Coronation Chicken Recipe by Mary Berry: A Classic British Dish

Mary Berry is a renowned British cook and television personality, known for her expertise in creating delicious and easy-to-follow recipes. One of her most famous dishes is the Coronation Chicken, a classic British recipe that has been enjoyed for decades. This dish was created in 1953 to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and has since become a staple of British cuisine.

Mary Berry’s Coronation Chicken recipe is a modern take on the classic dish, using a combination of spices, herbs, and fruits to create a unique and flavorful sauce. The dish is made with tender chicken breast, which is poached in a fragrant stock before being coated in the creamy and spicy sauce. The sauce is made with a blend of curry powder, lemon juice, apricot jam, and mayonnaise, giving it a sweet and tangy flavor that perfectly complements the chicken.

Whether you are looking to impress your guests at a dinner party or simply want to try a new and delicious recipe, Mary Berry’s Coronation Chicken is a must-try dish. With its rich history and unique flavor, this classic British recipe is sure to become a favorite in your household.

History of Coronation Chicken

A chef mixing mayonnaise, curry powder, and mango chutney in a bowl, adding shredded chicken and raisins, creating Coronation Chicken

Origin and Significance

Coronation chicken is a dish that was created to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. The dish was invented by Constance Spry, a well-known British florist and food writer, and Rosemary Hume, a chef who ran the Le Cordon Bleu cookery school in London.

The original recipe for coronation chicken included cold chicken, curry powder, mayonnaise, cream, and a few other ingredients. It was served at the coronation banquet and quickly became a popular dish in the United Kingdom.

Coronation chicken is significant because it represents a time when British cuisine was starting to change and become more diverse. The dish was influenced by Indian cuisine, which was becoming more popular in the UK at the time.

Mary Berry’s Influence

Mary Berry, a well-known British food writer and television presenter, has had a significant influence on the popularity of coronation chicken in recent years. She has published several recipes for coronation chicken, including one in her book “Mary Berry’s Complete Cookbook.”

Berry’s recipes for coronation chicken often include a few modern twists, such as using Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise or adding fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley. Her recipes have helped to keep coronation chicken relevant and popular in the UK and beyond.

Overall, coronation chicken is a dish with a rich history and cultural significance in the United Kingdom. Its popularity continues to endure, thanks in part to the influence of food writers like Mary Berry.

Check out also the famous Mary Berry's Millionaire Shortbread Recipe

Essential Ingredients

A bowl of coronation chicken with mayo, curry powder, and mango chutney. A sprinkle of almonds and sultanas on top

Chicken Preparation

The first step in making a delicious coronation chicken is to prepare the chicken. Mary Berry recommends using cooked chicken breasts, which should be chopped into small pieces or shredded. It is important to ensure that the chicken is cooked thoroughly before using it in the recipe.

Sauce Components

The sauce is what gives coronation chicken its distinct flavor. Mary Berry’s recipe includes a variety of ingredients to create a rich and flavorful sauce. Some of the essential components of the sauce include:

  • Mayonnaise: This is the base of the sauce and provides a creamy texture.
  • Curry powder: This is what gives the sauce its signature flavor. Mary Berry recommends using a mild curry powder.
  • Mango chutney: This adds sweetness to the sauce and complements the curry flavor.
  • Lemon juice: This adds a tangy flavor to the sauce and helps to balance out the sweetness of the mango chutney.
  • Greek yogurt: This adds a tangy flavor and helps to thicken the sauce.

Other optional ingredients that can be added to the sauce include apricot jam, raisins, and almonds. These ingredients can add additional sweetness and texture to the dish.

Overall, the key to making a delicious coronation chicken is to use high-quality ingredients and to ensure that the chicken is cooked thoroughly. With these essential ingredients and some careful preparation, anyone can make a delicious coronation chicken that is sure to impress.

Cooking Instructions

A mixing bowl filled with cooked chicken, curry powder, and mayonnaise, being stirred with a wooden spoon. A dish of golden raisins and flaked almonds sits nearby

Poaching the Chicken

To start with, the chicken needs to be poached. Mary Berry suggests placing the chicken breasts in a large saucepan and adding enough water to cover them. Then, add some salt, pepper, and a bay leaf. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let the chicken cook for about 12-15 minutes or until it is cooked through.

Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pan and let it cool. Then, cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces.

Preparing the Sauce

While the chicken is cooling, it’s time to prepare the sauce. In a bowl, mix together mayonnaise, yogurt, curry powder, tomato paste, and apricot jam. Mary Berry also suggests adding some lemon juice and salt to taste.

