Although I don’t eat meat (except for fish), I drool over recipes that include chicken and get asked if we could share a favorite meat dish. We did the rounds with the team and the Coronation Chicken Salad recipe was one everyone wanted to try. It’s featured in Deeda Blair: Food, Flowers & Fantasy and is a recipe adapted from one served at Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation lunch. I figured, if it was good enough for the Queen, it’s definitely worth a try. Deeda Blair is known as a style icon and I’ve long admired her easy, elegant approach to entertaining, so I’m sure you’ll be seeing more of her recipes on the blog. Ok, now let’s get regal…
Revered for her beauty, fashion taste and graceful etiquette, Catherine "Deeda" Blair is someone I admire for many reasons, including her fierce advocacy for mental health. In her first book, Deeda Blair: Food, Flowers & Fantasy, she shares six meals each accompanied by a menu, recipes, table settings, and floral arrangements that are inspired by the people and places that have shaped her taste and style through the years.
The Coronation Chicken Salad recipe was adapted from the chicken dish that Rory Cameron would serve at La Fiorentina in France. It was based on a recipe originally created by Constance Spry for Queen Elizabeth II's coronation lunch. This was a popular dish in Britain in the 1980s that I remember very well, and Blair puts her twist on it serving the curry chicken salad alongside a bed of lettuce with a bit of mango chutney and topped with sliced almonds and bananas.
First up is preparing the dressing for the salad, which is a rich, decadent mix of mayonnaise (homemade if you can swing it), apricot preserves, curry powder and whipping cream. For the chicken, you can boil it, bake it or use a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken from the store. It comes together pretty quickly from here: in a large bowl combine the shredded chicken and sliced green grapes, then pour in the dressing and mix well. I used the trusty teak Measuring Cups and Measuring Spoons.
For serving a salad fit for a Queen, the Lace Piatra Dinner Plates felt appropriate. Start with a few fresh pieces of bib lettuce and frisée. Cut up slices of avocado and toss them with fresh lemon juice, then place them on the lettuce. Next, add a couple of scoops of chicken salad to the plate. Next comes the toppings...
For the toppings, I used these handmade ceramic Bowls – one for the sliced almonds, one for the mango chutney and one for the bananas. I love the organic form these bowls have, and they're great for serving anything from cereal to soup, condiments and salads. The three toppings add a sweet and crunchy element, and you can experiment with the quantities, depending on your taste buds.
This chicken salad dish is very versatile and can be plated and served a variety of ways depending on the occasion. I'm serving it here in these handmade ceramic Pasta Bowls with the lace dinner plate used as a charger. For each place setting I used these Round Fringe Placemats and these DIANI x Tensira Napkins with our Cane Napkin Rings.
For glassware, I used the beautiful Lyonnais Wine Glasses and the Crystal Soda Glasses. I like to mix and match different heights and textures to add an heirloom quality to the table. The grapes were served in the Kashmir Noodle Bowl and a freshly sliced baguette on our Italian Cutting Board. The Decanter is always a practical and attractive essential too.
The Stake Bronze Candlesticks (available in small, medium and tall) and Straight Edge Candlesticks make any centerpiece feel regal. Top them with our bestselling Square Taper Candles, Church Candles and Rope.
The season of summer gatherings is here and now is the perfect time to stock up on serveware, table decor and cookbooks to inspire. Shop all of my favorite cooking and entertaining essentials in my curated collection below, including the table which is probably the most swoon worthy vintage table I've found to date. You can view this 19th century Swedish gem in store at DIANI Living.