Chicken mayonnaise sandwiches, for me, are the ultimate picnic fare. They’re believed to have originated from”Poulet Reine Elizabeth” or “Coronation Chicken.” This was a dish created by Rosemary Hume, a Cordon Bleu chef, and Constance Spry, a florist and author, as part of the banquet for the the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. https://www.cordonbleu.edu/london/coronation-chicken/en The original version included curry powder as a substitute for fresh spices, which were rationed in post-war Britain. Fresh herbs and spices were added later, as well as other ingredients, such as raisins, almonds and crème fraiche.
I like to use freshly chopped mint, toasted pistachios, lime and celery in my chicken mayonnaise sandwiches. If you have time, it’s worth making your own mayonnaise. You might then be tempted to make another sandwich filling for your picnic – egg sandwiches, with or without the curry powder! Half a chicken will make enough filling for six very generous sandwiches. Simply make the sandwich fillings ahead of time, and take to the picnic in jars, so that people can make their own sandwiches.
Use the left-over egg whites to make macaroons or meringues. Here’s a recipe from a previous blog post: Chocolate Hazelnut Meringue Biscuits
What’s your favourite sandwich filling?
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Chicken Mayonnaise Sandwiches with Pistachios, Mint and Lime
- 1/2 barbequed/roasted chicken, skin and bones removed
- 1/2 cup good-quality mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup roasted pistachios, shelled and chopped
- 1-2 sticks celery, washed and chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 - 1 1/2 limes, zested
- 1/4 cup mint leaves, washed and chopped
- 2 egg yolks
- 200 mL olive oil
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Shred or chop the chicken finely and place in a large bowl.
- Mix the chicken together with the mayonnaise, chopped pistachios and celery, lime zest and mint leaves.
- Season to taste. I find barbequed chicken to be quite salty, so together with the salted roasted pistachios, you may not need any additional salt.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Whisk the egg yolks with a little salt and the lemon juice in a small basin with a non-stick base, or rest the bowl on a damp tea towel to stop it from slipping.
- Once smooth, add a couple of drops of olive oil to the egg yolk mixture. Continue to whisk, then add the remaining olive oil, whisking all the while.
- Season to taste. Add a little more lemon juice if required.