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Coronation chicken tartlets

These little tartlets are a mini and modern version of the recipe created for Queen Elizabeth’s coronation in 1953. I guess filo, creme fraiche, ginger and coriander may not have been included then, nor curry paste. I have used some curry paste here, but not a great deal to allow all the flavours to shine through. Add some more if you like a stronger taste.

Just multiply the recipe up for a full sized salad and serve each portion in an iceberg lettuce leaf for a smart presentation.

Ingredients - makes 20

For the cases:

Filo pastry (I get 20 cases out of one sheet)

Melted butter or mild oil, such as grape seed oil

or simply buy Rahms mini croustades, stocked by Waitrose

For the filling:

50g poached chicken, cut into small cubes

0.25 tsp curry paste - (I used Patak’s Balti Paste)

5g ginger, finely chopped

10g chopped dried apricots

2tsp mango chutney (I used Sharwoods)

1tbsp mayonnaise

1tbsp creme fraiche

1tbsp chopped coriander, plus extra for decoration

2g chopped salad onion, or use chives

0.5tsp lemon zest

5g flaked almonds, toasted are best, but not essential

2 or 3 romaine lettuce leaves


To make filo cases:

Brush the inside of the tin with a little oil.

Cut the filo sheet into strips 4.5 cms wide and then cut the strips to make squares, each measuring around 4.5 x 4.5 cms. Oil the squares. Keep the pastry well covered with cling film.

Press a square gently into a mini tartlet tin and top with another filo square, placed at a different angle. Brush with some more oil. Continue until the tin is filled. Take care to keep filo covered when not working with it. It dries out very quickly.

Cook in the oven for 5-6 minutes at 180°c. Bake until golden brown, but watch out that the filo cases don’t burn, they overcook very easily.

Cool on a rack and store in an airtight tin. They will keep for several days, so can be made well ahead.

To make the filling, mix the curry paste, mayonnaise and creme fraiche. Use more curry paste if you like a stronger taste. This recipe gives a mild curry flavour.

Stir in the mango chutney, finely chopped ginger, lemon zest, chopped spring onion, chopped apricot, chopped coriander and finely add the poached chicken cubes.

To assemble ahead of time, cut out 20 romaine lettuce circles (I use Kitchen Craft plain sided cutters for this, from kitchen shops or from Amazon).

Put a generous teaspoonful of the coronation chicken on each circle and a good sprinkle of flaked almonds. Store, covered in the fridge.

Take out of the fridge 30 minutes or so before serving. Put the circles on some kitchen towel so any moisture is absorbed. Then put a filled romain circle in each filo case and decorate with a sprig of coriander. They will keep fully assembled for a couple of hours.

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