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
I had no idea Queen Elizabeth served in uniform during the war. Thanks for sharing such interesting facts, and for the recipe.ReplyDelete
Your are most welcome. The Coronation Chicken is really, and the apricots really add to the flavor. Yes, the Queen was in uniform all through the war, with guides and the ATS.ReplyDelete
Those are interesting tidbits of the Queen's life. I didn't know much of it.ReplyDelete
The chicken looks delish!
I thougth it would be fun to look at the Queen's life as a teen. And the chicken was delicious and, and best of all, easy to make.Delete
What a cool post. I really learned a lot. What fun to have found a coronation recipe.ReplyDelete
Thanks, I try to include some information relevant to my blog topic - and surprisingly find so many. I have tried lots of new recipes thanks the Weekend Cooking and all the bloggers who participate.Delete
Very timely post! I learned a lot about the queen - I am going to go back and listen to her speech now...ReplyDelete
I'm back. The speech was really moving...the princess speaking to the evacuated children...thanks for sharing that!ReplyDelete
Yes, I also thought the speech was really moving. The princesses spent almost the whole war in Windsor and I have often wondered how scared they may have been there, with their parents in London.Delete
Oh yes, the occasion definitely calls for Coronation Chicken. Wonderful post. Have a great week.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Carole, I also thought Coronation was just what was called for. Hope you have a great week, too.Delete
Such a fun post. I think I had an updated recipe for Coronation Chicken somewhere. I will have to see if I can find it!ReplyDelete
Thanks Marg. I suspect there are lots of Coronation Chicken recipes out there - all good. I used to get my lunch at Pret-a-Mange in midtown Manhattan while working in the NYPL and I always bought a Coronation Chicken sandwich. Good, but not as good as this recipe.Delete
hmmm...even though you say the apricots add, I'm suspicious of them!ReplyDelete
See you Monday at BEA!
No one was more suspicious of the apricots than I was. They are one of my least favorite fruits, yet they really gave it a great flavor. I was very pleased.Delete
Fabulous post Love the Coronation Chicken recipe (and apricots).ReplyDelete
Thanks, JoAnn, it was fun putting it altogether. There is not quite the fanfare over here in the US about the Queen's jubilee, but there is some. Glad you like the recipe.Delete
What a lovely tribute! I was a big fan of the Queen and Princess Margaret when I was a growing up and spent hours cutting out photographs from newspaper and magazines and pasting them into albums. I’m sure the albums are stored in the loft somewhere – I must look for them.ReplyDelete
Your Coronation chicken sounds delicious.
I remember reading about the Queen and her family, and Margaret Rose a lot growing up, too because we recieved a bundle of English newspapers from family almost every week. We all used to look forward to those newspapers. I bet it would be fun to find though old albums and see what you saved in them.Delete
My Coronation chicken was truly fit for a Queen. I hope you all have fun celebrating and the weather cooperates.
The apricot is the kicker that makes this recipe unusual in combination with those other flavors. I want to try it.ReplyDelete
Love this post! I learned a lot about Queen Elizabeth that I didn't know before hand. Was she really only 25 when she was crowned?! Can you imagine?ReplyDelete
How incredibly interesting! Thank you so much for posting.ReplyDelete
Enjoyed the post! I've been enjoying the festivities they've shown on TV as well. The chicken sounds delicious.ReplyDelete
What a woman! I loved reading this. I knew some, but not all. She really is a wonder.ReplyDelete