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Royal Coronation Chicken with Rice Salad

Chicken and rice is a traditional combination. If you really want to elevate it to something outstanding, try our Royal Coronation Chicken with Rice Salad. This recipe was created for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II of England in 1953. It was served at the coronation luncheon of 350 people. At the time it was considered a very luxurious dish since it was made of poached “young roasting fowl,” which was an expensive chicken at the time.

Today, Coronation Chicken is turning into a retro treat. This classic dish has been updated in some recipes, but the real version still deserves its longtime status as a truly tasty meal. If you like classic recipes, you have to add this one to your repertoire. The tender chicken has a delicate flavor. When paired with the nutty curry sauce that has a touch of fruit to it, the result is truly delectable. Eaten with the refreshing rice salad, the whole meal comes together perfectly.

You can make a smaller version of this recipe and just use a couple of chicken breasts. As chicken and rice salads go, this regal version is appropriate for the most elegant of occasions. Many parts of the recipe could be made ahead. The chicken, of course, could be poached the day before. The rice could also be made ahead and assembled at the last minute. The only part that must be made before serving is the sauce.

Ingredients –

  • 2 small chickens
  • 1 carrot, sliced into chunks
  • 1 bouquet garni (a bundle of your favorite herbs)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3-4 peppercorns
  • 1-¼ cups white wine

Rice Salad:

  • 8 ounces white rice
  • 1-⅓ cups frozen peas
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ cucumber, diced
  • 1 bunch parsley

Curry Sauce:

  • 1 Tablespoon sunflower oil
  • ½ small onion, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon mild curry powder
  • 1 heaped teaspoon tomato puree
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 2 slices of lemon
  • 1 squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1-⅓ cup mayonnaise
  • 1-2 Tablespoons apricot jam
  • ¼ cup double cream, lightly whipped


  1. It is best to do this the day before you want to make the full recipe. Place the chickens in a large casserole dish. Add the carrot, salt, peppercorns, bouquet garni, and wine. Add enough water to just cover the chickens and bring the pot to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Poach the chicken for about 40 minutes until it is cooked through. Leave the chicken in the liquid to cool. Place in the refrigerator if you are leaving it overnight.
  2. To cook the sauce, heat up the oil in a saucepan using medium heat. Add the onion and let it cook gently for a few minutes. Add the curry powder and let it cook a few minutes more. Mix in the tomato puree, bay leaf, wine, and water. Bring the sauce to a boil. Add salt, pepper, and sugar to taste. Drop in the lemon slices and squeeze a bit of lemon juice into the pan. Let it simmer, uncovered, for 5 to 10 minutes. Strain the sauce and let it cool. Remove lemon slices and bay leaf.
  3. When the sauce has cooled completely, add it to the mayonnaise, just a little at a time, stirring well. Add the apricot jam to taste. Adjust the seasoning if necessary. Fold in 2 to 3 tablespoons of the whipped cream. Divide the sauce in half. Fold the remaining whipped cream into one half of the sauce.
  4. Debone the chicken and cut the meat into small slices. Set aside
  5. For the rice salad, rinse the rice and add it to a large pan. Cook it according to the cooking directions on the rice package. In the last five minutes of cooking, add the frozen peas, replace the cover, and let the peas steam with the rice. Let the rice cool completely.
  6. Before serving, whisk 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon of mustard and the seasonings. Place the rice in a bowl or on a deep platter. Stir in the cucumber, chopped parsley and the dressing.
  7. You can serve the chicken and sauce alongside the rice salad or on top of the rice salad. Either way, arrange the chicken nicely and pour the sauce over the top.
  8. Note: Golden raisins and sliced green onions look nice sprinkled on top of the sauce as a garnish, though they are a more modern addition.

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