Thomasina Miers’ coronation chicken salad recipe

Lifestyle

The thwack of a racket on a tennis ball, the gentle buzzing of bees, the bustle of a summer party … coronation chicken conjures up all this and more, and makes me feel all the more nostalgic given the current restrictions of life. This deliciously spiced sticky roast chicken salad will banish any memories of plastic motorway coronation sandwiches, and should be just the ticket for outdoor feasting – with any luck, soon with friends.

Roast coronation thighs with mango-yoghurt dressing
This salad is beautiful served with slices of celery, radish and finely chopped chives and their flowers, if available.

Prep 20 min
Cook 45 min
Serves 4-6

6-8 chicken thighs, or a jointed chicken
2 medium red onions, peeled and cut into wedges
1 head garlic, broken up, but not peeled
200g sourdough bread, torn into pieces
60g raisins
1 tbsp mild curry powder
1 tsp turmeric
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 heaped tbsp mango chutney, plus 2 tbsp extra for the dressing
Juice and zest of 2 lemons

For the salad
4 tbsp natural yoghurt
2 heads of little gem lettuce, washed
2 celery sticks, very finely sliced (optional)
4 radishes, very finely sliced (optional)
1 handful chives, finely chopped (optional)
Salt and black pepper

Heat the oven to 190C (170C fan)/375F/gas 5. Put the chicken, onions, garlic, bread, raisins, spices and chutney in a large, wide baking tray and toss together with four tablespoons of olive oiland the zest and juice of one of the lemons. Once everything is thoroughly mixed up, check the croutons and, if they are looking dry, add a little more lemon juice. Season generously, and roast for 45 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and golden.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the yoghurt, the further two tablespoons of olive oil and remaining chutney and the juice of half a lemon. Prepare the salad and lay it out in a large salad bowl or serving plate.

Once the chicken is ready, pour any juices from the chicken tray into the yoghurt. Break up the chicken pieces into large chunks and scatter it over the salad leaves. Top with the celery and radish, if using, and drizzle with the yoghurt dressing. Season and serve.

And for the rest of the week …
If you are avoiding gluten, leave out the croutons and toss the chicken in a salad of rice and slivered almonds instead, including the salad leaves.