The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II
Well over a century ago, Londoners Jack Hanson and Lucy Robinson were sweethearts. Early in the 1900s, Jack left England for Chicago to follow his dreams. Shortly thereafter and still a teenager, Lucy left her family and followed her true love to America. They married and lived a happy life.
By 1952 Lucy was a widow, a mother of 7 and grandmother of 17 when Princess Elizabeth, while visiting Kenya, received the news of her father’s death and her own accession to the Throne of England.
Lucy decided to take one of her grandchildren back to London to visit the family she hadn’t seen in many many years and to celebrate The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, which was to take place in Westminster Abbey on the 2nd of June 1953.
They boarded the RMS Queen Elizabeth and sailed to England. The granddaughter that accompanied Lucy was my mother. She was 19 years old at the time.
Crumpets and Souvenirs
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Poulet Reine Elizabeth (Coronation Chicken)
Originally listed on the menu as Poulet Reine Elizabeth, Coronation Chicken as it is now known, was created for Her Majesty’s guests at the 1953 Coronation Luncheon of Queen Elizabeth II by Chef Rosemary Hume of The Cordon Bleu Cookery School, London.
In honor of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, we are recreating Poulet Reine Elizabeth. It was described back then as cold chicken, boned and coated in curried cream sauce. The delicately seasoned chicken was proclaimed a huge success at the luncheon.
The traditional recipe had subtle wine and herb flavors with a creamy pale pink color, unlike modern versions that are mostly bright yellow and often include such ingredients as golden raisins, grapes, celery, almonds, mango chutney, and cilantro. Most notably, Chef Hume’s 1950s recipe contained a good dollop of fresh whipped cream, whereas today’s cooks often substitute yogurt or crème fraîche.
The following cold curried chicken recipe closely resembles that original one, served at the Coronation Day banquet to three hundred fifty people in the Great Hall of Westminster School. It is plated on my newly acquired Royal Staffordshire English Ironstone vintage dinnerware.
Coronation Chicken Recipe
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