This mouth-watering, famous retro dish was created for the 1952 coronation, by chef Rosemary Hume and florist Constance Spry who ran a domestic science school. It is made with cream, mayonnaise, chicken and a mild blend of spices, and often served cold over chilled rice or salad leaves. It also makes a great sandwich or jacket potato (baked potato) filling. Coronation chicken is said to have been inspired by Jubilee chicken, a previous dish which was created for the silver jubilee of George V in 1935. Coronation chicken combines traditional British ingredients with spices from the former British Empire.
Fresh spices were hard to get hold of in the 1950s so curry powder was usually used instead. In fact, curry powder, mayonnaise and chutney can be combined to make a coronation chicken sauce in a hurry, but we prefer to dry fry the spices before adding the other ingredients. This offers the best, freshest flavour instead of a harsh taste. The rice and chicken should be cooked first, since they need to cook and then cool down.
Although we like to top the rice with the chicken and then the sauce and finally some garnishes such as raisins and spring onion, you can alternatively chop the chicken then toss it with the sauce. That way, it makes a better sandwich or jacket potato filling. If you are really in a rush though, combine equal parts of mayonnaise and Greek yogurt with a spoonful of mango chutney and a little curry powder with shredded cooked chicken to make coronation chicken in a hurry. Although the following recipe takes a bit longer, it produces a superior and more authentic result. Continue reading
When we say old-fashioned eel pie, we really do mean old-fashioned – this recipe dates back to the 1600s! Despite its age, eel pie is still very popular in London, England and in some other parts of the country. Here we are cutting the eel into slivers, then adding it to a pastry crust along with raisins, onion, ginger and melted butter. The pie is then baked in the oven until done. Enjoy this with mashed potatoes and perhaps some green peas on the side too. You can make one large eel pie or several smaller ones, using your favourite type of dough to make the pie crust. This recipe is hearty, filling and very tasty.
Eel pie houses (their actual name) have been around since the 1700s, when the pie men would carry their pies on trays and sell them on the streets of London. The eels for the early pies would have come directly from the Thames River and stewed in stock and spiced before being used to fill the pies. In later years, eels became too expensive and then the eel was swapped for meat.
Today you can still get eel pies but beef pies are also popular, as are other types of pies such as chicken, lamb or even cheese and onion. In London, pie and mash is often served with green ‘liquor’ which is made with butter, flour, milk, water, parsley and malt vinegar. Some people use eel stock instead of the milk or water. If your eels are not already prepared you need to wash and skin them, then discard the heads and tails. You can then use the heads and tails to make a nice fish stock for a future recipe. Continue reading
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