This sweet-tangy curried chicken salad, tossed with mango and crunchy toasted almonds, was invented to honor the crowning of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, and served at her coronation luncheon. While chef Tom Aikens follows the original recipe closely, he brightens the dressing with minced hot chiles and chunks of sweet mango.
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2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large shallot, minced
1 large hot red chile, seeded and minced
2 teaspoons curry powder
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2/3 cup dry white wine
2/3 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1/4 cup apricot jam
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup crème fraîche
1 large mango, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice (2 cups)
4 scallions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Two 3-pound skinned rotisserie chickens—leg meat shredded, breast meat
sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Pinch of sugar
8 cups finely shredded Boston lettuce
Cilantro leaves, for garnish
How to Make It
In a small skillet, melt the butter. Add the shallot and chile and cook over moderately low heat until softened, about 4 minutes. Stir in the curry powder and cook over high heat until fragrant. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Add the wine and boil until reduced to 3 tablespoons. Add the stock and apricot jam and boil over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 4 minutes. Transfer the curry dressing to a medium bowl and let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled, about 10 minutes.
Whisk the mayonnaise and crème fraîche into the curry dressing. Fold in the mango, scallions, lemon juice and cilantro. Season with salt, pepper and Tabasco. In a medium bowl, toss the chicken leg meat with half of the dressing and refrigerate for 1 hour.
In a small skillet, toast the almonds over moderate heat, stirring, until golden brown, 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool.
In a large bowl, mix the oil with the lime juice, mustard and sugar and season with salt and pepper. Add the shredded lettuce and toss well. Transfer to a platter. Arrange the leg meat over the lettuce and top with the sliced breast meat. Spoon the remaining curry dressing over the salad. Garnish with the toasted almond slices and the cilantro leaves and serve right away.
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