Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Coronation Chicken Filled Croissant Horns #FoodieExtravaganza

Curry powder and fruit chutney spice up the creamy sauce for coronation chicken, classic British picnic fare. Serve it stuffed in croissants for a pretty party dish.

I was sitting, nay, lounging (because it was New Year’s Day and there was Champagne!) in the Emirates Airlines lounge in London Gatwick airport just a few days ago, when I decided to check out the cold buffet. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of being in an Emirates lounge, you know that the dishes on offer are always tasty as well as presented in a most beautiful manner. But for once, I was disappointed. Oh, the coronation chicken was beautiful, spooned as it was onto a crispy green lettuce leaf, surrounded by fanned out slices of fresh apple and mango. But it was missing the zip of curry and chutney I’ve come to expect with this dish, which is one of my favorites. All in all, it was rather bland. When I expressed my dismay, my husband smiled, “Now you’ll have to make your own, right?” That man does know me.

So here I am with my coronation chicken, a recipe compiled from several found in my cookbooks and on the internet. The unifying theme of each seems to be the sauce, made with varying proportions of cream or mayonnaise and yogurt or even just mayo, with the addition of curry powder and chutney, usually with some lime or lemon juice. Some had apples, some celery. Tomato paste and no tomato paste. Others added blueberries, mango, dried apricots or sultanas to the mix. Some started with roast chicken, pulled off the bones; others with chopped poached breasts and yet others didn’t specify how the chicken should be cooked. Only that it should be. SO MANY RECIPES.

I’m sharing it today stuffed into disemboweled croissants. Yes, I just used disemboweled on a food blog. It’s one of those lovely English words that sounds exactly as it should, don’t you think? This month’s Foodie Extravaganza theme is croissants so I briefly considered making some puff pastry horns in which to serve my coronation chicken. I even own the little metal forms around which to bake the pastry. But it’s been a busy week and, frankly, it’s way easier for all of us to hollow out some fresh croissants from a nearby bakery and fill them.

And don’t they look pretty? Best part of all, of course, is the spicy coronation chicken inside.

With many thanks to Rosemary Hume, the original creator of the recipe for the 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth II plus Delia Smith, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Nigella Lawson, Jamie Oliver and all the other innovators who have come along since, this is my rendition.

For the sauce:
3/4 cup or 170g mayonnaise
1/2 cup or 125g plain thick Greek yoghurt
1 tablespoon hot curry powder, or to taste
2 tablespoons spicy fruity chutney (I used my own habanero nectarine kumquat chutney.)
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Optional but recommended: 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper

For the salad:
1.1 lbs or 500g chicken breasts (Just two large breasts in my packet.)
1/4 cup or 45g pomegranate arils, plus extra to garnish, if desired
1/2 medium-sized tart apple (I used a Jazz weighing about 170g whole.)
Generous squeeze lemon juice (to keep the apple from browning)

To serve:
7-8 fresh croissants
Optional: some small lettuce leaves (They keep your plate clean, if that even matters to you. Otherwise, give your guests a fork as well.)

Slice the chicken breasts in half lengthwise through their middles so they will cook faster.

Poach them in lightly salted water to cover, until just cooked through. This shouldn't take more than about 10-12 minutes, depending on the thickness.

Still slightly pink in the middle. 
Drain and set aside to cool. You can pop them into the refrigerator to speed up the process.

Mix all of your sauce ingredients in a large bowl, big enough to hold your chicken and other ingredients later, with room for stirring.

Add a good squeeze of lemon juice to a small bowl. Peel, core and dice your apple, sliding the pieces off of the chopping board and into the lemon juice, stirring to mix the apple with the lemon juice, as you go.

Once the chicken is cool, chop it into small pieces. Tip it into the sauce with the pomegranate arils and chopped apple.

Stir well. Taste the mixture and add more salt if necessary. This can be used immediately but will taste better if allowed to hang out in the refrigerator for a few hours, covered with cling film.

When you are ready to serve, cut your croissants in half and use a sharp knife to cut all around the inside to remove the middle. Once you’ve gotten as much as you can out, use your index finger to press around inside the half croissant to expand the space.

I was surprised to find that my croissants had herbs inside. But it was a pleasant surprise. 

Fill the croissant horn with coronation chicken, pushing it right to the bottom with a small spoon. Lay the horn on a leaf of lettuce, if using, or straight on a serving plate, if not.

Garnish with a few pomegranate arils for color.


Many thanks to this month's Foodie Extravaganza host, Kathleen from Fearlessly Creative Mammas. Check out all the great croissant and crescent roll recipes we've got for you!

Foodie Extravaganza celebrates obscure food holidays or shares recipes with the same ingredient or theme every month.

Posting day is always the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook group Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you!

If you're a reader looking for delicious recipes, check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out here.


No comments :

Post a Comment

Where in the world are you? Leave me a comment! It makes me happy to know you are out there.