Top pairings | What to drink with Coronation chicken?

Top pairings

What to drink with Coronation chicken?

Coronation chicken has been given a new lease of life by the Diamond Jubilee celebrations but what wine - or beer - should you pair with it?

First, for those who haven’t the faintest clue what it is, it was invented by Constance Spry and Rosemary Hume of Le Cordon Bleu to celebrate the Queen’s coronation in 1953. It’s basically cold poached chicken folded into a lightly curried mayonnaise to which a touch of apricot purée or jam has been added. So very retro indeed.

There are quite a few contemporary versions knocking around such as this one from the Hairy Bikers but in essence it remains chicken in a creamy, spicy mayo. On those grounds I’d be more inclined to go for a white or rosé than a red:

* Viognier would probably be my top choice. It has just that bit more of an aromatic lift than Chardonnay although I think a medium bodied, lightly oaked Chardonnay would work perfectly well.

* old vine Chenin Blanc would also be good. It often has a touch of sweetness which would work well with the dressing, particularly if it contains apricot purée like the original. South Africa is the place to go for reasonably priced versions - Ken Forrester is a reliable name to look out for.

* a strong fruity rosé - again, not completely dry would work well. Like a shiraz rosé

* or, if you wanted a red, a lightly chilled Beaujolais from a good vintage like 2009 or 2010

* an amber ale would be lovely. You don’t want too much bitterness with this dish so I’d go for this style in preference to a classic English bitter/pale ale. The two Jubilee beers I mention in my Guardian column today would be perfect.

* and a medium-dry or sparkling cider would also be a great match. And would cope with the sausage rolls and pork pies you’re probably serving up alongside.

Image © Martin Turzak -

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