Coronation Chicken Sandwich Anyone....and 10% off!

30 April 2023

We are always on the look out for new sandwich recipes but Coronation Chicken is a firm old favourite!

My aunt was a student at the cook school where they invented it so I love the fact that it is still so popular.

There is a 10% discount code to celebrate the Coronation of King Charles. Use 'King' at checkout.

The following information is from the BBC website, and makes for a great read!

Invented for a luncheon during the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, coronation chicken is a dish of diced chicken with a creamy sauce and touch of curry powder that has endured – and evolved – in British cuisine for 70 years. But how did it all begin and how might one find it today, especially in light of the upcoming coronation of Charles III and Camilla on 6 May?

In 1953, the Minister of Works asked Le Cordon Bleu London culinary school – run by Constance Spry, a celebrated florist, and Rosemary Hume, a cook and author – to serve lunch at Westminster School for 350 foreign representatives invited to attend the coronation. As students were serving the food, and the kitchen at the venue was too small to produce anything hot except for soup and coffee, the menu had to be simple but also appropriate for such a historic event.

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Out of this was born coronation chicken, or as it was listed on the menu, "Poulet Reine Elizabeth". Served cold, the original recipe involved poaching chicken in water and wine before coating it in a creamy sauce consisting of mayonnaise, whipped cream, apricot and tomato purée, curry powder, lemon, pepper and red wine. The dish was accompanied by a well-seasoned salad of rice, green peas and pimentos. Spry said she doubted any of those served the dish would have recognised it as a curry, instead describing it as having "a delicate and nut-like flavour".

According to Freya Perryman, communications officer from Le Cordon Bleu London, "The recipe was created by Rosemary Hume and Constance Spry, with the main credit going to Hume, and we understand that students helped to fine-tune."

Exactly where the inspiration for the dish came from is a matter of speculation. Supposedly created for the Silver Jubilee of George V in 1935, a dish called Jubilee Chicken made with chicken, mayonnaise and curry powder is often said to be a precursor, but there's very little evidence for this theory. Griselda Barton, Hume's niece, is quoted in author and food historian Sue Shephard's 2010 book, The Surprising Life of Constance Spry, as saying the main inspiration came from a recipe for Queen Adelaide's favourite sandwich in the 1886 cookbook Savouries à la Mode by Harriet Anne De Salis. The recipe for Adelaide Sandwiches does include the diced breast of a fowl and is spiced with cayenne pepper, but, as food historian Annie Graytold me, "There is very little resemblance [to coronation chicken]."

Although coronation chicken is now famous as a sandwich filling, at the time of its creation it would have been a luxury. In 1953, post-World War Two rationing was still in place in the UK, and it was some time before chicken became an everyday ingredient. The recipe was first shared in the Constance Spry Cookery Book, published in 1956, but it didn't really establish itself as a fixture of buffets and dinner parties until the 1970s and '80s.

According to food historian Sam Bilton, "coronation chicken did become a more affordable dish to make, although modern iterations are quite different from Spry & Hume's delicately spiced chicken dish."




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