This is my adaptation of the much loved and famous recipe created by Constance Spry for the Queen's Coronation lunch in 1953. I make this regularly for picnics and buffets; it is also amazing as a sandwich filler. In 1953, curry powder would have been used - but I find that curry paste works better. Use any type of poached or cooked chicken - I usually cook a couple of chicken breasts just for this recipe, however, a whole cooked chicken works very well; don't forget to remove the skin and check for bones first. This recipe is based on the Coronation Chicken recipe in: The Constance Spry Cookery Book by Constance Spry & Rosemary Hulme (1956).
- 2 1⁄2-3 lbs cooked chicken breasts (chicken pieces or whole cooked chicken)
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1 small onion, peeled and diced finely
- 1 tablespoon curry paste
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree
- 2 fluid ounces red wine
- 1 bay leaf
- 1⁄2 lemon, juice of
- 4 canned apricot halves
- 1 tablespoon apricot jam
- 1⁄2 pint mayonnaise
- 4 fluid ounces whipping cream
- salt & pepper
- watercress (to garnish)
- Remove the skin and any bones from the chicken and cut into small pieces.
- Heat up the vegetable oil in a medium saucepan and add the onion. Cook on a medium heat for about 3 minutes until the Onion is soft and translucent.
- Add the curry paste, tomato puree, red wine, bay leaf and the lemon juice to the cooked onions.
- Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes until reduced. Remove the bay leaf and leave to onion sauce to cool.
- Finely chop the apricot halves and puree them through a sieve or with a hand held blender.
- Place the pureed apricots into a bowl and mix in the mayonnaise.
- Add the onion sauce and apricot jam and mix well.
- Whip the cream to stiff peaks and fold this also into the mixture. Mix well.
- Season with salt & pepper and if necessary add a little extra Lemon Juice.
- Finally, fold in the chicken pieces coating them with the mixture well.
- Garnish with watercress and serve.
- Serves 4 to 6 as a salad with additional salad ingredients, or makes 8 rounds of sandwiches. Also wonderful as a vol au vents or pie filling.