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Coronation chicken

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Coronation chicken is a combination of precooked cold chicken meat, herbs and spices, and a creamy mayonnaise-based sauce which can be eaten as a salad or used to fill sandwiches. It is popular in the United Kingdom.

Left: Coronation chicken.

Florist Constance Spry and chef Rosemary Hume are credited with the invention of coronation chicken. Preparing the food for the banquet of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, Spry proposed the recipe of cold chicken, curry cream sauce and dressing that would later become known as coronation chicken. Coronation chicken may have been inspired by jubilee chicken, a dish prepared for the silver jubilee of George V in 1935, which mixed chicken with mayonnaise and curry.

Normally bright yellow, coronation chicken is usually flavoured with curry powder or paste, although more sophisticated versions of the recipe are made using fresh herbs and spices and additional ingredients such as almonds, raisins, and crème fraîche.

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When made with fresh ingredients, coronation chicken is often pink or brown from perhaps the combination of red wine, bay, and madras powder. The original dish used curry powder, as fresh curry spices were almost unobtainable in post-war Britain.

Left: Curry powder.

 

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