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Easy Coronation Chicken Recipe

Sweet, savory, crunchy, and creamy, coronation chicken is so good, it’s fit for royalty.

Serve it in a sandwich with fresh bread, on a salad, or even in a steaming jacket potato. Yum!

A plate of Coronation Chicken and Lettuce on White Plate
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If you’ve ever made coronation chicken before, you’ll know that this recipe isn’t exactly traditional.

And while you can stick to the basic recipe if you prefer, I highly recommend this elevated version.

Not only does this recipe ensure the chicken is tender and tasty, but you’ll get the best-tasting sauce possible.

The secret? You’ll add red wine and tomato paste!

Give it a try, and I think you’ll agree it makes all the difference!

What Is Coronation Chicken?

Coronation chicken is a cold sandwich filling that first appeared at Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation luncheon in 1953.

The most basic recipe calls for a blend of mayonnaise, curry powder, cinnamon (optional), mango chutney, and sultanas.

It’s often served on bread but also tastes good in salads.

It’s kind of like chicken salad, only you get way more bang for your buck.

The simple creamy sauce comes together in seconds, and then you add the cold, shredded chicken.

The curry powder offers warmth and a nice kick, while the chutney brings a deliciously sweet and savory finish.

Plus, you get some nice chew from the fruit.

Coronation Chicken Recipe

As mentioned, this recipe isn’t traditional. In fact, it’s quite different from the OG dish.

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You’ll make a unique reduction with tomato paste, curry powder, water, red wine, lemon juice, and mango chutney.

When thick and cool, add mayo and sour cream for maximum rich creaminess.

Oh, and there’s almonds and dried apricots in there, too, for textural variety.

But don’t let the long ingredient list intimate you. Most ingredients are pantry staples, which come together easier than you think. 

And if you want to save on time, opt for rotisserie chicken. That way, you just need to make the sauce.

Coronation Chicken on white plate

How to Make Coronation Chicken 

The original recipe for coronation chicken is quick and easy. It often calls for pre-cooked chicken, speeding the prep up even further.

And you can totally go for pre-cooked chicken if you like!

But if you want (or need) to cook the chicken too, here’s the method:

1. Prepare the chicken breasts.

Poach the chicken breasts in a pot of water with peppercorns and bay leaves.

Bring the water to a boil, then simmer everything on low heat for 8-10 minutes until it’s tender.

Take the chicken out of the water, cover it loosely with foil, and leave it to rest. This allows the juices time to infuse.

When cold, chop or shred the chicken into small, bite-sized pieces. 

2. Cook the coronation sauce.

In a saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat, and add the onions. Cook until fragrant and translucent.

Stir in the tomato paste, and cook for an additional minute. Then add the seasonings, wine, water, mango chutney, lemon juice, and bay leaf.

Cook until thick, about 5 minutes. Then remove the pot from the heat and leave it to cool.

I like to remove the bay leaf, then pour the sauce into a glass bowl. It’ll cool faster out of the hot pan.

3. Combine the creamy ingredients to finish the sauce.

In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise and sour cream. This is best done when they’re cold.

When cold, add the cooked sauce and mix well.

4. Combine all ingredients and serve.

Stir the cooked and cooled chicken into the coronation sauce. Mix in the dried apricots and sliced almonds, then serve and enjoy!

Coronation Chicken Sandwich on wooden board

How to Store Coronation Chicken 

Store coronation chicken in an air-tight container, in the fridge, for 2-3 days.

Just make sure everything is cold.

Unfortunately, coronation chicken does not freeze well. That’s down to the creamy components, which can turn watery when frozen and thawed.

That said, you can make this dish ahead and freeze parts of it for later.

Poach the chicken, let it cool, then cut it into small pieces and store it in the freezer. Use an air-tight container or freezer bag, and don’t mix in the sauce!

You can also make the base for the sauce and keep that in the fridge for up to a week. Then, add the creamy elements when you’re ready to serve.

Coronation Chicken Sandwich

How to Serve Coronation Chicken

What I love most about this recipe is that it’s perfect for almost anything.

It works as an appetizer for a summer BBQ or holiday party or as a main dish for a summer luncheon or brunch. 

Think of it like any other chicken salad, and you’ll know just what to do!

You can serve it alone, on a bed of crisp lettuce leaves, in puff pastry cases, over potatoes, or even as a chinky dip with crostini.

Best served cold, you can’t beat a coronation chicken sandwich. I prefer it on a bagel, but your favorite bread will be just as yummy.

Another terrific option is to make a panini! Add some cheddar cheese and cook until the bread is toasty and the filling is hot and gooey. Yum!

More Chicken Recipes You’ll Love

Ina Garten Chicken Salad
Nashville Hot Chicken
Chipotle Chicken
Chicken Waldorf Salad
Greek Chicken

Easy Coronation Chicken Recipe





Total time



Sweet, savory, crunchy, and creamy, coronation chicken is so good, it’s fit for royalty. Serve it in a sandwich, on a salad, or in a steaming baked potato.


  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

  • Kosher salt to taste

  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 medium white onion, diced

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 1 tablespoon curry powder

  • 1/4 cup red wine

  • 2 tablespoons mango chutney

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon)

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

  • 1/4 cup sour cream

  • 1/4 cup chopped dried apricots

  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped


  • Half-fill a tall pot with water, then add chicken breasts, peppercorns, and bay leaves. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until the chicken is tender.
  • Remove the chicken from the pot and cover it loosely with foil. Allow to cool, then cut or shred the meat and set aside.
  • For the coronation sauce, heat the olive oil in a saucepan or skillet over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook for 5 minutes until the onions are translucent and soft.
  • Stir in the tomato paste and cook for about 1 minute. Add the curry powder, and stir until blended.
  • Mix 1/4 cup of water, red wine, lemon juice, mango chutney, and the bay leaf into the tomato paste. Add more water as needed.
  • Cook the mixture until the sauce reduces by half – about 5 minutes. Once reduced (thickened), remove the pan from heat and leave it to cool to room temperature. To speed this up, pour the sauce into a glass bowl.
  • When the sauce and chicken are both cold, mix the mayonnaise and sour cream in a bowl. Then blend that into the curry mixture and stir until well combined.
  • Mix the chicken into the sauce, stirring until well coated. Then add the sliced almonds and chopped apricots and stir again until well blended.
  • Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro, and enjoy!
Coronation Chicken

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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