This Coronation Chicken salad recipe, is similar to the curried chicken salad served at the coronation luncheon for Queen Elizabeth ll.
Similar, because there are so many variations of Coronation Salad. This version I got from a Chalet girl. So what do Chalet Girls, India, and the Queen’s Coronation have to do with chicken salad?
When I was living in London, my dad came to visit me. We took a trip to Paris and Val D’Isere, in the Alps, to go skiing. It was also a good excuse as any to renew my close-to-expiring passport. We stayed in a chalet with mostly British visitors, and the Chalet girls were all British Sloane Rangers. (This post was originally posted on August 20th, 2012, and has been updated with nutritional information and contains affiliate links.)
Those Chalet girls cooked breakfast and supper every day, and were all well trained at either Swiss, London, or Parisian cooking schools. When they were done with their cooking and cleaning duties, they were able to spend the rest of the day skiing.Wistful thoughts of skiing all day, all season long, began to plague me. But alas, I had a real job and a real life in London, and was only on a two week holiday. I had to the alps and ditch my dreams of becoming a “Chalet Girl”.
One day we were served Coronation Chicken Salad, which was first created for Queen Elizabeth ll for her Coronation in 1953. It was so delicious, I asked for the recipe. Fortunately the girls must have gotten lots of requests for their recipes, because they’d printed a little paper cookbook with some hand-draw illustrations. For 5 pounds I got a copy, and have made many dishes from it ever since.
My dad was in London for the Coronation. Well, not there in Westminster Abbey, but there, with millions of others on the Mall. I still have some of the Coronation souvenirs he brought back. This commemorative cup and saucer is from the May 12th, 1937 coronation that never happened!
Edward the Vlll abdicated in December of 1936 to marry Wallis Simpson, but by then, the date had been set, and the china cast. The dinner plate from Elizabeth’s coronation, which of course did go off without a hitch, is also in my collection. She’s now the longest reigning monarch in Britain’s long history. The Winston Churchill toby jar is one of my favorite pieces. Naturally Winston was there for both the abdication and the subsequent coronation.
Whomever created Coronation Chicken Salad for the Queen clearly did so with a nod to the British Raj in India, for whatever else you choose to put in a Coronation Salad, curry is not an option, it is a necessity!
Depending on your curry powder, add more or less. Let your taste buds decide. I tend to use a medium curry powder, but you can also get mild or hot. The addition of the Major Grey’s chutney gives it a certain nuance, but there can be very large chunks. So chop the big pieces up a bit. In the past, I’ve switched it up by adding raisins, apples or cashews to the chicken salad. This filling is delicious inside a sandwich, serve open-face as tiny tea sandwiches, or on a bed of lettuce for a low-carb lunch. The original recipe contained flour when sautéing. I’ve always omitted it to keep the recipe gluten free and lower in carbs.
Chicken Salad is perfect for leftover chicken or turkey
Chicken salad is nothing new for sure. It’s the perfect way to add moisture to an otherwise dry chicken or (turkey) breast. For while I prefer dark poultry for flavor when eating a plain bird, I always opt for white breast meat when making a chicken salad. This recipe, or any chicken salad recipe, is also perfect for leftover turkey, making it particularly popular around the holidays. I love chicken salad so much, I have two more on my site. This Cranberry Walnut Chicken Salad is popular in the fall.
And Apricot Almond Tarragon Chicken Salad is perfect in the summer.
Some of the items used in this post are available at my Amazon Affiliate store.
- 2 cups cooked chicken cubed or shredded
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 1/2 teaspoons curry powder use more or less depending on your taste
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
- 2 tablespoons Major Grey chutney Dice the large pieces
- 3 Tablespoons apricot jam
- 1 teaspoons lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup red or green grapes halved
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped raw almonds
- 1 Tablespoons oil neutral flavored, a mild olive oil or coconut oil
- 3 Tablespoons diced shallot onion can be substituted.
Dice the large pieces of the chutney. Sometimes there are large chunks in the jar.
Heat oil in a pan over a medium heat until oil shimmers. Add the chopped shallots and saute just a minute or two. Add curry powder to allow it to "bloom" for another minute or two while stirring.
Turn off heat and add chutney, apricot jam, lemon juice, salt and pepper and whisk.
In a large bowl, whisk together, mayonnaise and curry and chutney mixture. In a food processor or blender, pulse the mixture once or twice to make a smooth paste. Check seasoning, adding additional salt, black pepper, lemon juice or curry powder to taste if needed.
When it's just tasty enough, fold in chicken, grapes and almonds. Remember that the addition of the chicken, grapes and almonds will dilute the flavor, so re-season accordingly.
Serve as a filling in a sandwich or on a bed of lettuce for a lower carb or gluten free option.