From coronation chicken to platinum pudding, royal occasions demand a signature dish and King Charles III’s coronation is no exception.
The “coronation quiche” has been personally chosen by the king and Camilla, the Queen Consort, in the hope it will be a centrepiece to many a coronation “Big Lunch” at street parties and community events on 6 May.
The alliterative dish includes spinach, broad beans, cheese and tarragon. Though the recipe, as posted on the royal family’s social media platforms, does contain lard, vegetarians should note it can be “easily adapted to different tastes and preferences”.
A Buckingham Palace chef, dressed in a white uniform embroidered with the late Queen’s EIIR cypher, was shown making the quiche in a video posted on social media.
The royal family’s website described it as “a deep quiche with a crisp, light pastry case and delicate flavours of spinach, broad beans and fresh tarragon. Eat hot or cold with a green salad and boiled new potatoes – perfect for a Coronation Big Lunch!”
The recipe was chosen by the king and queen consort in conjunction with the royal chef, Mark Flanagan, whose recipe it is, because it is a good sharing dish, can be served hot or cold, suits a variety of dietary requirements and preference, can be adapted, and is not too complicated or costly to make.
The signature dish for the 1953 coronation was “poulet reine Elizabeth”, which came to be known as coronation chicken, made from an Indian-inspired creamy curry sauce. It could conveniently be eaten as a salad or used to fill sandwiches.
Its invention was credited to the food writer Constance Spry and the chef Rosemary Hume, of the Cordon Bleu cookery school in London, who prepared it for the queen’s coronation banquet. It is said that it may have been inspired by jubilee chicken, a dish prepared for the silver jubilee of George V in 1935.
There was another jubilee chicken for Elizabeth II’s golden jubilee in 2002 – this time baked chicken cut into pieces and dressed with a mix of creme fraiche, mayonnaise, lime and ginger and served with pasta salad, lime quarters and chopped flat leaf parsley. It was created by chefs at Buckingham Palace and supplied to partygoers in a Waitrose-branded plastic tub.
Her platinum jubilee was celebrated with a pudding dish, created through a nationwide competition with a winning recipe of lemon swiss roll and Amaretti trifle.
The coronation Big Lunch aims to brings neighbours and communities together to celebrate. Camilla has been patron of the initiative since 2013 and has attended Big Lunches all across the UK and the world, including in Ghana and Barbados.
Coronation quiche recipe
The recipe says the dish serves six. It also includes double cream.
1 x 20cm flan tin
125g plain flour
Pinch of salt
25g cold butter, diced
2 tablespoons milk
Or 1 x 250g block of readymade shortcrust pastry
175ml double cream
2 medium eggs
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
Salt and pepper
100g grated cheddar cheese
180g cooked spinach, lightly chopped
60g cooked broad beans or soya beans
1. To make the pastry: sieve the flour and salt into a bowl; add the fats and rub the mixture together using your finger tips until you get a sandy, breadcrumb-like texture. Add the milk a little at a time and bring the ingredients together into a dough.
Cover and allow to rest in the fridge for 30-45 minutes.
2. Lightly flour the work surface and roll out the pastry to a circle a little larger than the top of the tin and approximately 5mm thick.
3. Line the tin with the pastry, taking care not to have any holes or the mixture could leak. Cover and rest for a further 30 minutes in the fridge.
4. Preheat the oven to 190C.
5. Line the pastry case with greaseproof paper, add baking beans and bake blind for 15 minutes, before removing the greaseproof paper and baking beans.
6. Reduce the oven temperature to 160C.
7. Beat together the milk, cream, eggs, herbs and seasoning.
8. Scatter half of the grated cheese in the blind-baked base, top with the chopped spinach and beans and herbs, then pour over the liquid mixture.
9. If required gently give the mixture a delicate stir to ensure the filling is evenly dispersed but be careful not to damage the pastry case.
10. Sprinkle over the remaining cheese. Place into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until set and lightly golden.