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Coronation Chicken: endless work, stunning results

Posted by Sheryl Julian  May 29, 2012 04:38 PM

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Chickenelizabeth.jpgThis is the famous Coronation Chicken (later called Chicken Elizabeth) invented by the Cordon Bleu Cookery School in London and prepared for the queen upon her elevation to the British throne 60 years ago. The story is in tomorrow's Boston Globe. To make it, you poach chicken breasts, prepare a curry mayonnaise, and a big, colorful rice salad tossed with vinaigrette dressing. It takes ages, but the finished dish is pretty wonderful.

Coronation Chicken

Serves 8



8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

1/2 cup water

1. Set the oven at 400 degrees.

2. Sprinkle the breasts with oil, salt, and pepper. In a large roasting pan, arrange them, tightly packed, skinned side up; do not overlap. Pour in the water at the side. Cover with parchment paper and cook for 25 to 30 minutes or until the chicken is firm to the touch and cooked through.

3. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Transfer the chicken to a container to chill. (Use the cooking liquid in any recipe calling for chicken stock.)



1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder

1/2 cup tomato juice

1 tablespoon apricot jam

2 teaspoons red or white wine vinegar

1 cup mayonnaise

1. In a skillet, heat the oil and cook the curry powder over low heat, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the tomato juice, jam, and vinegar. Cook, stirring, until the jam dissolves. Bring to a boil and let the mixture simmer over medium heat, stirring often, for 10 minutes or until it reduces by half. Set aside to cool.

2. In a bowl, whisk the mayonnaise until smooth. Add 2 tablespoons of the curry mixture and blend well. Add more curry, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mayonnaise is a pourable consistency.

3. Transfer to a container and refrigerate. Refrigerate the curry mixture separately.



3 tomatoes, cored

Salt and black pepper, to taste

2 1/2 cups long-grain white rice

1/2 lemon

1/2 cup slivered almonds

4 carrots, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced on the diagonal

1 cup golden raisins, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes and drained

2 yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded, and cut into 1-inch strips

1 1/2 cups green peas, thawed and rinsed with cold water

1/2 English cucumber, quartered lengthwise, seeded, and thinly sliced

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 bunch fresh watercress (for garnish)

1. Bring a stock pot of water to a boil. Drop in the tomatoes, count to 10, and use a slotted spoon to transfer to a bowl of ice water.

2. Generously salt the water. Add the rice and lemon half. Cook over high heat, uncovered, stirring often, until the water returns to a boil. Turn the heat to medium-high heat and cook exactly 12 minutes, checking after 11 minutes  (the rice will not absorb all the water). Drain into a colander and with the end of a wooden spoon, poke a dozen holes in the rice. Set aside to cool. Discard the lemon.

3. Peel, halve, and seed the tomatoes. Cut them into thin strips.

4. In a skillet, toast the almonds, tossing constantly, for 2 minutes or until they are lightly golden.

5. In a saucepan of salted water, cook the carrots for 3 minutes or until they are tender but still have some bite. Drain and rinse with cold water.

6. In a large bowl, combine the rice, tomatoes, almonds, carrots, raisins, yellow peppers, peas, and cucumber. Toss gently.

7. In another bowl, whisk the vinegar, salt, black pepper, and mustard until smooth. Gradually whisk in the oil until the mixture emulsifies. Toss the rice mixture with the dressing and 1/4 cup of the parsley. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like.

8. Arrange the rice on a large platter.

9. Cut the chicken into large strips and transfer to a bowl. Whisk the mayonnaise until smooth. Add more of the curry mixture, if you like, to make a sauce that is a pouring consistency. Add enough mayonnaise to the chicken to coat it all over. Set the chicken on the rice and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup parsley. Sheryl Julian. Adapted from The Cordon Bleu Cookery School


About Dishing

What's cooking in the world of food.


Sheryl Julian, the Globe's Food Editor, writes regularly for the Food section.

Devra First is the Globe's food reporter and restaurant critic. Her reviews appear weekly in the Food section.

Ellen Bhang reviews Cheap Eats restaurants for the Globe and writes about wine.

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