The Best Coronation Chicken

Coronation Chicken is incredibly versatile and a real crowd pleaser. Curried, roasted and shredded chicken thighs are dressed with a fragrant yoghurt and mayonnaise dressing and dried apricots. This version is fruity spicy and perfect for preparing ahead for a delicious salad or satisfying sandwich filling.

A bowl of Coronation Chicken Salad on a wooden board

Coronation Chicken is one of my favourite ways to get ahead in the kitchen. It may be retro but made correctly it’s an outstanding way to serve chicken.

During the summer I made huge batches of Coronation Chicken Salad for serving at picnics. This time of year though I stuff it into sandwiches or serve it heaped into a hotly buttered jacket potato.

It’s the perfect seasonal crossover dish, so versatile and is a recipe you absolutely need to have in your back pocket so you can return to it again and again.

A bowl of coronation chicken on a wooden board

What is Coronation Chicken?

The recipe for Coronation Chicken was developed in 1953 for Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation by Rosemary Hume.

It is a cold dish, traditionally made with poached chicken dressed in a lightly curried mayonnaise with dried apricots.

These days Coronation Chicken can be considered a bit of a dated affair. However if you have ever been for a proper British afternoon tea you will no doubt have tasted it as part of your platter of finger sandwiches. If so, you simply must agree that Coronation Chicken deserves it’s place amongst the most regal of British culinary inventions.

Unfortunately, like Eccles Cakes or Flapjacks its ubiquity has led to some very poor mass market imitations. The Coronation Chicken you can buy pre-made as a sandwich filling in the supermarket is not the best example of this delicate recipe.

If you want the real deal you know what you have to do. Make it yourself. You won’t be sorry.

What makes this Coronation Chicken so brilliant?

  • Boneless chicken thighs are rubbed generously with fresh curry spices before roasting for more impactful flavour.
  • The chicken skin is left on. Those crispy bits are the jewels of the salad.
  • Mayonnaise is cut through with yoghurt for a lighter fresher dressing.
  • Those fresh curry spices and a squeeze of lime are also added to the dressing.
  • Almond butter is mixed in with the dressing for a rich almost satay like flavour.
  • Dried apricots are used here instead of the far too intrusive sultanas which ruins many commercial Coronation Chickens.
  • Dressing up the salad with fresh coriander, toasted flaked almonds and crunchy pumpkin and sesame seeds gives the Coronation Chicken amazing texture and flavour.

If you want more great chicken recipes then why not try…

The Best Gluten-Free Chicken Schnitzel
Honey Orange & White Wine Chicken Skewers
Lemon Honey and Sesame Chicken
Chicken and Leek Pie

How do you make Coronation Chicken?

  1. Make the curry paste by grinding the spices then mixing with the coconut oil.A pestle and mortar, filled with curry spices
  2. Rub the curry paste all over the chicken thighs and roast for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and scatter over the sesame seeds. Roast for a final 15 minutes.curried chicken thighs in a roasting dish
  3. Cool then shred the chicken.
  4. Make the dressing by mixing mayonnaise, yoghurt, almond butter, lime juice and the rest of the curry spices.a bowl of coronation chicken salad dressing with curry spices scattered over
  5. Pour the dressing over the shredded chicken along with finely diced dried apricots and fresh red chilli.

A bowl of Coronation Chicken Salad

Expert Tips

  • For ultra refined curry spice mix try processing your spices in a spice grinder. They are often sold primarily as coffee grinders but coffee grinders and spice grinders are the same thing.

  • Dice the dried apricot super small for delicate fruitiness in every bite. I prefer it if the dried fruit isn’t too ‘in your face.’
  • Use very drippy almond butter, not the hardened dredge from the bottom of the jar.
  • If you are serving to children or people who don’t like a lot of heat then just omit the red chilli.

Can I use chicken breasts instead of thighs?

You can. But, I really recommend boneless chicken thighs. They are jucier and more flavourful. However, if you prefer chicken breasts then you will only need 4 breasts. I recommend cutting them in half widthways and only cooking for 20 minutes total time.

Can I use leftover shredded chicken?

