When I first visited London in 2001, I was a little disappointed with the sandwich situation. In my first week, as I witnessed what passed for a salad sandwich (sad lettuce, unripe tomato and a piece of cheese) I remember thinking ‘I may have made a big mistake in coming here’.
After that fateful day I was then introduced to the ‘sandwich in a cardboard box’ that is available from Boots the chemist (we buy food from the chemist here? Really?). I longed for the sandwich shop from back home, with the glass cabinet of dreams overflowing with delicious cold meats and crisp healthy salads.
About 6 months later I made the move down to the south coast to Portsmouth, to live with my now-husband and his four male housemates (where I was introduced to student life in all it’s glory – think jacket potatoes, late night curries and home made cider).
It was here that my sandwich dreams came true when my husband took me into an old fashioned shop called Jenny and Mark’s where they made baguettes to order and you could choose from the vast array of fillings from the blackboard.
The first time I tried coronation chicken I think I may have cried a little inside. It was SO GOOD. I couldn’t believe I had never tried it before. From that day on, I must have consumed at least 2 per week. At times I even managed to squeeze some in between meals in order to get my fix. These days when we visit England a coronation chicken baguette is always on our to-do list.
The traditional recipe was made especially for the banquet that was held in honour of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953. Sadly, I have never once seen coronation chicken on a menu in Australia, so today my husband and I decided to have a crack at making our own. It’s still great, and brings back so many memories. Try it as a filling for a sandwich, roll or baguette. It’s also delicious as a topping on a jacket potato, or mixed with some cooked rice for a rice salad.
I think my husband’s quote as we ate our lunch today really sums up how much we love this recipe. He said ‘I think I’d like to be buried with a coronation chicken sandwich’
1 BBQ chicken, or leftover cooked chicken
5 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp mango chutney
2 tsp curry powder
1 stick celery, finely chopped
1 apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
1 handful sultanas
5 dried apricots, finely chopped (optional)
1 squeeze of lime juice (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Pull the meat from the chicken and place into a large bowl. Add all of the other ingredients and bring together with a wooden spoon.
If you have time, chill in the fridge for an hour to allow the flavours to come together. If, like me, you are hungry right now and don’t want to wait – it will still taste great.