Mary Berry Coronation Chicken Recipe (Quick 5 Minute Prep)

How to make a quick coronation chicken for sandwiches and salads? A quick 5-minute recipe is great for leftover cooked chicken.

Embarking on a culinary journey back to 1953, you’ll discover the origins of Coronation Chicken, a dish that celebrates British history with each bite.

This delightful recipe captures the essence of a nation’s tribute to its queen, with a harmony of creamy, fruity, and aromatic flavours.

Esteemed British cook, Mary Berry’s take on this classic, ensures you’ll savour a dish with balanced flavours and a satisfying texture. Whether you fancy it as a sandwich filling, atop a crisp salad, or alongside a steaming baked potato, it’s a versatile choice for any meal.

Whipping up this renowned dish is a breeze, making it perfect for both impromptu lunches and stately gatherings. The preparation is simple, but the result is nothing short of regal. Follow the steps to create a luscious meal that’s sure to impress and infused with the very essence of British culinary heritage.

coronation chicken on a bed of lettuce mary berry

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Coronation Chicken is a classic British dish with historical significance and a blend of creamy and fruity flavours.
  • Mary Berry’s version simplifies the creation of this dish, ensuring a perfect balance of taste and texture.
  • This adaptable recipe can be enjoyed in various meals and is easy to prepare for any occasion.

Understanding Coronation Chicken

Coronation Chicken, a dish crafted for Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation banquet, is a delightful blend of tender chicken in a creamy, mildly spicy sauce. The sauce typically fuses mayonnaise and curry powder, which imparts a gentle kick, sweetened with the unique addition of mango chutney and sultanas.

  • Sauce Base: Mayonnaise mixed with curry spices
  • Chicken: Shredded or diced
  • Sweet Accents: Sultanas and sometimes raisins
  • Flavour Profile: Mildly spicy, sweet, and creamy

This festive salad pays homage to a pivotal moment in British history – an edible celebration of royal significance crafted over half a century ago.

The Origins of Coronation Chicken

The delightful dish you know as Coronation Chicken has roots in the regal celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s ascension to the throne. Conceived by Constance Spry and Rosemary Hume, both of whom held prominent positions in culinary circles, aimed to craft a meal that encapsulated Britain’s rich colonial history and the vibrant tastes of India.

In post-war Britain, when resources were scarce, they managed to formulate this dish using readily available ingredients like chicken, mayonnaise, and a hint of curry spice. Originally named after the monarch herself as Poulet Reine Elizabeth, this dish gained its widespread moniker following its notable presence at the Queen’s coronation luncheon. Its popularity extended to the nation’s street parties and has since become a staple at various British celebrations, including jubilee festivities.

Understanding Mary Berry’s Coronation Chicken

This scrumptious dish features cold, shredded chicken enrobed in a creamy, gently spiced sauce. Ingredients like mayonnaise and mango chutney give it a sweet and tangy flavour, while sultanas and a dash of cinnamon offer a delightful complexity.

This recipe, inspired by the initial dish for Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation, strikes a lovely balance between sweet and savoury elements.

Reasons to Adore This Dish

This recipe is a real crowd-pleaser due to its simplicity and preparation speed; you’ll barely need 5 minutes to whip it up using pre-cooked chicken, saving precious time. Its versatility shines as it pairs wonderfully with various sides—think bread, salads, and grains like rice and couscous, or even tucked into pita pockets for a satisfying meal.

Not only is it customisable to your savoury preference by adjusting the curry powder and sultanas, but it’s also perfect for any event. Whether it’s a main or a side, for a picnic or a dinner party, this dish has got you covered. Plus, it’s a fantastic make-ahead option, easily stored in the fridge or freezer.

  • Quick to Prepare: Ideal for busy days.
  • Adaptable: Suits any accompaniment you fancy.
  • Always Event-Ready: Great for any gathering.

Ingredients for Coronation Chicken

To create this delightful dish, you’ll want to gather:

  • Shredded cooked chicken, about 500g
  • 6 tbsp of mayonnaise
  • Mild curry powder, 2-3 tsp, according to your taste
  • Ground cinnamon, half a tsp
  • Mango chutney, 2 tbsp
  • Sultanas, 1-3 tbsp to suit your preference

How To Make Mary Berry’s Coronation Chicken

  • Combine mayonnaise, curry powder, cinnamon, mango chutney, and sultanas in a spacious bowl and stir until uniform.
  • Toss in shredded chicken, ensuring each piece is thoroughly coated with the flavourful mixture.
  • Should the sauce feel too dense, gently mingle in two tablespoons of water for the desired consistency.
  • Season to taste, perfecting your coronation chicken.

