coronation chicken on spoon and in bowl

Believe it or not, we can thank Queen Elizabeth II for coronation chicken. If you don’t know the back story behind this dish, it’s a pretty good one. According to Cordon Bleu, students at the school whipped this dish up for the queen at a luncheon in 1953. Initially, it was named "Poulet Reine Elizabeth," though now, people simply refer to it as "coronation chicken." Recipe developer Catherine Brookes of Blue Sky Eating came up with her own spin on the classic recipe, and in case you’re not familiar with the dish, she gives us a quick rundown: "Coronation chicken is a classic British dish that was first developed in 1953 to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II," Brookes explains. "It’s a cold dish featuring chicken in a sweet and creamy mildy spiced sauce."

Brookes also shares her inspiration behind this dish, which we totally love. "Adding cinnamon sticks and ginger to the chicken stock when poaching adds even more spicy, warmth and depth of flavor," Brookes shares. Americans might recognize the dish as something similar to chicken salad, but coronation chicken has arguably more spiced flavor, and in addition to mayonnaise, you’ll also add Greek yogurt for optimal creaminess.

Gather the ingredients for classic coronation chicken

coronation chicken ingredients

Once you’re ready to begin, you will need to gather the ingredients. Pick up chicken breasts, chicken stock, cinnamon sticks, fresh ginger, mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, mango chutney, lemon, mild curry powder, sultanas, chopped cilantro, salt, and pepper to taste.

Boil the chicken stock, cinnamon sticks, and ginger

chicken in a saucepan

Ready to get started? Grab a saucepan and add the chicken stock, cinnamon sticks, and ginger slices. Place the saucepan on your stove and crank the heat up high, bringing the liquid to a boil. Add the chicken breasts and cook for about 10 to 12 minutes, until thoroughly cooked through.

Remove the chicken and mix the dressing

coronation chicken dressing in bowl

Once the chicken finishes cooking, remove it from the pan and set it on a plate or dish to cool.

In the meantime, go ahead and mix the dressing. Just add the remaining ingredients to a bowl. This includes mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, mango chutney, lemon, mild curry powder, sultanas, chopped cilantro, salt, and pepper. With all ingredients in the bowl, mix them well to combine.

Shred the chicken

shredded chicken on cutting board

Once the chicken cools a little so it’s easier to work with, you will need to shred it. Just your hands or two forks to roughly shred the chicken.

Mix it all together and serve

coronation chicken in bowl

The last thing you need to do is add the shredded chicken to a bowl with the dressing and mix to combine. Now, it’s ready to serve. This is great on its own, but Brookes also provides a few additional serving suggestions. "We typically use it as a sandwich filling but you can also add it to salads," she says.

This dish is so good that we don’t think you will have anything left, but if you do, be sure to keep it. "Leftovers should keep for up to 2 days covered in the fridge," Brookes notes.

  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2-inch chunk fresh ginger, sliced
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons mango chutney
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 teaspoons mild curry powder
  • 3 tablespoons sultanas
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  1. Add the chicken stock, cinnamon sticks, and ginger slices to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the chicken breasts and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until completely cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside to cool whilst you mix the dressing.
  2. Add the mayo, Greek yogurt, mango chutney, lemon juice, curry powder, sultanas, cilantro, salt, and pepper to a bowl and mix well to combine.
  3. Pull apart the cooked chicken with your hands or 2 forks to roughly shred it.
  4. Add the shredded chicken to the bowl with the dressing and mix well to combine.
  5. Serve the coronation chicken as is, or on a sandwich.