Coronation chicken on toast

Serves 4

I think that it must be time for a bit of a coronation chicken revival. Constance Spry is credited with inventing the dish for the Coronation of the Queen back in 1953, and when the dish is made with a little tender loving care, it can make a delicious cold main course that is a million miles away from some of the ghastly versions that you might remember from buffet dinners during the Sixties and Seventies. Back then, coronation chicken tended to be made from pre-cooked chicken doused with a dubious sauce made from mayonnaise and curry powder. This version, I think, goes particularly well on toast.

8 free-range chicken thighs, boned, skinned
500ml chicken stock
small onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
1 small, mild red chilli, chopped
1tsp ground cumin
20g root ginger, scraped and grated
1tsp ground turmeric
4-5 curry leaves
A small piece of cinnamon stick
2 cloves
The black seeds from 3 cardamom pods
tsp fenugreek seeds
tsp black mustard seeds
1tbsp vegetable or corn oil
3-4tbsp good-quality mayonnaise
1tbsp Greek yoghurt
1tbsp chopped coriander
1tbsp mango chutney, chopped if very chunky
4 slices of bloomer-type bread

Heat the vegetable oil in a pan and gently cook the onion, garlic, chilli and all the spices for 3-4 minutes with a lid on without colouring the onions. Add the stock and the chicken thighs; simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the thighs and put to one side. Simmer the cooking liquid until it reduces to 3-4 tablespoons then blend in a liquidiser; leave to cool. Mix with the mayonnaise, yoghurt, coriander and chutney and season. Cut the chicken into chunks and mix with the sauce and leave for a couple of hours in the fridge. Toast the bread and spoon the chicken on top.

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