You can present this delectable creation alongside a variety of sides—fancy it with bread, a fresh salad, or perhaps succulent jacket potatoes.

coronation chicken in a sandwich uk mary berry recipe

How to Properly Cook Chicken?

Cooking Techniques:

  • For Chicken Breasts:
    • Frying: Use a frying pan with a bit of vegetable oil for a golden exterior.
    • Oven Baking: Roast in an oven preheated to 190°C until thoroughly cooked.
  • For Chicken Thighs:
    • Consider slow cooking with a bay leaf in stock for deeper flavour.
  • Post-Cooking Rest: Let the chicken sit for a short spell post-cooking to let the juices settle, ensuring a juicy bite.
  • Storage: Cool down cooked chicken completely before popping it in the fridge if not serving immediately.
  • Temperature Assurance: Verify the chicken’s internal heat reaches at least 74°C by using a meat thermometer; this step is crucial for safety.

Ideal Pairings for Coronation Chicken

Serve your Coronation Chicken with:

  • Breads & Sandwiches: Transform it into a scrumptious sandwich filling or enjoy as a lavish topping on a variety of breads like baguettes, ciabattas, or croissants.
  • Salads: A fresh green salad or a sweet fruit salad complements the rich flavours. Sprinkle over some nuts for extra texture.
  • Starches: Perfect atop a steaming jacket potato, nestling next to a portion of fluffy rice, tossed with pasta, or combined with couscous.
  • Wraps & Pitas: Tuck into pita bread or a wrap, adding lettuce or cucumber for a crisp, refreshing twist.

Feel free to get creative by adding cheese, dollops of sour cream, parmesan shavings, fragrant herbs, dried fruit pieces, or a swirl of yoghurt to elevate the pairing further. This dish is a splendid choice for any gathering, be it a picnic or dinner party — just prepare ahead for ease.

Perfecting Mary Berry Coronation Chicken

  • Quality Mayonnaise – Select a creamy, top-tier mayonnaise. Options for lighter or plant-based diets are available.
  • Curry Powder Picking – Choose a gentle curry blend. Tailor the quantity to suit your palate.
  • Mango Chutney Choice – Aim for a dense mango chutney. You can also opt for apricot or pineapple preserves.
  • Cinnamon Spice – Incorporate a hint of cinnamon for added warmth. Modify according to your taste.
  • Sultanas Selection – Pick plump, golden sultanas. Raisins or dried cranberries make good alternatives.
  • Preparing Chicken – Either shred or neatly chop your chicken into small pieces. You can use any pre-cooked chicken or even turkey.

Diverse Twists on Coronation Chicken

Fancy a twist on the classic? Consider these options to personalise your coronation chicken:

  • Textures: Add a satisfying crunch with toasted nuts like almonds or pistachios.
  • Freshness: Brighten up the dish with a handful of chopped herbs; parsley, coriander, or mint will do nicely.
  • Crunchy Veggies: Mix in diced vegetables such as celery or apple. Peas or sweetcorn also bring in a pop of colour and sweetness.
  • Cheesy Delight: Throw in some cheese for an extra creamy dimension—cheddar, feta or blue cheese.
  • Sauce Variations: Experiment with your coronation sauce by using yogurt or sour cream. Combine different chutneys or switch out curry powder for curry paste for a deeper taste profile.

Consider enveloping these fillings within a golden puff pastry for an irresistible coronation chicken pastry delight.

Preserving Leftover Coronation Chicken

Here’s a guide to keep your Coronation Chicken delightful for later:


  • Chill in the fridge in airtight glass containers for up to 3-4 days.


  • Let it cool fully before you decide to freeze it.
  • Transfer to freezer bags or airtight containers.
  • Squeeze out all the air for fresher storage.
  • Freeze for 2-3 months.


  • For gradual thawing, rest in the fridge overnight.
  • For rapid thawing, utilise the microwave’s defrost function and consume straight away.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Do You Need to Make a Classic Coronation Chicken?

