Creamy Coronation Chicken Recipe

Kings and queens are pretty few and far between these days, with only a handful of nations having a monarch as Head of State. The Royal Family of the United Kingdom is perhaps the most famous example, and when a new king or queen is crowned, it makes for big news all over the world. A British coronation involves months of planning, and generates a lot of commemorative objects and, perhaps somewhat strangely, a special recipe to mark the occasion.

When Charles III was crowned in 2023, royal chef Mark Flanagan developed a Coronation Quiche to celebrate the new King's accession to the throne. When his mother was crowned Queen Elizabeth II back in 1953, a duo from Le Cordon Bleu culinary school developed a recipe for the Queen's coronation banquet which became known as Coronation Chicken. This combination of poached chicken, curry powder, mayonnaise, spices, and lemon juice is still pretty ubiquitous in the United Kingdom, and is usually eaten as a filling in a sandwich, as a salad, or heaped into a baked potato. The easy-to-create and flavorful recipe was developed while Britain was still rebuilding after the Second World War, incorporating aromatic spices that became a part of English cuisine through its colonization of India. Read on to find out how you can have a little taste of British nostalgia with Tasting Table recipe developer Jennine Rye's version of this classic dish.

Gather the ingredients for this creamy coronation chicken recipe

To make this creamy coronation chicken recipe, first, you will want to gather the ingredients. You will need a stick of cinnamon, coriander seeds, cardamom pods, peppercorns, yogurt, some mild curry powder, mayonnaise, mango chutney, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, parsley, and salt and pepper. Conventionally, the recipe calls for chicken breasts, although if you wanted to put your own take on it, you could consider using turkey, or, alternatively, the recipe could be adapted to suit a vegetarian or vegan diet by swapping out the meat for tofu or another meat substitute.

This dish is also traditionally made with mango chutney. However, if you are unable to find any, you can replace it with a preserve such as apricot jam, or another chutney, to add sweetness and tang to the recipe.

Poach the chicken

With all the ingredients gathered, the first step is to poach the chicken. Rather than using water that's already boiling, Rye recommends adding the spices and the chicken to a pan of cold water and then heating it up. "Adding the chicken breasts to the cold water allows the chicken to begin to gently cook as the water heats up, keeping it more tender," Rye explains. "Adding the raw chicken to boiling water causes the flesh to contract, resulting in tougher and drier poached chicken."

Poach the chicken until the meat is totally cooked through. Poaching the meat instead of frying it or roasting it will result in wonderfully tender and succulent meat, perfect for coronation chicken. However, if you have some leftover roast chicken hanging around, this recipe is also a great way to use it up. 

Cut or shred the chicken

Once the chicken is cooked through, remove it from the saucepan, discard the poaching spices, and set the chicken aside to cool. To prepare the chicken for the coronation sauce, you can either slice it up into strips or cubes. For a more rustic appearance and texture, shred it using two forks to pull the meat apart along the fibers. This method results in more surface area, creating lots of nooks and crannies to which the delicious sauce can cling. So for the ultimate chicken coronation experience, Rye recommends the latter method to prepare your chicken. 

Mix the sauce

There is a reason why this beloved dish is still readily found on the supermarket shelves in England, and that is all in the sauce. The flavor combination of the creamy, tangy, sweet, and spiced ingredients mixes together to make a mouthwatering dressing for the chicken, good enough for the queen of England herself. 

To make the coronation sauce, add the yogurt, mayonnaise, curry powder, mango chutney, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper to a bowl and mix it all together to form a smooth, vibrant yellow sauce. Then, add salt and pepper to taste.

Prepare the coronation chicken

To complete this coronation chicken dish, combine the shredded chicken with the sauce and mix it all together until the meat is thoroughly coated. Chop some fresh parsley and sprinkle it on top to finish. Enjoy the coronation chicken as a sandwich filler, on a bed of mixed fresh salad greens, or piled generously on top of a baked potato. For delicious variations on this dish, why not try mixing in some raisins or cranberries, or topping with slivered almonds? These are all classic variations of this royal recipe. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Creamy Coronation Chicken Recipe
4.9 from 29 ratings
This take on the classic coronation chicken can be used as a sandwich filler, on a bed of mixed salad greens, or piled generously on top of a baked potato.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Creamy coronation chicken with lettuce
Total time: 30 minutes
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 6 green cardamom pods
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 pound skinless chicken breasts
  • ⅓ cup plain yogurt
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 ½ tablespoons mild curry powder
  • ¼ cup mango chutney
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  1. Add cold water to a medium-sized saucepan. Add the cinnamon stick, the coriander seeds, the cardamom pods, and the black peppercorns to the water, and then add the chicken breasts.
  2. Heat up the water over a medium-high heat until it is gently simmering. Once the pan has reached a gentle simmer, drop the heat to a medium-low heat so that it continues at a low simmer. Poach the chicken until it is cooked through, roughly 10-12 minutes.
  3. Remove the chicken from the water and set aside to cool.
  4. In a bowl, mix together the yogurt, mayonnaise, curry powder, mango chutney, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Chop or shred the cooled chicken breasts and mix together with the curried yogurt and mayonnaise mixture. Mix in the chopped fresh parsley and serve.
Calories per Serving 416
Total Fat 26.5 g
Saturated Fat 4.5 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 96.7 mg
Total Carbohydrates 18.0 g
Dietary Fiber 2.7 g
Total Sugars 13.1 g
Sodium 443.9 mg
Protein 27.0 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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