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The History of The Coronation Chicken

The coronation chicken is a dish for royalty and was created for royalty. As the coronation of King Charles III rolls around the corner, the special dish is fast becoming popular again. Read ahead for the rich history behind the traditional recipe. reading to find out more about it.

By Cookist

The coronation chicken was invented for a luncheon during the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.

The dish consists of diced chicken with a creamy sauce and a bit of curry powder. Over the years, it has remained a delicacy but has also evolved in British cuisine.

How it was created 


The coronation chicken was created in 1953. Around that time, the Minister of Works asked Le Cordon Bleu London culinary school which was being run by Constance Spry, a celebrated florist, and Rosemary Hume, a cook and author.

The minister asked them to serve lunch at Westminster School for 350 foreign representatives who were to witness the coronation.

Unfortunately the kitchen at the venue was too small to produce anything hot except soup and coffee. The menu had to be simple but also good enough for the historic event.

This was what led to the birth of the coronation chicken. It was listed on the menu as "Poulet Reine Elizabeth". 

The original recipe involved poaching chicken in water and wine then coating it in a sauce created using mayonnaise, whipped cream, apricot and tomato purée, curry powder, lemon, pepper and red wine.

The dish was served along with a well-seasoned salad of rice, green peas and pimentos.

Freya Perryman, communications officer from Le Cordon Bleu London, said:

"The recipe was created by Rosemary Hume and Constance Spry, with the main credit going to Hume, and we understand that students helped to fine-tune."

Where the inspiration came from


Nobody knows what inspired the cooks to create the coronation chicken. Some claims say it was created for the Silver Jubilee of George V in 1935. The dish was called Jubilee Chicken and was made with chicken, mayonnaise and curry powder.

There are also reports the inspiration came from a recipe for Queen Adelaide's favorite sandwich in the 1886 cookbook Savouries à la Mode by Harriet Anne De Salis.

The recipe for Adelaide Sandwiches includes the diced breast of a fowl spiced with cayenne pepper, but it does not look like coronation chicken.

Coronation chicken is now famous these days as a sandwich filling but when it was created, it would have been a luxury.

It remains one within the royal family who have enjoyed it for decades but with several twists. As King Charles III's coronation comes up, many are looking forward to what will be on the menu.

According to reports, Le Cordon Bleu London will be marking this year's Coronation at Café Le Cordon Bleu and CORD Café, where they will offer a gourmet coronation chicken bun and a delicious fruit tart decorated with a crown.

At CORD Restaurant, the menu contains a three-course meal in celebration of King Charles III. It is filled with his favorites.

The special menu will include the Coronation Lamb; a dish of organic British lamb with forest mushrooms, seared lamb loin, dry slow-roasted crispy shoulder, slow-cooked porcini mushroom and pancetta compote, pickled girolles, garlic cream, lamb jus and savoy cabbage.

The dish was created for CORD by Chef Emil Minev, Director of Culinary Arts at Le Cordon Bleu London.

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