Food & Drink

Coronation fried chicken sandwich recipe

Go all-in and fry the chicken yourself, or take the shortcut and chuck in a chicken Kyiv instead.

Coronation fried chicken sandwich from Max’s World Of Sandwiches
Coronation fried chicken sandwich from Max’s World Of Sandwiches

Sandwich expert Max Halley thanks chef Carl Clarke for contributing the fried chicken element of this dish.

“Much as I’d like to palm the chicken element of this sandwich off as my own, I can’t, because it’s not mine, it’s Carl’s and it’s THE BEST,” he says.

“If you want to make this easier, make the easy bits, then buy some chicken Kyivs instead of frying the chicken and whack one of them (cooked, obvs) in instead. Watch out for that boiling butter though, and mind that T-shirt.”

Coronation fried chicken sandwich


(Makes 1 sandwich)

1 brioche or burger bun, cut in half

3 generous tbsp Coronation Chicken Sauce (see below)

Small handful of Bombay mix (finer London Mix is better if you can get it – the CoFresh brand is excellent)

1 x Carl Clarke’s fried boneless chicken thigh (see below)

1 heaped tbsp lime-pickled onions (see below)

Sprinkling of nigella seeds (if you’ve got them)

1 heaped tbsp shredded iceberg lettuce mixed up with a regular tbsp of finely chopped coriander and mint

For the Coronation sauce (makes enough for 2 sandwiches):

2 heaped tbsp store-bought mayonnaise (I like Hellmann’s)

2 heaped tbsp full-fat Greek yoghurt

1tbsp mild madras curry powder

1tsp red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper

For Carl Clarke’s fried chicken (makes enough for 4 sandwiches):

4 big boneless chicken thighs, skin on if possible

2L flavourless oil, for deep-frying

For brining the chicken:

284ml buttermilk (that seems to be the size of the containers supermarkets sell)

½tsp fine sea salt

½tsp MSG powder (optional)

For the wet bit of fried chicken:

1 free-range egg

120ml whole milk

For the dry bit of fried chicken:

50g plain flour

65g rice flour

20g cornflour

½tsp fine sea salt

¼tsp freshly ground black pepper

For the lime-pickled onions (makes enough for 4 sandwiches):

1 large red onion, peeled and finely sliced

Juice of 1 lime

¼tsp salt

1tsp nigella seeds (optional)

Coronation fried chicken sandwich from Max's World Of Sandwiches
Coronation fried chicken sandwich from Max’s World Of Sandwiches (Robert Billington/PA)


1. For the Coronation sauce: Mix all the ingredients together. As always, give it a taste. Bit flat, up the curry powder and vinegar. Lacking depth, bit more salt and pepper. Too rich, maybe a drop of lemon juice or again a splash more vinegar. How easy is that?! And so much better than all those fancy ones. And none of that almonds and raisins rubbish – it’s not a chocolate bar, it’s a chicken sauce, what were they thinking? This will keep for three to four days, at least.

2. For the fried chicken: To brine the chicken, whisk the buttermilk and salt and MSG (if you’re using it) together in a glass or plastic bowl or a Tupperware or something. Submerge the thighs in it and stick it in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours. Turn the thighs over every now and again if you remember. When you want to cook the chicken, make the wet bit by whisking the egg and milk in a bowl until completely combined and set aside. For the dry bit, combine all the ingredients in another bowl, whisk them all together well, using a dry whisk, and set that aside too. Take the chicken thighs out of the buttermilk, give them a shake and dip them, one by one, into the flour mix and then into the wet batter, then back into the flour mix. Carl says to work/squeeze the coating around the thighs with your hands so it has a texture ‘almost like cornflakes’. Carl double-fries these babies, so I’m gonna tell you how to do that, but quite frankly, at home, once is probably enough, so skip past this bit to the last paragraph, unless you wanna really go for it. Set your deep-fat fryer to 140°C, or if you’re frying in a saucepan, you know the drill: take a large, high-sided pan and heat the oil to 140°C which is the temperature a piece of bread sizzles and goes golden in about 40 seconds (as opposed to the usual 20). Fry the thighs two at a time, depending on the size of your pan/fryer, for seven minutes, then take them out, put them on a rack and ramp up the heat in the oil (like you’re making French fries). This time heat the oil up to 180°C – when a piece of bread dropped into the oil sizzles and goes golden in 20 seconds. Fry the chicken again, this time for three to four minutes and rest back on that rack to cool a little while you ready all the other bits for Coronation Chicken Fried Chicken BANGER! If you’re only frying once, heat your oil to 180°C from the off and fry the chicken for about seven minutes until it is cooked through and over 70°C (158°F) inside. If your fried thighs are long and flat, you might wanna cut them in half once they’ve been fried and stack ’em on top of each other in your sarnie.

3. Put the sliced onion in a Tupperware with the lime juice and salt and massage them all together. Squeeze, squeeze, squeeze. Lid on, and shake, shake, shake. That’s it. The longer you leave them in the refrigerator (three to four days) and the more regularly you shake the hell out of the tub (five times a day?), the more insanely lurid pink and lip-puckering they’ll become, which is a good thing. I have been known to keep these at home in the refrigerator for weeks and they sometimes start to fizz and ferment, which is fun, and delicious. They are also great (but no way near AS great) and WAY less pink if you don’t touch them again after making them. If your lime is a bit hard, give it a good firm roll on your chopping board under the ball of your hand before cutting it, you’ll get oodles more juice from it that way. If you want to make these even livelier, add a sliced red chilli and you can always switch the lime for lemon. Using the method above (and with loads of violent shaking – every 10 minutes?), the onions will be tasty and usable after two hours if you’re in a rush. Just before you eat these, you can mix the nigella seeds through them. Only do it just before consumption though, otherwise they’ll swell and lose the pleasing smokey pop/crunch thing they have going on.

4. Make the sandwich: Slather the inside top and bottom of the bun in the Coronation chicken sauce and sprinkle the London/Bombay mix all over the top.

5. Put the fried thigh on the bottom and cover it in the pickled onions.

6. Sprinkle the nigella seeds (if using) all over those, then the lettuce and herb mix, put the lid on and you’re done.

Max’s World Of Sandwiches by Max Halley and Benjamin Benton
(Hardie Grant Books/PA)

Max’s World Of Sandwiches by Max Halley and Benjamin Benton is published by Hardie Grant Books, priced £25. Photography by Robert Billington. Available now.