Combining Elements

Once the chicken has cooled and been cut into pieces, it’s time to combine it with the sauce. Add the chicken to the bowl with the sauce and mix well, making sure the chicken is evenly coated.

Finally, add in some chopped apricots, sultanas, and chopped coriander (if desired) and mix again. The coronation chicken is now ready to be served.

Overall, this recipe is a simple and easy way to make a delicious coronation chicken that is sure to impress.

Serving Suggestions


Coronation chicken is a versatile dish that can be served in a variety of ways. Here are some accompaniments that pair well with this classic recipe:

  • Crusty bread or rolls
  • Rice or couscous
  • Salad greens or cucumber slices
  • Roasted vegetables, such as bell peppers or zucchini
  • Chutney or relish

These side dishes provide a nice balance to the creamy, spiced chicken flavor of the dish. Feel free to experiment with different combinations to find your favorite pairing.

Presentation Tips

When serving coronation chicken, presentation is key. Here are some tips to make your dish look as good as it tastes:

  • Use a colorful serving dish to showcase the vibrant yellow color of the chicken.
  • Garnish with fresh herbs, such as parsley or cilantro, for a pop of green.
  • Arrange the accompaniments in an attractive way around the chicken, creating a visually appealing plate.
  • Serve the dish chilled or at room temperature for optimal flavor.

By following these presentation tips, your coronation chicken dish will look as impressive as it tastes.

Variations and Substitutes

Coronation chicken is a versatile dish that can be adapted to suit different tastes and dietary requirements. Here are some variations and substitutes to try:

  • Vegetarian: For a vegetarian version, replace the chicken with chickpeas or tofu. Marinate the chickpeas or tofu in the coronation sauce for at least an hour before serving.
  • Low-fat: To reduce the fat content, use low-fat yogurt instead of mayonnaise and reduce the amount of oil in the recipe. You can also use skinless chicken breast instead of chicken thighs.
  • Spicy: If you like your food spicy, add some chopped red chilli or a pinch of cayenne pepper to the coronation sauce.
  • Fruity: For a more fruity version, add some chopped mango or pineapple to the coronation sauce.
  • Gluten-free: To make the dish gluten-free, make sure to use gluten-free mayonnaise and check the labels of any other ingredients you use in the recipe.

It’s important to note that these variations are just suggestions and you can experiment with different ingredients to find the combination that works best for you.

Give a try to the Delicious Coconut Cake Recipe by Mary Berry

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the essential ingredients for Mary Berry’s coronation chicken sauce?

Mary Berry’s coronation chicken sauce requires a few essential ingredients, including curry powder, mango chutney, apricot jam, mayonnaise, and double cream. These ingredients are blended together to create a creamy, tangy, and slightly spicy sauce that complements the chicken perfectly.

How do you prepare the chicken for Mary Berry’s coronation chicken dish?

To prepare the chicken for Mary Berry’s coronation chicken dish, you will need to poach it in a flavorful broth. The broth typically includes bay leaves, peppercorns, and onion. Once the chicken is cooked, it is cooled and then shredded into bite-sized pieces. The chicken is then mixed with the coronation sauce and served chilled.

Can you explain the historical significance behind the creation of coronation chicken?

Coronation chicken was created in 1953 to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. It was invented by Constance Spry and Rosemary Hume, who were asked to create a dish that could be served at the coronation banquet. The dish was an instant hit and has since become a classic British dish.

What are some common side dishes to serve with Mary Berry’s coronation chicken?

Mary Berry’s coronation chicken is typically served with a variety of side dishes, including rice, naan bread, and a selection of salads. Some popular salad choices include cucumber and mint, tomato and onion, and a mixed green salad.

How can one adjust the spiciness of the coronation chicken sauce in Mary Berry’s recipe?

To adjust the spiciness of the coronation chicken sauce in Mary Berry’s recipe, you can add more or less curry powder depending on your taste preferences. You can also adjust the amount of mango chutney and apricot jam to make the sauce sweeter or tangier.

Are there any modern twists to Mary Berry’s traditional coronation chicken recipe?

There are many modern twists to Mary Berry’s traditional coronation chicken recipe. Some chefs add different spices, such as cumin or garam masala, to give the dish a more complex flavor. Others add fresh herbs, such as cilantro or parsley, to brighten up the dish. Some chefs even use different types of meat, such as turkey or tofu, to make the dish more vegetarian-friendly.