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Queen me: Fake Coronation Chicken

Posted By Shiv On November 3, 2010 @ 8:12 pm In chicken, yogurt | 2 Comments

Though not generally a big proponent of monarchy as a governmental system, I have to admit: I have a real soft spot for Queen Elizabeth II. I’m not really sure why. It might be the hats, or the corgis, or the fact that her family calls her “Lilibet;” frankly, it might just be the fact that she has lived in places called “Windlesham” and “GwardamanÄ¡ia.” It certainly doesn’t hurt that she is inadvertently responsible for one of my favorite sandwich fillings of all time, Coronation chicken.

Concocted in honor of Lilibet’s ascension to the throne in 1953, Coronation chicken is, simply put, a curried chicken salad. And it is glorious–tangy and spicy and sweet and… I can seriously eat this stuff with a spoon. Given that it’s 80% mayonnaise, however, I try to avoid doing so on a regular basis. Or, at least, I did until I decided to take a crack at it myself–I wanted to see if I could create a reasonable facsimile using my favorite ingredient (greek yogurt) as a substitute.

Short answer, I couldn’t. What I made is not really a doppelganger for real Coronation chicken…but it is *really* flippin’ good in its Otherness. I find that I really like the tangy bite that the yogurt brings to the table, and I absolutely *LOVE* that I can now eat it in vast quantities with relative impunity.

Because let me tell you–I have grand plans to do so. Though I will not be sharing it with the corgi in my life; I wonder what HRH would say about that.

Fake Coronation Chicken

1 Medium onion, diced
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 c greek yogurt
1 bay leaf
1/2 c apricot puree (I used a jar of baby food)
a few healthy glugs of red wine (probably about 1-1.5 c)
2-3 tbsp tomato paste
curry powder
olive oil
sesame oil

A couple pounds cooked chicken, shredded

  1. Over low heat, saute the onions in a mix of olive oil and sesame oil until slightly translucent.
  2. Then, add the curry powder, tomato paste, wine, bay leaf and lemon juice. Up the heat to about medium, and let simmer for about ten minutes. Let cool.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix the curry/wine mixture with yogurt and apricot puree; discard the bay leaf, and mix well.
  4. Stir in chicken. Garnish with chopped scallion. Inhale at will.

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