Poulet Reine Elizabeth, chicken Elizabeth or coronation chicken – whatever you call it, this dish was a game-changer. When royal florist Constance Spry and cook Rosemary Hume of the Cordon Bleu Cookery School came up with the menu for the coronation state banquet, they were aware that their choices would be copied around the country.
The beauty of coronation chicken was that it could be prepared in advance, meaning the cook wasn’t stuck in the kitchen and, significantly, it could be eaten with a fork in front of the momentous action on screen – making it, in effect, the first TV dinner.
The dish remains a favourite to this day, but times have changed, and so have tastes. So opposite is an updated version for the 21st century, courtesy of our friends at BBC Good Food, with Greek yogurt instead of whipped cream and fresh spices instead of curry powder – and it’s served up with some other retro favourites, all delivered with a modern twist. A spread fit for the Queen.
• 500g/1lb 2oz pack puff pastry
• plain flour, for dusting
• 1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tbsp milk, to glaze
1. Heat oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Line a large baking tray with parchment. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and cut into 30 x 6cm (12 x 2½in) squares, trimming any edges. Score a smaller square inside each, leaving a 7.5mm (¼in) border, taking care not to cut the pastry all the way through.
2. Put the squares on the tray, lightly brush with egg glaze and bake for 15 mins until puffed up and golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. When cool, carefully remove and discard the central piece of pastry from each one.
3. To serve, use the fillings on the right. The cases can be kept in an airtight container for up to a day before filling and serving.
EACH MAKES ENOUGH TO FILL 10 VOL-AU-VENTS
Spiced egg & coriander mayonnaise
• 3 eggs, hard-boiled and peeled
• 4 tbsp mayonnaise
• 2 tsp mild curry powder
• 4 spring onions, finely chopped
• 2 tbsp chopped coriander, plus extra to serve
• squeeze lemon juice
• mango chutney, to serve
1. Put the eggs in a bowl and roughly crush into small pieces with a fork. Mix in the mayonnaise, curry powder, spring onions, coriander, lemon juice and some seasoning. Chill until ready to use.
2. Divide between 10 vol-au-vent cases, sprinkle with coriander leaves and top with a small dollop of mango chutney.
Wild mushroom & parmesan
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 2 shallots, finely chopped
• 2 garlic cloves, crushed
• 25g/1oz dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 30 mins
• 100g/4oz chestnut mushrooms, roughly chopped
• 1 tsp chopped thyme leaves, plus extra to serve
• 4 tbsp mascarpone
• 85g/3oz Parmesan, finely grated, plus extra shavings to serve
1. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the shallots and garlic and gently sauté for a couple of minutes. Remove the porcini mushrooms from the soaking liquid and squeeze out any excess. Roughly chop and add to the pan along with the chestnut mushrooms and thyme. Cook for about 5 minutes. If the mixture seems dry, add a little mushroom soaking liquid.
2. Remove from the heat and stir in the mascarpone and Parmesan. Season and leave to cool. Chill until ready to use.
3. Divide between 10 vol-au-vent cases and serve scattered with Parmesan shavings and a few thyme leaves.
Smoked trout, horseradish & asparagus
• 10 short asparagus spears, trimmed
• 200g/7oz smoked trout
• 1–2 tsp horseradish sauce (depending on the strength)
• 6 tbsp crème fraîche
• 1 heaped tbsp chopped dill, plus extra sprigs to serve
• squeeze lemon juice
1. Cook the asparagus in boiling salted water for 3-4 mins until just tender. Drain and refresh in cold water to stop them cooking further, then pat dry. Cut the asparagus tips off the stalks, so they are about 2cm (¾in) long, and set aside. Slice the stalks into small pieces.
2. Flake the trout into small pieces and put in a bowl. Add the chopped asparagus stalks, horseradish, crème fraîche, dill and lemon juice, and season. Chill until ready to use.
3. Divide between 10 vol-au-vent cases and sit an asparagus tip and sprig of dill on top of each.
CORONATION CHICKEN 2013
This updated version of the chicken dish gets extra crunch and tangy flavour by adding walnuts and pomegranate molasses (or balsamic glaze), both of which you can buy from supermarkets.
