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My Healthier Coronation Chicken is a lighter version of the original that tastes just as good as the classic recipe. Chunks of tender chicken breast, curry, and apricot combine in a dish that’s terrific on sandwiches or salads.
Long Live the Queen!
Back in 1953, Elizabeth Windsor ascended to the throne of England. To celebrate that momentous occasion, a cordon bleu chef and a florist put their heads together and came up with a delicious curried chicken salad recipe.
I’ll be honest, inventing a chicken salad recipe seems like an odd way to commemorate the ascension of a monarch. Maybe they were out of balloons? Or confetti? But I’m glad they did it because even after seventy years, Coronation Chicken is still a delicious, easy to make, and easy-to-love recipe.
As you’re probably aware, the festivities celebrating Elizabeth II as England’s longest-reigning monarch were held last week. So I’m definitely a little late to the party. Just the same, I decided to get into the spirit of things over the weekend and make some Coronation Chicken.
However, after reading through the original recipe, I immediately saw some room for improvement.
Healthier Coronation Chicken – A Good Thing Made Better
Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot to love about Coronation Chicken.
To start with, it’s got curry and apricots. The combination of the two is fabulous, especially when you add onions, tomato, and a little red wine for depth. And when it comes to deliciously healthy eating – chicken breasts are my go-to ingredient.
Unfortunately, the original recipe kicked health to the curb by adding a LOT of fat – as in half a pint of mayonnaise and half a cup of whipping cream. Certain dishes really do need the addition of fats but curried chicken salad isn’t one of them. All that mayo and cream simply isn’t necessary to get a good result.
With a few modifications, my Healthier Coronation Chicken has all the sweet and savory flavor of the classic recipe but is even better because it’s lighter.
What Do You Need to Make My Healthier Coronation Chicken?
- Cooked chicken breast
- Curry powder
- Tomato Paste
- Red Wine
- Bay leaf
- Low sugar or all-fruit apricot jam (such as Bonne Maman Intense Apricot Fruit Spread or Polaner’s All Fruit)
- Plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
- Light mayonnaise
- Whipping Cream (optional if you’re really watching your fat but a little adds a nice richness to the dish)
- Salt and Pepper
How Should You Serve My Healthier Coronation Chicken?
One of the great things about this recipe is that you can make it ahead. In fact, I think it tastes even better after it sits in the refrigerator for a day. My husband and I both work at home and tend to break for lunch at different times, so it was nice to have a bowl of Lighter Coronation Chicken on hand so we could make ourselves a quick, healthy, and tasty lunch on our own schedule.
My favorite way to serve my Healthier Coronation Chicken is to just scoop a generous spoonful onto a bed of lettuce or watercress for a quick salad. It’d be wonderful to serve as a summer lunchtime entrée for guests. It’s also a great filling for sandwiches or wraps.
If you want to get fancy or serve it as a dinner entrée, pick up some puff pastry shells at the market, bake according to the instructions, and fill them with Lighter Coronation Chicken. All you’d need to add is a fresh green salad and you’d have a delicious and impressive-looking dinner that’s good enough for company.
This Healthier Coronation Chicken is a delicious and healthier version of the classic. It’s also a good, make-ahead dish to keep on hand for easy lunches and summertime dinners. Don’t wait until the next jubilee to try it for yourself!Print
- 2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 small onion, peeled and diced
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 T mild curry powder
- 1 T tomato paste
- 1 T water
- ½ small lemon
- ¼ cup red wine
- Bay leaf
- ¼ cup all fruit or low sugar apricot spread
- ¾ cup plain, nonfat Greek Yogurt
- ¼ cup low-fat mayonnaise
- 3 T whipping cream (optional)
- Salt and pepper
- Place oil in a heavy bottomed pan on the stove over medium-high heat. Cook onions in oil for approximately 4 minutes, until they are soft and translucent. Add curry powder and a pinch of salt and pepper to onions, stir to coat onions and cook for an additional minute.
- Lower heat. Add tomato paste, water, bay leaf, juice of the half lemon, and red wine to pan and simmer for about 5 minutes, until liquid is reduced. Turn off heat. Remove bay leaf and stir apricot spread into the mixture.
- Place the onion and apricot mixture into a bowl with yogurt and mayonnaise and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. If using, whip the cream into firm peaks, then fold into cooled mixture.
- Combine the cook chicken in a large bowl with the sauce, stir to combine. Can serve immediately or cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator to use later. Will store covered in refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.