Yes absolutely. Since your chicken won’t have been roasted in the curry spices then it won’t be as flavourful. I recommend adding 2 tablespoons of the curry spices into the dressing rather than the 1 tablespoon suggested in the recipe.

How to make Dairy-Free Coronation Chicken

There is only one simple switch to make this Coronation Chicken dairy-free. Just swap out regular natural yoghurt for coconut yoghurt. I actually love this switch and the slightly coconutty flavour it lends. Mayonnaise is usually dairy-free, especially if you are using homemade mayonnaise. However always check your labelling.

Expert Tip

Please note, there is a little bit more dressing than you might need. There is a reason for this. If you are serving the Coronation Chicken straight away you might need slightly less dressing. The longer the Coronation Chicken sits in the fridge the dressing tends to thicken. Just before serving I like to loosen with a little more dressing. If you are packing the Coronation Chicken for a picnic, take the extra dressing too, it usually always gets gobbled up.

How do you serve Coronation Chicken?

  • Sandwich filling
  • Heaped on a jacket potato
  • Piled on cut and toasted bread for an appetiser or canapés – see my recipe for Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread
  • Coronation Chicken salad

A bowl of Coronation Chicken Salad on a wooden board

How to make Coronation Chicken Salad

My favourite way to serve Coronation Chicken has to be with this Wild Rice Salad. It makes for a substantial supper, a brilliant offering for a potluck or a delicious picnic lunch. The full recipe is in the recipe card below.

  1. Cook and cool a mix of wild and basmati rice.A bowl of basmati and wild rice on a wooden board
  2. Toss salad leaves with spring onions and fresh coriander leaves.
  3. Serve alongside the Coronation Chicken and scatter with pumpkin seeds, toasted flaked almonds and sesame seeds.

For more delicious salad recipes why not try…

Roast Pork Belly Apple and Caramelised Walnut Salad
Simple Brown Rice Salad with Pesto Vinaigrette
English Mint Potato Salad
Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing

Can you freeze Coronation Chicken?

You can freeze the roasted and cooled chicken thighs ready for making Coronation Chicken at a later date. However, you can’t freeze the final finished dish.

How long can you keep Coronation Chicken in the fridge?

Up to 3 days.

If you make this Coronation Chicken or the Coronation Chicken Salad then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own baking creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

The Best Coronation Chicken

Coronation Chicken is incredibly versatile and a real crowd pleaser. Curried, roasted and shredded chicken thighs are dressed with a fragrant yoghurt and mayonnaise dressing and dried apricots. This version is fruity spicy and perfect for preparing ahead for a delicious salad or satisfying sandwich filling.






Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Cooling Time30 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: British
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 498kcal

Ingredients

Coronation Chicken

  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • seeds from 3 cardamom pods
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 800 g boneless chicken thighs about 10 thighs
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 250 ml yoghurt natural dairy or natural coconut
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon curry spice mix
  • 8 dried apricots finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli seeds removed and finely sliced (optional)

Coronation Chicken Salad

  • 175 g basmati and wild rice mix
  • 420 ml water
  • 4 spring onions finely chopped
  • two large handfuls of mixed baby leaves
  • large handful of fresh coriander
  • 30 g flaked almonds toasted
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds black or white

Instructions

Coronation Chicken

  • Pre-heat the oven to 190°C
  • Make the curry paste by grinding together the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, fennel seeds and cardamom seeds until fine using a spice grinder or a pestle and mortar.
  • Tip the spices into a large bowl and add the turmeric, ginger, garlic powder, salt and mix well.
  • Remove 1 tablespoon of the spices and set aside in a small bowl for later.
  • Stir the coconut oil into the rest of the spice mix until a thick paste has been formed.
  • Rub the paste all over the chicken thighs until they are evenly covered.
  • Place in the oven and roast for 15 minutes then remove from the oven and scatter over the sesame seeds.
  • Place back into the oven and roast for a further 15 minutes.
  • Remove and leave the chicken until cool enough to handle then shred the meat and crisp skin.
  • Place in a bowl whilst you prepare the dressing.
  • Whisk together the mayonnaise, yoghurt, lime juice and almond butter with the reserved tablespoon of the curry spice mix.
  • Pour two thirds of the dressing over the shredded chicken and add in the dried apricots and red chilli.
  • Stir well until the chicken is completely covered.
  • Keep in the fridge until ready to use.
  • Use more of the dressing to loosen the Coronation Chicken just before serving.

