Article by Joanna Sarah-Freedman
There have been a whole bunch of new products hitting shelves to honour the Coronation of King Charles III this weekend.
But, in case you needed us to break it down, coronation chicken is not new, folks. Yep, apparently it needs to be said.
We say that because one person took a picture of a coronation chicken sandwich from Tesco recently, and shared it on Twitter alongside the caption: “This country is not real”.
are people just now discovering coronation chicken? pic.twitter.com/9Dp7JrEGTr
— chloe (@datsamoose) April 23, 2023
Erm, not only is coronation chicken real but it has been a staple of the sandwich aisle for decades, mate.
The reaction was predictably uproar, with loads of people flocking to comment that the sarnie filling was nothing new.
“It’s a common sandwich! Doesn’t just come out for the royal events!,” wrote one.
Whilst another wrote: “Coronation chicken has been around for years, it’s delicious.”
“Really?! I’m astounded at how many people have never heard of coronation chicken!,” wrote a third.
Meanwhile, a fourth joked: “I wish I hadn’t seen this post because now I’m REALLY craving coronation chicken.”
Made with diced chicken in a creamy curried sauce, coronation chicken is a British staple these days, but people aren’t entirely wrong to think it’s linked to a Coronation – just not King Charles’.
The sandwich filling was actually invented for a luncheon to celebrate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.
It was originally named Poulet reine Elizabeth, but we think everyone can agree coronation chicken sounds a little bit jazzier.
The dish was created by Rosemary Hume, who was a former student of Le Cordon Bleu Paris, and the students she taught at L’Ecole du Petit Cordon Bleu in Marylebone.
Le Cordon Bleu London website explains that after a request from Sir David Eccles, the Minister of Works, to cater for a whopping three hundred and fifty people, the chicken flavour combo was born.
Hume is said to have made the dish alongside a fellow principal at the school, Constance Spry, as it was easy to make for big numbers of people in a small space.
At the time, it involved “young roasting chickens, water and a little wine to cover carrot, a bouquet garni, salt, peppercorns and a cream of curry sauce,” and at the time it was served with a rice salad, pimentos and green peas rather than bread.
Of course, in the last 70 years, coronation chicken has taken on a life of its own, and now it’s a firm favourite up and down the UK.
For his Coronation, King Charles has suggested that people make a quiche to mark the occasion.
Who knows, maybe one day the kids will think that’s a new invention, too?!