The easiest (and most beautiful) cake you can make
I was so excited to learn about coronation chicken in my “5 Countries Teach Us How to Level Up the Baked Potato” series! This baked potato filling is like a meal on its own, but when it’s placed on a warm baked potato—talk about elevating a meal! Coronation chicken is bursting with flavor, and it also revived my confusing relationship with raisins. (I suppose I like them now!)
This recipe comes from Lisa-Jayne in a small market town west of England in Wye Valley. Coronation chicken has been around her whole life, but it goes even further back than one would expect. In 1953, Queen Elizabeth had her coronation at Buckingham Palace, and the chefs at that time were inspired to create a new dish especially for this significant historical event. As India was a newly independent country in 1947, the chefs wanted to incorporate a reflection of the commonwealth, so they introduced Indian spices to the dish as well. Thus, a zesty chicken salad was born.
Made from cooked chicken breast, curry powder, apricots, raisins, mayo, and green onion, this rich, creamy filling is served cold inside a warm baked potato. It has a kick from the curry spices, and some people add fruit or spring onions to the mixture. It was easy to make, and I loved the sheer volume of toppings included in this dish! And yes, I did enjoy the raisins in it, which was a pleasant surprise. The apricot was equally delicious, as it added a little sweetness to balance out the spicy curry powder.
Fun fact: Curry is not an Indian dish! Many British people refer to Indian food as curry, but in reality, the concept of the curry dish is a British invention. “Curry” is actually an Anglicized version of the Tamil word “kari,” which means sauce. When the British were exposed to Indian culture and food, they saw all of Indian food as a sauce and began collectively referring to it as curry, and this hasn’t changed all these years later.
My coronation chicken turned out so well, and it was such a lovely twist on the Americanized chicken salads I know so well. If you’re looking to become more knowledgeable about Indian cooking but don’t want to stray too far outside your comfort zone, give coronation chicken a try, and let me know how it goes!
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