This famous chicken recipe was created by Rosemary Hume, founder of Le Cordon Bleu cookery school, for the Queen’s coronation banquet in 1953. Originally called "Poulet Reine Elizabeth", the dish was designed as a compromise between exotic spices and inexpensive ingredients.
• 2 medium chickens
• 1 carrot
• Thyme, bay leaf, parsley and 4 peppercorns to flavour
• 1 dessertspoon curry powder
• 1 onion, chopped
• 1 tsp tomato purée
• 1 glass red wine
• Juice of ½ lemon
• 450ml mayonnaise
• 1-2 tbsp apricot purée
• 2-3 tbsp whipped cream
Poach two chickens for 40 minutes in water with the carrot, a splash of wine, thyme, bay leaf, parsley and four peppercorns.
Cool in the liquid then remove the meat from the bones. To make the sauce, heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan and add two tablespoons of chopped onion.
Cook gently for three minutes then add a dessertspoon of curry powder. Cook for a further two minutes. Add one teaspoon of tomato purée, a glass of red wine, ¾ wineglass of water, one bay leaf, and bring to the boil.
Add a pinch each of salt, sugar and pepper, the juice of ½ a lemon and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
Strain and cool. Add slowly to 450ml mayonnaise, then stir in 1-2 tablespoons of apricot purée. Season again.
Finish by adding 2-3 tablespoons of whipped cream. Add only enough sauce to coat the chicken lightly, then eat with a rice salad, serve in sandwiches, or on lettuce leaves.