Coronation Chicken Salad

  • Place the rice in a large saucepan. Pour in the water and stir.
  • Turn the heat on and place the lid of the saucepan on. Bring to boil then turn down to a simmer for 20 minutes. Don’t remove the lid at all during cooking. The rice is ready when all the water has been absorbed and you can’t see any bubbling up beneath the cooking rice.
  • Turn off the heat and place a folded up clean tea towel between the saucepan and the lid. Leave the rice to sit for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and the tea towel and fluff the rice with a fork.
  • Leave the rice to cool before serving with the salad.
  • To prepare the salad toss the baby leaves, spring onions and coriander leaves together in a large bowl.
  • Serve the salad, rice and coronation chicken together on a large platter and scatter over the flaked almonds, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds.

Notes

Chicken Breasts – you can use chicken breasts, I won’t judge, but I really recommend using chicken thighs for more flavour and juiciness.
Leftover Chicken – you can use leftover chicken instead of preparing it especially for this dish. It won’t be imbued with the same amount of flavour so you must add another tablespoon of curried spices to the dressing.
Chilli - If you are serving this to children or someone who dislikes heat you may want to leave out the red chilli.
Dried Apricots – cut extra fine so the dried fruit isn’t too overpowering.
Almond Butter – use really drippy almond butter, not the hardened dredge at the bottom of the jar.
Dressing – This recipe will make more dressing than you need. Finished Coronation Chicken will thicken in the fridge. Just before serving loosen it with some extra dressing.
Extra Dressing? – Don’t waste it, use it as a dip for crudités.
Dairy-free? Use coconut yoghurt instead of natural dairy yoghurt.
Alternative serving suggestions – If you don’t want to make the salad then the coronation chicken is delicious as a sandwich filling, heaped on a jacket potato or on cut and toasted French bread for a canapé.
Make Ahead – you can make the Coronation Chicken up to 3 days ahead of eating.
Store - keep refrigerated for up to 3 days
Salad Serving - I like to serve the salad so the leaves, rice and coronation chicken are not mixed together as it looks more attractive. Although you can mix it all up if you prefer.

Nutrition

Calories: 498kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 104mg | Sodium: 424mg | Potassium: 541mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 520IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 132mg | Iron: 3mg

Update Notes: This recipe was originally posted in 2016, but was updated in September 2019 with more clarification to the recipe as well as new photos, nutritional information and expert tips.

Picnic Slice

Picnic Slice basically lives up to its name, a perfectly portable treat to slip into your picnic basket for days out. Naturally gluten-free by eschewing all flour and focusing on its coconut macaroon-like tendencies, these are light, packed with fruit and nuts and covered in plenty of chocolate.

Stack of Picnic Slices on a chopping board on a wooden table

When the weather is good, the inclination to picnic is ever so tempting. I have romantic notions of a tartan rug strewn politely across lush grass, an iced bucket housing a chilling fizz, bountiful strawberries, an array of carefully curated salads fresh with herbs and leaves. Perhaps a roasted chicken takes centre stage, with carefully carved slices fanned out on delicate china. I might have been influenced by a little too much Merchant Ivory.

Picnic Slice on a chopping board

The reality of picnics of course, especially in the UK, is laughably different. First off, if you are not dissuaded by the ominous clouds which will no doubt appear as soon as the magic words of picnic are uttered then really you’ve won half the battle. But there are also other little reminders of reality that can dispel your dreamy idyll.

