Sunday, 3 June 2012

Recipe LIX - Coronation Chicken

It's the 60th Jubilee of the accession to the throne of Her Majesty the Queen and I wanted to do something extra special today to play my part in this historic occasion, the likes of which I will never see again. Coronation chicken was the brainchild of two ladies: a florist and a chef, for the coronation in 1953. The combination of ingredients is quite startling as you will see, but the final result is simply delicious, a stroke of genius.

For the chicken part:
6 spring onions
8 cloves of garlic
900g chicken breasts
Fresh ground pepper
Salt to taste

For the sauce:
1 chopped onion
1 tbsp curry powder
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp tomato purée
juice of half of a lemon
85ml/3fl oz red wine
150ml tap water
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp sugar
425ml/15fl oz mayonnaise
2-3 tbsp apricot jam (YES, YOU READ THIS CORRECTLY)
2-3 tbsp whipped cream
1 tbsp chopped green coriander

Put some water into a deep, rounded pan and add the spring onions, salt, pepper and chopped garlic. Once steaming, add the chicken and simmer for a good half an hour until the meat is cooked through. Then set it aside with a lid on to cool and for the flavours to work in.

While this is taking place, cut up your onion, put it into a saucepan and fry in olive or vegetable oil for a few minutes until soft. Then add the curry powder and let it mix in. Add the bay leaves, wine, tomato purée and the water, and let it gently come to a boil. Add the sugar, lemon juice and freshly ground black pepper and turn down the heat. Allow it to simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, thickening slightly.

Strain the larger bits from the sauce, and leave it to cool next to the chicken. Spend this time cutting up the chicken into bitesize pieces and whipping some cream..

Now comes the weird bit.
Spoon your mayonnaise and apricot jam into a large bowl. Pour in the liquid part of the sauce, and thoroughly fold it in. Add the whipped cream and with the aid of a blender on very slow, turn it into a full consistency.

Serve as a side dish, starter or as a feature in a buffet.

The leftover spring onions in water and the larger parts of the sauce make an ideal soup.
This dish is probably the most satisfying thing I have made in my kitchen. For although it contains some wacky combinations, it was simple, fast and utterly rewarding.
Long Live Her Majesty The Queen!

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