• 1 large chicken (about 2.25kg/5lb)
• 1 tsp turmeric
• 2 tsp ground ginger
• 2 tsp ground cumin
• 2 tsp ground cinnamon
• 3 tbsp sunflower oil
• 500g/1lb 2oz Greek yogurt
• 4 tbsp mayonnaise
• 1 /4 tsp cayenne pepper
• 4 tsp pomegranate molasses, or balsamic glaze, plus extra to serve
• 2 green-skinned English apples, cored and diced
• 200g/7oz toasted walnut pieces
• bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped
• 100g/4oz pomegranate seeds
1. Heat oven to 160°C/140°C fan/gas 3. Sit the chicken in a large roasting tin. Mix together the turmeric, 1 tsp ginger, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp cinnamon and oil, then brush all over the chicken, making sure all of the spiced oil is used. Season well. Pour 250ml (9fl oz) water into the bottom of the tin, cover with foil and seal around the edges. Put in the oven and cook for 2 hours.
2. Remove the foil and increase oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7. Cook for a further 30 mins until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from the oven and leave until cool enough to handle. Strip the chicken meat from the carcass in chunky pieces and set aside.
3. To make the salad, mix together the yogurt, mayonnaise, remaining 1 tsp each of ginger, cumin and cinnamon, cayenne pepper and pomegranate molasses or balsamic glaze. Add the chicken pieces, apples, all but a handful of the walnuts and parsley, and season.
4. Spoon the salad onto a large plate. To serve, drizzle with a little pomegranate molasses or balsamic glaze and scatter over the pomegranate seeds, remaining walnuts and chopped parsley.
MARY BERRY’S FRUITY FLAG TRAY BAKE
A fail-safe sponge that’s easier than it looks – almonds and yogurt keep it moist, while its fruity decoration is suitably patriotic.
CUTS INTO 15 SQUARES
• 100g/4oz butter or baking spread (stork for cakes), softened, plus extra for the tin
• 175g/6oz self-raising flour
• 50g/2oz ground almonds
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 4 large eggs •225g/9oz caster sugar
• 125ml/4fl oz full-fat Greek yogurt
• zest 2 lemons
For the Butter icing
• 175g/6oz butter, softened
• 350g/12oz icing sugar, sieved
• 300g/12oz raspberries
• 175g/6oz blueberries
1. Heat oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Butter and line a 30 x 20cm (12 x 8in) tray-bake tin with baking parchment. Measure all the sponge ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix together using an electric hand whisk until smooth. Spoon into the tin and level the surface.
2. Bake for 25-30 mins until lightly golden, the top of the cake springs back when pressed with your finger, and the sides of the sponge are shrinking away from the sides of the tin.
3. Carefully lift the sponge out of the tin, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Remove the baking parchment.
4. To make the icing, tip the butter into a bowl and whisk using an electric hand whisk until light and fluffy. Add half the icing sugar and whisk again until incorporated. Add the remaining sugar and whisk again until smooth. Spread the icing over the top of the cold cake.
5. To decorate, place a double row of raspberries across the centre and down the length of the cake to make a cross. Next, place a single row diagonally from each corner to the middle. Now fill in the empty spaces with blueberries. Cut into squares to serve.
HOME-MADE PINK LEMONADE
MAKES 1 LARGE JUG – ENOUGH FOR 6
• 8 lemons, plus extra slices to serve
• 200g/8oz caster sugar, plus extra to taste
• 140g/5oz raspberries, plus extra to serve
• ice, to serve
1. Pare the zest from the lemons with a peeler, removing as little white pith as possible – cut away any pith you can from the strips.
2. Juice the lemons and mix the juice, zest, sugar and raspberries with 1.2 litres/2 pints of boiling water. Let cool, then sieve, pressing through juice with the back of a spoon.
3. Add sugar to taste and chill in jugs. To serve, add a few lemon slices, raspberries and lots of ice.
You can watch the 1953 Coronation service on Sunday at 10:10am on BBC Parliament
Browse through the 60-year-old Coronation edition of Radio Times
Look out for the new issue of BBC Good Food magazine, packed with brand-new summer recipes – on sale from Wednesday 5 June