• The rug is always forgotten, meaning a damp bum is inevitable.
• Picnic tables are a much better bet but if you find a free one on a particularly sunny day then it’s probably because it’s covered in bird poo.
• Cutlery always seems an afterthought, I usually end up eating my picnic with Cole’s plastic spoons having been unable to cobble together anything more civilised for the adults.
• There are no highchairs so toddlers are fully able to leap down off picnic benches without eating anything more than a chocolate biscuit and run off to chase the nearest squirrel.
• Or if you’re on the ground the same toddler will happily launch themselves across the rug towards the crisps, splattering houmous everywhere and squashing the sausage rolls.
• Plus on a slightly more personal bugbear picnics are just a little more of a bother if you’re gluten-free since you can’t just throw together an acceptable ham sandwich or do an M&S sweep of mini samosas and pork pies. Usually more time in the kitchen is in order which really puts the kibosh on impromptu picnic experiences.
• And if you really want to quibble with these lazy hazy summer days then fizz in the sun is the surest way to serve up hangovers to accompany the journey home.

Picnic Slice on a chopping board on a wooden table

Still we soldier on as visiting National Trust properties or a day trip to the zoo just isn’t the same without a picnic break. With our picnics I usually keep it simple with my standard Coronation Chicken Salad and of course a generous helping of cake.

I love a portable cake, something you can wrap in foil, tuck into a coolbag and it still look the business when you unwrap it a couple of hours later.

Picnic Slice on a plate on a wooden table

I found this recipe for Picnic Slice in an absolute gem of a cookbook called The Classic 1000 Cake and Bake Recipes. It was given to me as a secret santa gift a million years ago and it has an absolute treasure trove of quick, easy homestyle bakes that can be slammed together in no time. When leafing through it the other day for something fun and easy to make that Cole could get involved with this Picnic Slice caught my eye. I loved the name and was thrilled when I saw that the recipe contained no flour whatsoever so is the perfect naturally gluten-free bake. Although as I write this I can see my fatal error as I didn’t actually cut the cake into slices but bars instead. I’m sure no one will notice.

The finished result was a little bit like a glorified coconut macaroon but with more nuts and dried fruit going on. I added pistachios to the original recipe which was definitely a good idea. It is also pretty excellent for showing off your Homemade Glacé Cherries should you be so inclined. Usually Cole can get a little bored by baking with mummy but the thrill of plucking the odd pistachio and glacé cherry out of the bowl kept him entertained the whole time.

Picnic Slice on a chopping board

It was an odd recipe though, requiring you to pour the melted chocolate into the bottom of the cake tin, then dollop the coconut batter on top before baking it in the oven. Usually I wouldn’t put my melted chocolate back in the oven as it messes around with the temper of the chocolate too much and would lead to white streaks across a dull surface. This did kind of happen, especially after I chilled it in the fridge afterwards which I would definitely recommend so they retain a better structure. Plus they are pretty yummy cold.

I debated over changing the method slightly so the melted chocolate is drizzled over after the coconut layer has been baked but I did love the way that the chocolate wraps around and sort of soaks into the coconut layer beneath in the original recipe. Plus if you scatter across enough accoutrements over the surface of the Picnic Slice then the slightly streaky chocolate beneath isn’t a problem.

Picnic Slice on a plate on a wooden table

So here’s to the next picnic, of which our tried and tested Picnic Slice will definitely be a part of. Now we just have to hope for clear skies, a free clean table and a compliant toddler. At least the Picnic Slice doesn’t require cutlery.

If you like this recipe then you may also like…

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispy Bars

Ultimate Popcorn Rocky Road

Blackberry Cheesecake Hazelnut Oat Bars

If you make this delicious Picnic Slice recipe then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own baking creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

Picnic Slice

Naturally gluten-free, these treats are light, packed with fruit and nuts and covered in plenty of chocolate.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Servings: 12 slices
Calories: 359kcal

Ingredients

  • 225 g dark chocolate
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 100 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 100 g desiccated coconut + 1 tablespoon for decoration
  • 75 g pistachios roughly chopped (+ a few roughly chopped for decoration)
  • 75 g sultanas
  • 75 g glace cherries roughly chopped (+ a few roughly for decoration)

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 150°C and line and grease an 8 inch square cake tin.
  • Melt the chocolate with the salt in a bain marie or a glass bowl sitting over simmering water then pour into the bottom of the cake tin. Leave to rest whilst you prepare the batter.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time and mix until combined.
  • Then tip in the coconut, pistachios, sultanas, cherries and again beat until the batter has come together.
  • Pour the batter evenly over the chocolate.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Leave the Picnic Slice in the tin for 10 minutes to set a little then carefully remove, turn upside down so the chocolate is on the top and set onto a wire rack.
  • Scatter the extra pistachios, coconut and cherries over the top then leave to cool to room temperature.
  • Store the Picnic Slice in the for at least 4 hours to completely chill before cutting into bars.

