Since Queen Elizabeth's coronation in 1953, this cold chicken dish is a staple of many an English summer buffet. Just a hint of Indian spice with a rounded mango chutney sweetness, it is quite wonderful served in a pita with some butter lettuce leaves. A bit of extra chutney is always passed at our table.
This chicken may be made a day ahead of serving.
2 tablespoons apricot jam
1 tablespoon Madras curry powder
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup crème fraîche
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 pound boneless and skinless chicken breasts
3 scallions, chopped, white and light green parts only
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup red and green seedless grapes, cut in half lengthwise
1 or 2 heads Butter lettuce leaves, washed and dried individually
Pita, cut into triangles for serving
1. In a small saucepan over low heat, gently stir the jam and curry powder until the jam melts. Set aside to cool a bit.
2. In a medium skillet over low heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
3. Add chicken breasts, cover with water and turn heat to high.
4. As soon as water begins to boil, turn down heat to simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes or until chicken is completely cooked.
5. Remove from heat. Put chicken breasts on a cutting board and as soon as chicken is cool, cut into bite-sized pieces and put in a large bowl.
6. In a medium bowl, mix the mayonnaise, crème fraîche, tomato paste, lemon zest and juice until thoroughly combined.
7. Add the jam mixture to the crème fraîche mixture and stir until incorporated.
8. Add chicken, scallions and half of the grapes to the crème fraîche and jam mixture. Toss gently and season with salt and pepper to taste.
9. Place the butter leaves on a serving platter And scoop the chicken salad onto the leaves.
10. Garnish the platter with the remaining grapes and pass the pita and additional chutney at the table.