Coronation Chicken Salad is a British classic! A scrumptious combination of cooked cold chicken, dried apricots, arugula, toasted almonds, green onions and cilantro in a curry flavoured creamy dressing. Here is my version that will surely please everyone who is into delicious food!
Coronation Chicken Salad is an absolute staple when it comes to British lunches but it remains relatively unknown outside of the British Isles. I, for one never heard of it until we moved to London years ago.
As with many classic recipes, this one is ubiquitous in most UK shops, which is both good and bad. It’s great because many tourists get to be introduced to the local specialty.
However many expressions of this almost century old salad lack flavour and freshness. So people’s first introduction to this beauty of a salad is less than favourable.
Where does the name Coronation Chicken come from?
Unsurprising the name itself comes from the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. The original recipe was invented by Le Cordon Bleu London and was served at the coronation luncheon in 1953.
The Coronation Chicken Salad recipe was undoubtedly inspired by the Jubilee Chicken that was created for the silver jubilee of the reign of King George V, the current queen’s grandfather.
What goes into the Coronation Chicken Salad?
Well…cooked chicken is the main ingredient as the name suggests, which is not too unique or unusual. So what makes this chicken salad “coronation”, you might wonder.
The cooked chicken is dressed with a curry flavoured sauce, and is usually mixed with raisins and nuts. As much as I like classics, I felt like I could definitely improve on the original recipe.
Admittedly I wasn’t invited to the coronation luncheon, so I couldn’t definitely say that my recipe is better. However, I speak with confidence in saying that my Coronation Chicken is much fresher and tastier than what you can find in most shops nowadays.
I kept the integrity of the classic by keeping it a cold chicken salad in a creamy curry flavoured dressing. I replaced sultanas with apricots, added arugula, spring onions, fresh coriander/cilantro and black sesame seeds.
But what really sets this Coronation chicken salad apart is the dressing. It’s sweet, tangy and fragrant. It pulls the entire salad together into one familiar yet slightly exotic dish.
Can I make a sandwich with Coronation Chicken ?
Yes, you absolutely can! It makes a killer sandwich, which will make you the envy of your entire office.
This Coronation Chicken Salad tastes delicious on its own or as a sandwich filler. Enjoy and let me know if you have a favourite chicken salad in comments below.
For more chicken salad recipes with exotic flavours check out:
If you make my Coronation Chicken Salad, tag @vikalinka in your Instagram photos, so I could see them!
For the Coronation Chicken Salad
- 1.5lbs/3 cups cooked chicken skins and bones removed and chopped
- 2 tbsp green onions sliced
- 10 dried apricots chopped
- 2 tbsp sliced almonds toasted
- 3 tbsp fresh cilantro/coriander chopped
- 50g/2 cups arugula/rocket
- 1 tbsp black sesame seeds or nigella seeds
- salt to taste
For the salad dressing
- 80ml/1/3 cup plain yogurt
- 60ml/1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tsp curry powder fresh and good quality
- 1 tbsp mango chutney
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
For the salad dressing
- In a mason jar mix yogurt, mayonnaise, curry powder, mango chutney, smoked paprika and lemon juice. Stir with a fork to combine and set aside.
For the salad
- Toast sliced almonds in a dry frying pan over low heat until they just about to start to colour. Immediately take off the heat and cool.
- Take the chicken flesh off the bones and remove skin, chop into bite sized chunks.
- In a large bowl combine chopped chicken, sliced spring onions, dried apricots, toasted sliced almonds, coriander/cilantro and rocket/arugula.Note: Only add arugula if you plan on eating the salad right away. Otherwise skip or add right before serving.
- Add the salad dressing and salt to taste, mix gently and sprinkle with black sesame seeds.