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.
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.
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
- 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
- Place mayonnaise, sour cream and curry powder in a large bowl and stir to combine.
- Add chicken, mango, spring onions and raisins to the bowl and gently toss to coat in the sauce.
- 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