Notes

Adapted from The Classic 1000 Cake and Bake Recipes, by Wendy Hobson

Nutrition

Calories: 359kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 68mg | Potassium: 300mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 280IU | Vitamin C: 0.7mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 3mg

SHOP THE RECIPE

I have had this KitchenCraft MasterClass Non-Stick Deep Square Cake Tin with Loose Base, 20 cm (8″) for years and it’s always served me really well. It has a loose base so ideal for removing more delicate bakes from the tin like this Picnic Slice which doesn’t really properly set until cool. I also use it for all my brownies for the same reason.

The images above are affiliate links which means if you decide you want to use these link to make your purchases then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. I will only recommend products I use in my kitchen and love. To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

 

Simple Brown Rice Salad with Pesto Vinaigrette

This Simple Brown Rice Salad is an absolute standby for any August barbecue, picnic or informal gathering. It’s easy and lazy – are you noticing a theme with my recipes of late? I’m hoping that most of these ingredients are already in your fridge so that if you are suddenly called upon to bring something to a large gathering you can bust this out with nary a stressful thought.

bowl of rice salad ingredients with lemon squeezer, vinaigrette and tomatoes in background

This simple brown rice salad can be played around with to your heart’s content depending on what ingredients you have in your fridge and barely needs me to structure it with a recipe but sometimes when inspiration fails you a little nudge in the right direction is needed.

bowl of rice salad ingredients with lemon squeezer, vinaigrette and tomatoes in background

The ingredients are made up of basic salad drawer stuff like celery, bell pepper, red onion, cucumber and cherry tomatoes. I have included flaked almonds for crunch but any nuts or seeds will do and I have used parsley and dill but again, if you have basil and coriander then go for it. However, the dill does work especially well and I think is a completely under used herb.

close up of simple brown rice salad ingredients

You can afford to cheat a bit with the pesto vinaigrette. I usually have a jar of homemade pesto knocking around my fridge but if all you have is Tesco own brand then use that – no judgment, after all you are making a salad and that is what should be celebrated, not that you have been given a slight helping hand with the dressing. Any type of pesto will do – green or red or coriander, whatever you have to hand. However, if you are using shop-bought pesto then the flavour might not be as punchy so have a taste and add more into your vinaigrette if needed.

close up of simple brown rice salad with a fork

The great thing about this simple brown rice salad is that it will pretty much go with anything else that’s on the table and it keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days so can be prepared ahead of time. I am really thankful to have this rice salad recipe in my back pocket this summer and hope you will be too.

close up of simple brown rice salad with a fork

Simple Brown Rice Salad with Pesto Vinaigrette

This Simple Brown Rice Salad with pesto vinaigrette is an easy recipe for any August barbecue, potluck, picnic or informal gathering.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: British
Servings: 4 or several people as part of a buffet table
Calories: 428kcal

Ingredients

  • 175 g brown rice
  • 2 celery stalks diced
  • 1 yellow pepper diced
  • ½ red onion finely chopped
  • ½ cucumber de-seeded, diced
  • 150 g cherry tomatoes halved
  • 40 g flaked almonds toasted
  • 2 large handfuls parsley finely chopped
  • 1 medium handful dill finely chopped

pesto vinaigrette:

  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • juice of ½ small lemon
  • 4 tablespoons pesto (any kind, homemade or shop bought – whatever you have in your fridge)
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Cook the brown rice according to the packet instructions then leave to cool.
  • Meanwhile mix all the salad ingredients together in a large bowl and add to the rice once cool.
  • To make the vinaigrette, whisk the Dijon and lemon along with some salt and pepper in a small bowl until thickened.
  • Whisk in the pesto then drizzle in the olive oil whisking all the time until the dressing has come together.
  • Pour over the rice salad, mixing in well.
  • Store the salad in the fridge until needed.

