
  • 2 courgettes, sliced lengthways with a vegetable peeler into thin strips
  • sprigs fresh mint to garnish
  • 370g basmati rice, well rinsed
  • 50g raisins
  • 50g dried mango, chopped
  • 80g pecan nuts
  • 150g natural low-fat yogurt
  • 4 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons korma-flavoured curry paste
  • grated rind of 1 large lemon
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • pepper to taste

Recipe method

Using chicken stock to cook the rice ensures that none of the vitamins that seep into the water while the chicken is being poached are lost.

1. Place the chicken in a large pan and cover with water. Add the onion, carrot and celery and bring almost to the boil, skimming any fat off the surface. When bubbles begin to break through the surface, reduce the heat and simmer. Add the peppercorns and bay leaf and simmer for 45 minutes or until the juices run clear from the chicken when you pierce the thigh.

2. Remove the chicken from the liquid and set aside to cool. Pour the cooking liquid through a fine sieve into a measuring jug. Discard the vegetables.

3. To make the pilau rice, place the rice in a saucepan and add 600ml of the strained cooking liquid. Stir in the raisins and mango. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 8–10 minutes, or according to the packet instructions, until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender.

4. Remove the rice from the heat and set aside, covered, for 5 minutes. Transfer the rice to a bowl to cool completely.

5. To make the curry dressing, place the yogurt, mayonnaise, curry paste and lemon rind and juice in a bowl and mix until well blended. Stir in the chives, mint, parsley and pepper.

6. When the chicken is cool, cut into bite-sized pieces and fold into the curry dressing. Slice the banana and add to the chicken mixture. Stir the pecans into the rice and spoon onto 6 plates. Arrange the courgette ribbons on top of the rice and top with the chicken mixture. Garnish with fresh mint sprigs and serve.