Kids, and adults alike, love the sweet and tangy taste of Coronation Chicken. This healthier version replaces some of the mayonnaise with natural yoghurt. Serve in a sandwich, as a jacket potato filling or with a big leafy salad.
What is Coronation Chicken?
Coronation Chicken is a British classic that is found is most sandwich shops in the UK. It was created by Constance Spry and Rosemary Hume, of London’s Cordon Bleu cookery school, for the Queen’s coronation in 1953.
Tender pieces of chicken are covered in a creamy sauce that has a vibrant curry flavour with sweet and tangy undertones.
Like a lot of popular dishes, there and many variations of the recipe available.
- The original sauce recipe was made with onion, curry powder, tomato purée, red wine, bay leaf, lemon juice, apricots, mayonnaise and cream. The sauce was strained and pureed smooth.
- Variations to the recipe include removal/replacement of ingredients to make the recipe easier and quicker to prepare. Equally, there are recipes available that have been made more complicated and have introduced new ingredients.
The Healthy Little Foodie Version
This version of Coronation chicken is quite close to the original but has a few differences to make it quicker to make and a little healthier.
- The wine is replaced with chicken stock,
- The cream and some of the mayonnaise is replaced with greek yoghurt
- The sauce is not strained/blended smooth. My kids don't mind "bits" in their sauce so I have never bothered with this step. Obviously, every child is different and this may be something you may consider doing. (See picky eating tips below)
You may come across lots of recipes that involve no cooking. However, my preference is to cook the base of the sauce, as in the original recipe, to mellow and balance the flavours.
- Sautee the onion with bay leaf and curry powder,
- Add tomato puree, chicken stock, water and lemon juice and simmer for a few minutes.
- Transfer the prepared and cooled mixture in a bowl, add chopped dried apricots, mayonnaise and yoghurt, and mix until combined.
- Add the chicken, stir through and serve.
Picky Eating Tips
- Texture (Sauce): The sauce does have little pieces of onion and bits of dried apricot. Due to the apricot pieces, I believe that the small pieces of onion can go unnoticed. However, if preferred, the sauce can be blended to make smooth. If the dried apricot won't blend you can substitute with fresh or you could use mango.
- Texture (Chicken): You can use shredded chicken or chunks of chicken. Some younger children prefer shredded chicken as they find chunks can be hard to chew. However, shredded isn't always preferred and can soak up a lot of the sauce making it less "saucy" and sometimes claggy.
- Flavour: Curry powders can vary greatly. I used a mild powder and found 1tbsp worked well. If your children are not used to curry powder you may wish to start with a smaller amount so not to overpower the dish.
Homemade coronation chicken is fantastic for lunchboxes, great for picnics and perfect for buffet-style lunches. It is a great way to use up any leftover roast chicken.
Why not try it as a:
- Sandwich/wrap/baguette filling
- Jacket Potato Topping
- Salad Topping
Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to two days. Not recommended for freezing.
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- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- ½ Small Brown Onion, finely chopped
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1 tablespoon Curry Powder
- 1 tbsp Tomato Paste
- 60ml (¼cup) Chicken Stock
- 60ml (¼ cup) Water
- 1 tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
- 120g (½ cup) Mayonaise
- 120g (½ cup) Greek Yoghurt
- 60g (7-8) Dried Apricots, finely chopped
- 2 large Cooked Chicken Breasts, diced (or shredded)
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-low heat. Reduce the heat to low, add the onion, bay leaf and curry powder and sautee for 3-4 mins. If it starts to stick add a splash of the chicken stock.
- Add the tomato paste, chicken stock, water and lemon juice. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and allow to simmer for a couple of minutes, until slightly reduced. Allow to cool.
- In a large mixing bowl add the prepared sauce, mayonaise, yoghurt, chopped apricots and stir together.
- Add the cooked chicken and gently mix until combined.