Nutrition

Calories: 428kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 165mg | Potassium: 422mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 635IU | Vitamin C: 73.4mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 1.9mg

If you like this recipe you may like…

Coronation Chicken Wild Rice Salad

Coronation Chicken Salad

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing

Butternut Squash and Chilli Scones

Butternut Squash and Chilli Scones
Scones are such a homely treat and feel so spring-like which is exactly how I’m feeling as well at the moment as sun pours gloriously through my kitchen and I can see the crocuses brightening up our garden. We have to seize this lovely sunny weather whilst we can as by next week no doubt we will be knee deep in another cold snap. However, for now my woollen winter coat has been shelved, although that is more out of necessity as it’s become yet another one of my items of clothing now relegated to my post baby body.

Butternut Squash and Chilli Scones

This weekend we made the most of the sunshine and spent a great deal of Saturday in the car stuck in traffic, but it was to the ends of visiting Southend-on-Sea, our closest seaside resort and one we had never been to before. To our delight, it was exactly how we expected it to be, replete with amusement arcades, fish and chip shops and a greying sea. Although there wasn’t as much Jamie Oliver as promised.

It was quite a sedate affair, as we took Billy Buddy with us and he is only allowed 20 minutes of walking a day since he’s still recovering from his operation. After his time was up we were left to carry him down the promenade, much to the bemusement of the crowds who must have thought we were very precious owners. Billy, as is his wont, made the most of being chest height, reaching his neck just a little bit to try for an illicit taste of our ice cream cornets that go hand in hand with a seaside adventure. Dogs weren’t allowed on the pier which was a great shame so we just had to look at the longest pleasure pier in the world from afar and bank it for our next visit.

As we sat watching the tide lapping at the beach and dipping our chips into curry sauce the good weather also had us planning picnics into our foreseeable future. I don’t think you need to have amazing weather for a picnic, just a bit of sunshine and no rain will suffice.

Butternut Squash and Chilli Scones

Picnic food always gets me so excited, mini sticky sausages, a quiche still oven-warm, the omnipresent dips and fairy cakes. Plus I will always try and make some sort of a scone for a picnic, for me they are perfect for outdoor eating and if I’ve made a batch, then I usually hotfoot it to the garden with a mound of whipped butter, a pot of tea and a cosy jumper with which to enjoy them.

Butternut Squash and Chilli Scones

These savoury Butternut Squash and Chilli Scones were such a baking triumph last week. I have been recipe testing up a storm and in a week of failed Bakewell puddings and sunken gluten-free cakes these scones were perfect first time around and just what I had envisaged. I love it when I discover a new portable bake, these will be so handy for bringing to our planned picnic and Women’s Institute meetings. That’s not to mention that these scones also go very well with a mug of warm tomato soup or spread thickly with cream cheese, which I can testify to as that is how I ate them.

Butternut Squash and Chilli Scones

Butternut Squash and Chilli Scones
Makes 12

1 butternut squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
350g strong white bread flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
1 tablespoon caster sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sweet paprika
75g unsalted butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
180g mashed butternut squash
1 red chilli, seeds removed and finely diced
150ml buttermilk
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten for an egg wash

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C and line a large baking tray with baking parchment.
  2. Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl and whisk in the baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and caster sugar.
  3. Add the butter then rub together with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  4. Pour in the beaten egg and turn it into the mixture with a wooden spoon until completely incorporated.
  5. Add the butternut squash and the chilli, mixing well.
  6. Pour in the buttermilk and stir in.
  7. Tip the mixture onto a floured surface and pat the mixture together, if the dough is still too wet add in a little more flour, folding and turning the dough until the flour is incorporated. You want to work this dough as little as possible.
  8. Once the dough is dry enough to work with then pat it out using your hand to 1 inch thickness and cut out circles using a 68mm round pastry cutter.
  9. Place the scones on the baking tray, then brush the tops with the beaten egg yolk.
  10. Bake the scones in the oven for 12-15 minutes until risen and golden.

