This coming Tuesday, June 5, 2012, is the official day for celebrating Queen Elizabeth's 60th years as the Queen of England. She has led an long, interesting life as Queen, wife, mother and grandmother, but before all that, she was just Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor, daughter of Prince Albert, Duke of York, later King George VI, and his wife Elisabeth.
Being a queen is a pretty big deal, being a queen for 60 years is an even bigger deal, but did you know that Queen Elizabeth is the only head of state who served in uniform during World War II and is still living?
Princess Elizabeth was only 13 when World War II broke out in September, 1939. Beginning in 1940, she and her sister, Margaret Rose, lived at Windsor Castle, 30 miles from London, for the duration. It is kind of hard to be a princess and live an ordinary live, but they did what they could. At the tender age of 14, the future heir to the throne gave her first public speech on BBC's Children's Hour program, which was broadcast to the children who had been evacuated overseas (you can listed to it here)
Elizabeth had already joined the Girl Guides at age 11, and continued with guiding during the war, earning badges, camping, knitting socks and rolling bandages and just doing her bit for the war. At 16 she became a Sea Ranger, the branch of guides for girls with a strong naval interest. Then, in 1945, at age 18, Elizabeth joined the ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service) and trained to be a driver and mechanic, even able to repair heavy vehicles.
In 1953, now married and the mother of two children, the 25 year old Princess became Queen Elizabeth in the first coronation to be broadcast on television to the world.
|Left to Right: 1942 as a Girl Guide; learning first aid; victory gardening with Margaret Rose; 1943 as a sea ranger; 1945 learning to change a tire in the ATS|
Coronation Chicken (as created by Constance Spry in 1953)
1 x 5 lb. chicken, poached. (I used 5 lbs of boneless chicken breasts)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 small onion
1tbsp curry paste
1tbsp tomato puree
4 oz. red wine
1 bay leaf
juice of 1/2 lemon
4 canned apricot halves (I used 3 fresh apricots)
1/2 pint mayonnaise
4 oz. whipping cream
Salt and pepper
Watercress, to garnish
1- Remove the skin from the chicken and cut into small pieces. Place under the grill and cook until golden brown. Allow to cool.
I actually just poached the boneless chicken breast in cream in the over and skipped the grilling step.
2- Meantime, finely chop the onion. Heat the vegetable oil in a small saucepan and add the onion. Cook on medium heat for about 3 minutes, until the union is soft and translucent. Add the curry paste, tomato puree, red wine, bay leaf and lemon juice to the onion.
3- Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes, until reduced. Strain the contents and set aside to cool.
4- Finely chop the apricot halves and puree them through a sieve or in a blender. Place in a bowl and mix in the mayonnaise. Add the cooled sauce and mix well.
5- Whip the cream to stiff peaks and fold this into the mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
6- Fold in the grilled (poached) chicken, making sure all the pieces are well coated.
7- Garnish with watercress.
Weekend Cooking is a weekly event hosted by Beth Fish Reads