Coronation Chicken Salad is a British classic! A scrumptious combination of cold cooked chicken, dried apricots, toasted almonds and spring onions in a curry flavoured creamy dressing. Here is my version that will surely please everyone who is into delicious food!
If you are a fan of delicious and hearty salads that fill you up like a meal, take a look at another reader favourite Potato and Chicken Salad ‘Olivier’.
Coronation Chicken Salad is an absolute staple when it comes to British lunches but it remains relatively unknown outside of the British Isles. I have 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.
The Origin and History
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.
However, Coronation Chicken 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.
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. Or at least bring my own personal twist.
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 version 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 rocket (arugula), spring onions, fresh coriander (cilantro) and black sesame seeds. You can use Nigella seeds as well.
Using a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken makes this salad a snap to put together. I personally love preparing it when I have leftover roast chicken in the fridge. If you need to cook some chicken fast, use my air fryer whole chicken recipe. 45 minutes and you are set!
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.
Since I added some greens you can enjoy this salad on its own but let me make one suggestion.
It makes a killer sandwich, which will make you the envy of your entire office.This Coronation chicken makes an incredible sandwich or a wrap filler.
Enjoy and let me know if you have a favourite chicken salad in comments below.
Favourite chicken salad recipes to try:
Or feel free to explore out Salad Recipe Collection for more inspiration. There you will find all kinds of recipes. From simple side salads to elaborate main dish salads, which are incredibly delicious and satisfying.
If you make my Coronation Chicken Salad, tag @vikalinka in your Instagram photos, so I could see them!
Coronation Chicken Salad
For the Salad
- 1.5lbs/3 cups cooked chicken skins and bones removed and chopped
- 2 tbsp spring/green onions sliced
- 10 dried apricots chopped
- 2 tbsp sliced almonds toasted
- 3 tbsp fresh coriander/cilantro chopped
- 50g/2 cups rocket/arugula
- 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
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 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.
- 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.
- Add the salad dressing and salt to taste, mix gently and sprinkle with black sesame seeds.