QUEEN FOR A DAY
Or how to love your leftovers even when you are less than inspired!
In my last blog post I waxed lyrical about the game I was playing using only one griddle pan, one knife and one chopping board but the novelty of this particular challenge is now wearing a little thin.
At work we have been preparing quite a few catered parties for birthdays, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs and anniversaries, and a perennial favourite is Coronation Chicken. We are often asked for the recipe and although our version is not exactly what was served in 1953 we are now going to come clean and give you the goods!
Coronation chicken was created in 1953, when renowned florist Constance Spry and cordon bleu chef Rosemary Hume catered for a banquet to celebrate the coronation of Elizabeth II.
It is believed to be inspired by the ‘Jubilee Chicken’ created for George V’s silver jubilee in 1935.
The original dish calls for chicken poached in a court bouillon, cooled and then dressed with a curried wine and cream sauce combined with apricot chutney and almonds.
I have, in the past, poached chicken with various herbs and spices but to be honest it's a bit of a faff and far easier to use a roasted bird or parts thereof or even left-overs.
I have successfully made this with both dark and light turkey meat too as it is a good way to use up the ends of a roast; it s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-s a meagre portion that would not make a meal into a banquet fit for a queen!
As you will see from the ingredients, this is not a 'measured' recipe as I am ashamed to say I have never bothered to measure the quantities. Most recipes that are published are usually checked and made at least three times to ensure the correct ratios but as this is a curried mayo, and everyone's tolerance is different, it can be adjusted to suit your palate.
I should imagine that you will need about 400-500ml of sauce for four portions so I am basing the following recipe on this:
500g Cooked chicken cut into bite-sized pieces
2-4 tablespoons apricot chutney or Golds duck sauce
1 small tin apricot halves
Handful of raisins or sultanas
1-2 dessertspoons curry powder - mild, medium or hot, it's up to you
1-2 teaspoons tumeric powder
1-2 teaspoons ground cumin
1-2 teaspoons ground coriander
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chopped spring onion for garnish
Chopped parsley or coriander for garnish
Juice of half a lemon or lime - optional
Put the mayonnaise into a mixing bowl, dollop in the apricot chutney/duck sauce and whisk to a smooth and blended consistency. Drain the apricot halves over a small bowl to catch the juice/syrup.
Add the dried spices and whisk to blend. If the sauce is too thick use some of the juice from the apricots to thin it down to your desired consistency. If it is too sweet for your tastes add the lemon or lime juice in place of the apricot juice/syrup.
Give the sauce about 10 minutes for the flavours to develop and then taste it and adjust the seasoning. It may need more 'flavour' but not heat; if this is the case, add more cumin and a little more coriander to amp it up.
Slice the apricots into strips and add to the chicken along with the raisins and then fold through the curried mayonnaise. Pile into a serving bowl and garnish with the chopped spring onions and parsley or coriander.