How Coronation Chicken Was Invented For Queen Elizabeth II

Fans of the Nexflix series "The Crown" know all about the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, and current concerns about the long-reigning monarch's health notwithstanding, the UK looks forward to celebrating the 70th anniversary of Elizabeth's coronation on June 2, 2023. Platinum Jubilee celebrations, according to, the official website of the royal family, commenced on the 70th anniversary of the Queen's accession to the throne, on February 5, 2022.

The year-long celebration of Queen Elizabeth II's reign will call for numerous festivities, many of them featuring sumptuous dishes at events carefully coordinated for the dignitaries who wish to congratulate the monarch on her tenure as Queen. And the 1953 coronation itself, held at Westminster Abbey, was marked by a banquet, with a menu painstakingly created and a main dish that's become a lasting favorite. Coronation Chicken, according to Agence France-Presse, is a "British culinary classic," and one that commoners can enjoy without having to observe dining etiquette rules for supping with the Queen. How was the famous recipe created? It was a lengthy process.

Coronation Chicken was created by Constance Spry and Angela Wood

Le Cordon Bleu culinary school student Angela Wood was just 19 years old when the school's director, Constance Spry, entered the kitchen and enlisted her help in perfecting her recipe for the Queen's coronation banquet (via Agence France-Presse). The resulting Coronation Chicken took weeks of work from Wood, who explained she was "forever boiling chickens." The final result: chicken poached with bouquet Garni, in a sauce of onions, curry, tomato, red wine, and lemon juice; later, mayonnaise, whipped cream, and apricot purée are added. Coronation Chicken was served chilled so it could be prepared ahead of time, and it appeared on the menu as "Poulet Reine Elizabeth."

Nowadays, Coronation Chicken is ubiquitous in England, found in grocery stores and many recipe books. KFC in the UK even offered a limited-time menu item: the Coronation Chicken Tower Burger, a chicken sandwich topped with "coronation mayo" and billed as "fresh outta Cluckingham Palace." Coronation Chicken, Wood and Spry's labor of love and claim to fame, remains a great way to use leftover chicken in kitchens around the world.