Coronation Chicken

Whoa, I haven’t been here in a while. It’s been busy and the month slipped away from me.

I don’t have a proper recipe to post, but I wanted to write this down before I forgot it, so I figured I’d share it with you. I really wanted to make Coronation Chicken, one version of which is basically curried chicken salad. I had about half of a leftover roast chicken to use up, so I read a bunch of recipes and then mashed them together as follows:

Cut up cooked chicken into small chunks. You can shred it too, but I like having the chunky bits of chicken. Some of the pieces wind up shredded anyway, depending on where they came off the chicken. As you can see, this is not an exact science. You can use rotisserie chicken if you have it on hand, or poached or baked chicken. I had about 2 cups total.

The key to the spice part is to cook the spices. Traditional Coronation Chicken calls for curry powder, because it’s a British dish, not an Indian one. If you have curry powder in your spice rack, this is the time to pull it out. I don’t, so I put together individual spices and garam masala.

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Lemon chicken with orzo

This is an adaptation of a recipe by Regina Schrambling. I’ve made it different ways: exactly as written, with halibut instead of chicken, and now with different herbs, added capers, and no olives. It stands up well to tinkering, obviously! So feel free to change things around.

INGREDIENTS:

4 whole chicken legs (thighs and drumsticks) or 4-6 thighs
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup wine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 whole lemon cut into quarters
1 bay leaf
2 Tbsp Herbs de Provence
1 Tbsp capers
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups orzo pasta
3 cups chicken broth

DIRECTIONS:

Heat olive oil to almost smoking in a sauté pan or dutch oven. Lower heat to medium-high and brown chicken on both sides, about 5-7 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and deglaze pan with wine.

Add the garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add the lemon, bay leaf, capers, and Herbs de Provence and stir to combine. Add the orzo and stir until the pasta is coated and has absorbed some of the liquid. Add the chicken broth and salt. Return the chicken to the pan, bring to a boil, and then turn heat down so that the liquid is simmering gently. Cover and cook for 30-35 minutes or until the orzo has absorbed most or all of the liquid.

Serve with a green salad or vegetable. Carrots, brussels sprouts, and broccoli all go well with this dish.