Wensleydale and Bacon Ale Jam Scones

Wensleydale and Bacon Ale Jam Scones
When I think of Wensleydale cheese I think of Wallace and Gromit and it’s not long before I’m thinking of Wensleydale that my unique Yorkshire accent is produced for all and sundry to enjoy.  I love a good accent and take great pride in butchering every one I attempt.

Wensleydale and Bacon Ale Jam Scones  |  Stroud Green Larder

If you are not terribly familiar with Wensleydale it might be because you live in Stroud Green, it took me an absolute age to track down some of this wonderfully traditional British cheese that wasn’t contaminated with cranberries or apricots.  This is such a delicate summery cheese that it’s a shame it only comes into full force at Christmas as a novelty item on the cheeseboard.

Wensleydale and Bacon Ale Jam Scones  |  Stroud Green Larder

I was on the Wensleydale hunt particularly for this delicious scone recipe which I made for our last WI meeting.  We had thrown open our doors to the public for all and sundry to come and listen to author Gillian Tindall give a talk on our local historical building, Stapleton Hall, and we took pride in our WI reputation by providing homemade cakes and bakes for everyone to enjoy.

Wensleydale and Bacon Ale Jam Scones  |  Stroud Green Larder

I will often take a punnet of scones to a potluck or a picnic as they transport excellently and if you stuff enough cheese into them they will always be better received than a sweaty cheese sandwich.  However, I wanted to add a bit of something extra this time round and bake the jam into the scone, which would certainly save room in the picnic basket.  If you have any bacon jam in the fridge, as you absolutely must if you have learnt anything from food bloggers over the last few years, then do use that, or have a go at my new bacon jam recipe which I posted yesterday.  I will confess now that I made the bacon jam especially for these scones.  I wanted a very British scone where the ale in the jam could pair delightfully with the Wensleydale baked into the dough.

Wensleydale and Bacon Ale Jam Scones  |  Stroud Green Larder

The only way to eat a savoury scone is to crack it open at the middle, pulling the warmed dough apart and liberally spreading with whipped butter.  As I say, to eat at a picnic is an absolute joy but to eat at home is a luxury as then you can warm your scones up lightly in the oven so the steam rushes out when you break it open and the butter melts with abandon.

Wensleydale and Bacon Ale Jam Scones  |  Stroud Green Larder

Wensleydale, and Bacon Ale Jam Scones
Makes about 18 scones

550g strong bread flour, plus a little extra for rolling out
80g unsalted butter, at room temperature
225g Wensleydale Cheese
Black Pepper
1 tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs, lightly beaten
125g Bacon Ale Jam
200ml milk
1 free-range egg, beaten, for the egg wash

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 220°C and line two large baking trays with baking parchment.
  2. Tip 500g of the flour into a large mixing bowl along with the butter then rub them together with your fingertips until they resemble breadcrumbs.
  3. Crumble up the Wensleydale into the bowl with the black pepper. Rub the larger lumps of cheese in a little bit into the flour.
  4. Then add the baking powder, mixing in well.
  5. Pour in the beaten eggs and turn it into the mixture with a wooden spoon until completely incorporated.
  6. Then add in the bacon jam and the other 50g of the flour. Use the flour as a carrier for the fat in the bacon jam and rub into the other ingredients.
  7. Once the bacon jam is evenly dispersed, pour the milk in carefully, stirring in with a wooden spoon. The mixture will become quite wet.
  8. Tip the mixture onto a floured surface and pat the mixture together, if the dough is still too wet add in a little more flour, folding and turning the dough until the flour is incorporated. You want to work this dough as little as possible.
  9. Once the dough is dry enough to work with then roll out to 1 inch thickness and cut out circles using a 68mm round pastry cutter.
  10. Place the scones on the baking trays, then brush with the egg wash.
  11. Bake the scones in the oven for 12-15 minutes until risen and golden.
  12. Serve with plenty of whipped butter.