To create a classic coronation chicken sauce, you’ll require:

  • Cooked, shredded chicken
  • Mayonnaise for creaminess
  • A hint of mild curry powder for spice
  • Mango chutney adds sweetness
  • Lemon juice for tang

Adding sultanas, apricots or raisins provides a fruity chew, while a sprinkle of fresh herbs can offer a burst of colour and flavour.

What’s the Royal Connection of Coronation Chicken?

Originally devised for Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation feast in 1953, coronation chicken symbolises the blending of culinary cultures, carrying with it a dash of the exotic during a time of post-war austerity in Britain. The dish commemorates a royal event, offering a taste of tradition and celebration.

How Does Mary Berry’s Method Stand Out?

Mary Berry often embraces simplicity with a focus on quality ingredients, which differs from other chefs who might add their twist. While Delia Smith or Jamie Oliver might elaborate with additional spices or variations in method, Mary keeps her approach straightforward, ensuring that the original flavours shine through and the dish remains quick and accessible for home cooks.

Advice for Optimal Texture and Taste in Coronation Chicken?

For the best texture and flavour in coronation chicken, consider:

  • Balance: Mix spicy, sweet, and creamy flavours carefully.
  • Texture: Aim for a combination of soft shredded chicken with crunch from nuts or celery.
  • Quality: Use high-quality mayonnaise and fresh, aromatic spices.
  • Resting Time: Let the mixture sit to allow the flavours to meld.

Step-by-Step Preparation Inspired by Mary Berry?

  1. Poach the chicken breasts until tender, then shred the meat.
  2. Combine high-quality mayonnaise, curry powder, and mango chutney.
  3. Fold the shredded chicken into the sauce.
  4. Season with lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste.
  5. Garnish with fresh herbs before serving.

A simple process, this approach retains the essence of Berry’s classic flavour profile.

What Variations Can Cater to Different Diets?

Alternatives for various diets include:

  • Vegetarian: Use chickpeas instead of chicken.
  • Vegan: Opt for vegan mayo and plant-based yoghurt.
  • Gluten-Free: Ensure all condiments are gluten-free.
  • Healthier: Substitute mayo with Greek yoghurt and add more fruits and nuts for a wholesome twist.

Storing Mary Berry’s Coronation Chicken

Can you keep Mary Berry’s Coronation Chicken in the fridge for extended periods? Yes, prepare an airtight container and refrigerate the chicken. It will remain tasty for 3-4 days. If it’s outside, enjoy it within an hour to avoid foodborne illnesses. Freezing isn’t recommended, as it might change the texture of the sauce upon reheating.

Veganising the Classic Coronation Chicken

Interested in a meat-free version of Coronation Chicken? It’s simple to adapt. Use plant-based proteins such as tofu or jackfruit. These ingredients still soak up the rich flavours of the sauce. Don’t forget to swap in vegan mayonnaise and plant-based crème fraîche to keep everything animal-free.

Understanding Coronation Chicken’s Roots

Ever wondered where Coronation Chicken comes from? This dish is a culinary celebration, originating from the UK for the 1953 coronation.

Coronation Chicken and Royal Celebrations

Did the recipe grace royal palates? Absolutely, Coronation Chicken was crafted for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, becoming a key element in the regal festivities.

coronation chicken on a bed of lettuce mary berry

Mary Berry Coronation Chicken Recipe

No ratings yet – be the first to rate this recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Lunch, Parties, Side Dish
Cuisine British
Servings 4
Calories 406 kcal


  • 500 g Cooked Chicken (Shredded)
  • 6 tbsp Mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp Curry Powder (Mild)
  • ½ tsp Cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp Mango Chutney
  • 2 tbsp Sultanas (optional)


  • Combine mayonnaise, curry powder, cinnamon, mango chutney, and sultanas in a bowl and stir until uniform.
  • Toss in shredded chicken, ensuring each piece is thoroughly coated with the flavourful mixture. Should the sauce feel too thick, add one to two tablespoons of water for the desired consistency. Season to taste, perfecting your coronation chicken.
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Calories: 406kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 32gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 11gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.04gCholesterol: 103mgSodium: 232mgPotassium: 371mgFiber: 1gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 75IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 30mgIron: 2mg
Keyword chicken sandwich filling, cooked chicken
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