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Coronation Mango Chicken

Summer can be oppressive in Brisbane. By 8am, it is often already over 30c and it stays that way until well into the night. We live in a sub-tropical climate year round but come January, the heat is combined with energy sapping humidity and the last thing you’re thinking about is cooking a meal. Over the Christmas break I made endless salad variations for lunch and dinner including Mr Tiffin’s a new fave. Coronation Chicken. Bless him, he thought I’d invented a new flavour combo. He’d never heard of it. Where’s he been?

Coronation Chicken was borne of a desire to create a dish to celebrate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. The basic premise was a cold chicken dish in a light curry cream sauce. It was developed by artful flower arranger and girl about town, Constance Spry and chef Rosemary Hume, to serve as a dish at the Coronation Luncheon in 1953.

Very Exotic!
Created during the post-war rationing era, the dish was a revelation for guests who had been starved of interesting meals and exotic flavours. It was essentially a cold chicken curry but, they obviously liked it. The recipe has evolved over the years since that simple dish with many new and ‘of the times’ additions such as dried cranberries, mango chutney and sultanas. As a result, Coronation Chicken has become one of the most popular sandwich fillings eaten by Brits as they grab lunch from the local Boots or Tesco.

Two plump R2E2 mangoes with a red blush

The traditional recipe calles for the chicken to be poached then creates a sauce of curry powder, wine, tomato purée and whipping cream added to mayonnaise. These traditions and complications are all well and good but I’m going for a quick, tasty meal that can be prepared with a minimum of fuss and without raising a sweat. I include fresh mango in my recipe as it is abundant at this time of year. If you don’t have access to mangoes, substitute a couple of tablespoons of mango chutney. Because this version uses shop bought mayonnaise and curry powder, try to use better quality versions if you can.  We eat our Coronation Mango Chicken scooped into Cos lettuce cups and yes, sometimes on a sandwich.

Coronation Mango Chicken

coronation mango chicken in a bowl with lettuce cups to serve


  • 2 cups cold cooked chicken, diced
  • 1 fresh mango, peeled and diced
  • 2 spring onions (eschalots), sliced finely
  • 3 tbsp whole egg mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp sour cream (or an extra tbsp mayo)
  • 1 tspn curry powder
  • 1 tbsp raisins
  • 1 tbsp flaked almonds, toasted


  1. Place mayonnaise, sour cream and curry powder in a large bowl and stir to combine.
  2. Add chicken, mango, spring onions and raisins to the bowl and gently toss to coat in the sauce.
  3. Scatter flaked almonds over the top of the Coronation Mango Chicken and serve with crunchy cucumber and crisp lettuce cups

Serves 4 as a main

chopped chicken and mango in a curry mayonnaise sauce - Coronation Mango Chicken
6 comments… add one
  • Daphne January 20, 2017, 7:50 pm

    Good morning Fiona, I am so pleased to see your version of Coronation chicken, because when I was a young wife this was considered a very exotic dish. I made it for a family buffet a couple of years ago and everyone loved it.
    I look forward to trying your version and I love the idea of using lettuce cups to serve the coronation chicken.
    Best Wishes

    • Fiona Ryan January 21, 2017, 12:54 pm

      Hi Daphne – yes, I can imagine this would have been the perfect dish for the young bride out to impress. I hope you enjoy this version. Thanks for taking the time leave a comment.

  • Pamela hayward January 20, 2017, 11:22 pm

    Perfect for Brisbane weather. I used to make a Jill Dupleix recipe of this dish which equally delicious. Love the lettuce cups.
    I made those tahini biscuits too a la Ottolenghii. ..so delicious and easy.

    • Fiona Ryan January 21, 2017, 12:56 pm

      Yes, absolutely perfect for the crazy weather we are having. We use a lot of Cos lettuce as it keeps so well in the crisper and has a sweet taste. Ottolenghi just gives and gives!

  • sherry from sherrys pickings January 21, 2017, 1:29 pm

    I like the sound of this except for the mangoes:) Perhaps it isn’t as strong amongst all the other flavours. weirdly i like mango chutney tho so i could use that. i bet it’s a fab sandwich filling.

  • Jan Rhoades January 21, 2017, 5:53 pm

    How very Queensland. The mango addition sounds delicious. I also wonder how it would taste using pomegranates?
    Unlike Mr Tiffin, I am very familiar with Coronation Chicken. I might just give it another whirl one of these sticky, hot and humid Brisbane days.

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