Friday, June 1, 2012

Jubilee Coronation chicken (for Harriet)

Yes I know I've done coronation chicken before, but it was at the end of a long boring post about me having a mental breakdown and I didn't use a picture so I feel I didn't really do it justice.

So this time, things are going to be more upbeat, okay? Ready?

This is also a special devotional post for my sister, Harriet. You haven't seen much of Harriet here. She is my eldest sister: blonde, mysterious, powerful in ways no-one in my family really understands. She has a degree in physics. She has two children and Kitty is always so excited to see her that she SCREAMS at the top of her tiny little tinny baby voice. Harriet is a master of not only Play-Doh but Mega-Bloks.

Anyway so Harriet is knocking about in North London quite a lot these days as she is waiting for her youngest, Emily, to start nursery in September and has sort of had it with all that swings/Rhyme Time/zoo crapola. So she mostly comes round to my house and sits in my new giant scary, over-bright kitchen extension and we talk about soft furnishings while Emily teaches Kitty about "sharing".

As we sat there gently photosynthesising, she mentioned that she has a flipping great shitload of people turning up at her house this Jubilee weekend and was pondering what to cook.

"Coronation chicken!" I cried.

"Is it on your blog?" she said, flicking through the Osborne & Little collection on my iPad.

"Yes but I must re-do it," I said.

And I thought maybe some of you also have a flipping great shitload of people turning up at your house like gannets, pointing at their mouths and expecting to be fed and you are quite at a loss of what to do. 

So - do this.

Take a large serving dish and arrange a lot of salad leaves around the edges, dollop a lot of coronation chicken in the middle (recipe below), and serve with mini baked potatoes. It is important that the baked potatoes are MINI, not big ones so that people don't think they are being given a JACKET BLOODY POTATO for their lunch and just think "my word, these potatoes are quite delicious".

This is not my recipe, this is courtesy of Julia Churchill and I am grateful to her for allowing me to reprint it here not once but twice

Julia Churchill's Coronation chicken
This makes enough for 4 people and the leftovers are really wonderful

I know I always say this, but please try not to be put off by the long list of ingredients, they are all readily available.

1 small chicken
4 large tablespoon dollops of mayonnaise
3 heaped teaspoon dollops of mango chutney
1 fresh red chilli (seeds discarded in only a slapdash way) or a pinch of chilli flakes
1 handful of chopped coriander
1 medium onion
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp black onion seeds
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 cardomom pod
1 clove
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 lemon for juicing to taste
salt and pepper

1 Roast your chicken as you normally would - I'd say at about 180C for about 1hr15-30 depending on the size of your chicken. Leave to cool and then strip until you have a bowl of chic

2 Chop and fry the onion very slowly until quite dark - this will take at least 20 minutes.

3 Mix together your spices, including the chilli then scatter over the onion and cook on a medium heat until your kitchen is smelling like the Taj Star. Let it cool.

4 Mix together the mayonnaise and the chutney and then add your spice mix. Give it a good stir. Stand back and admire it a bit. Throw in the coriander and then add the lemon juice, salt and pepper until it tastes nice. Combine with the chicken.

I used biggish Jersey Royals for my baked potatoes. Prick them all over and put them in a 180 oven for 45 minutes. It is VITAL that you prick them all over because otherwise they will explode in the oven, as one of mine did the other night. I'm sure you all know this already but I didn't and it was quite a shock when the potato blew up.

I believe in overcatering when it comes to carbohydrate so allow 4 potatoes per person.


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