Verrieres le Buisson at the Labo Vilmorin near Paris


Chicken Tales

SPRING CHICKENS at the Labo Vilmorin

Coronation Chicken is a recipe for disaster.
It’s what happens when two women in a kitchen begin to question the meaning of everything – including their own identities, and every word that comes out of their mouths.
Now add a chicken, Margaret Thatcher and Princess Margaret, two Francis Bacons, a bottle of whisky, and the Complete Works of William Shakespeare.
Shake vigorously and serve.

Chicken Tales


Coronation Chicken just played in Copenhagen at the SORTE HEST theatre,

We had so much fun, and were wonderfully welcomed. The play was a huge success, great write up by POLITIKEN ( one of the two biggest danish newspapers) and full houses 3 nights out of 4, what a blast !

Unforgettable-  we can’t wait to go back.

Upcoming dates in France will soon be announced….

Chicken Tales


Ode to a GOOD EGG

Not just any old egg,

ROYAL, Decorated & Crowned

Well protected in a breakable shell.

keeping up its appearance,

green, blue, or white -heirloom, organic,

Marvelous & Majestic

Eggstracted to be eggsactly that : GOOD






Chicken Tales

Kitchen-sink drama FREE RANGE

Kitchen sink realism (or kitchen sink drama) is a term coined to describe a British cultural movement that developed in the late 1950s and early 1960s in theatreartnovelsfilm, and television plays, whose protagonists usually could be described as “angry young men” who were disillusioned with modern society. It used a style of social realism, which depicted the domestic situations of working class Britons, living in cramped rented accommodation and spending their off-hours drinking in grimy pubs, to explore controversial social and political issues ranging from abortion to homelessness. The harsh, realistic style contrasted sharply with the escapism of the previous generation’s so-called “well-made plays“.

The films, plays and novels employing this style are often set in poorer industrial areas in the North of England, and use the accents and slangheard in those regions. The film It Always Rains on Sunday (1947) is a precursor of the genre, and the John Osborne play Look Back in Anger(1956) is thought of as the first of the genre. The gritty love-triangle of Look Back in Anger, for example, takes place in a cramped, one-room flat in the English MidlandsShelagh Delaney‘s 1958 play A Taste of Honey (which was made into a film of the same name in 1961), is about a teenage schoolgirl who has an affair with a black sailor, gets pregnant, and then moves in with a gay male acquaintance; it raises issues such as class, race, gender and sexual orientation. The conventions of the genre have continued into the 2000s, finding expression in such television shows as Coronation Street and EastEnders.[1]


Chicken Tales

Coronation Chicken Recipe

Invented for the Coronation banquet of Elizabeth II, this recipe was originally called Poulet Reine Elizabeth, but quickly became knows as Coronation Chicken.


  • 6 skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tsp mild curry powder
  • 150 g (5oz) mayonnaise
  • 125 g (4oz) crème fraîche
  • 3 tbsp mango chutney
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 75 g (3oz) dried ready-to-eat apricots, chopped
  • 50 g (2oz) sultanas
  • 50 g (2oz) flaked almonds
  • Large handful fresh coriander, chopped



  • Put the chicken breasts into a large pan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer gently for 15min or until the chicken is cooked through (slice a breast in half to check). Drain and leave until completely cool.

Meanwhile, heat a small frying pan and toast the curry powder, stirring, until it smells fragrant (about 30sec). Empty into a large bowl and stir through the next seven ingredients, along with plenty of seasoning.

Chicken Tales

Yotam Ottolenghi’s coronation chicken and broccoli bake


My colleague Esme Howarth’s mother cooked a version of this for her throughout her childhood. When Esme recently asked for the recipe, she was told it had condensed chicken soup in it, as well as evaporated milk and Hellman’s mayonnaise. I do like short cuts, but possibly not so many, so my version doesn’t taste quite the same, though Esme concedes that it’s still pretty darned good. Serve with plain rice or mashed potato.

Prep 15 min

Cook 55 min

Serves 4-6

4 skinless chicken breasts, cut widthways into 2cm-thick slices

3 tsp mild curry powder

Salt and black pepper

80g unsalted butter

2 broccoli heads, cut into 3-4cm florets (about 550g)

2 onions, peeled and finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

250ml double cream

250ml chicken stock

40g raisins

1 lemon, zest finely grated, to get 1 tsp, and juiced, to get 1½ tbsp

10g tarragon leaves, roughly chopped

140g mature cheddar, roughly grated

30g panko breadcrumbs

Heat the oven to 190C/375F/gas 5. In a bowl, mix the chicken with two teaspoons of curry powder, half a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper. Melt 10g butter in a large saute pan on a high heat, then fry half the chicken for a minute on each side, until browned. Remove from the pan, add another 10g butter and repeat with the rest of the chicken.

Half-fill a medium saucepan with salted water, bring to a boil, then blanch the broccoli for a minute or two, so it still has bite (or lightly steam it). Drain, refresh and leave in the colander to dry.

Melt 40g butter in the same saute pan on a medium-high heat and, once it starts to foam, fry the onion, stirring now and then, for eight or nine minutes, until soft and caramelised. Stir in the garlic and remaining teaspoon of curry powder, and fry for two minutes, until aromatic. Add the cream, stock, raisins, lemon zest and juice, tarragon, half a teaspoon of salt and plenty of pepper, and cook for eight minutes, until the sauce is thick and rich. Return the chicken to the pan with the broccoli and half the cheddar, stir to coat, then tip into a high-sided, 20cm x 30cm baking dish.

Melt the remaining 20g butter and mix with the panko and remaining cheddar. Sprinkle over the chicken mix, then bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown and bubbling. Leave to rest for five minutes and serve hot with rice or mash.

  • Food styling: Emily Kydd. Prop styling: Jennifer Kay