As the earliest signs of Spring are rearing their fragrant heads around me, I start longing for the comfort of cold and room temperature picnic food. This super easy coronation chicken pasta salad ticks all the boxes, and is made with the help of a few store-bought products – for when you really want to put something together in a flash.
It was sometime within the past year that my friend Tasha Seccombe casually mentioned coronation chicken in a chat while we were working together on set, only to find out that I had no clue what it was. I simply had never come across it, and my parents never made it for us as kids. Well, retro as the dish may be, it is undeniably a classic – creamy curried sauce with a hint of sweetness, stirred through cooked shredded/sliced chicken, often used as a sandwich filling. Then I recently saw Ina Paarman’s ready-to-use Creamy Curry Sauce on the shelf, which is a coronation-style sauce, so I simply had to try it.
This salad is hearty and forgiving, and makes superb left-overs (or office lunches for the next few days). The added sultanas provide a fabulous chewy sweetness, and the toasted pecan nuts some welcome crunch. Without the pasta, it will make a lovely sandwich filling too.
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Coronation chicken pasta salad INGREDIENTS: (serves 4)
- 1 medium (or 1/2 large) rotisserie chicken, meat deboned and chopped
- 1 x packet Ina Paarman Ready To Serve Creamy Curry Sauce With Apricot Chutney
- 3-4 tablespoons sour cream (or plain yoghurt or mayonnaise)
- 1/2-3/4 cup golden sultanas or yellow currants
- 1/2 cup pecan nuts, lightly toasted and roughly chopped (or walnuts)
- a handful fresh coriander/dill, roughly chopped
- 250 g pasta (I used penne, but fusilli or small shells will also do), cooked al dente, rinsed under cold water and cooled
- salt & pepper, to taste
- 2-3 cups shredded crunchy lettuce, optional
In a large mixing bowl, add the chopped chicken, curry sauce, sour cream, sultanas, nuts and herbs. Give it a good stir, then add the cooked cooled pasta and stir through, seasoning with salt & pepper. Serve on a bed of shredded lettuce (optionally), and store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days.