Coronation Coleslaw

published Jul 6, 2022
Coronation Coleslaw Recipe
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coronation slaw in a bowl on marble
Credit: Photo: Julia Gartland; Food Styling: Greg Lofts

A few years ago, I was asked to bring coleslaw to a friend’s summer potluck. But when your friends know that you’re a trained chef you can’t just show up with any ordinary slaw. To complicate matters, I’d left this to the last minute, so I had to come up with something creative using what I had in my pantry. And that, my friends, is how Coronation Coleslaw, a side dish inspired by the legendary Coronation chicken, was born.

What Is Coronation Chicken?

Coronation chicken was created at Le Cordon Bleu London, which catered the banquet celebrating (yes, you guessed it!) the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. It was created as a cold chicken salad tossed in a curried cream sauce and is thought to have been studded with dried apricots (which evolved into raisins over the years) and then topped with toasted flaked almonds. This salad became a ubiquitous sandwich filler in British households, especially in the ’80s, but is still popular today.

Credit: Photo: Julia Gartland; Food Styling: Greg Lofts

How My Coronation Coleslaw Was Created by Accident 

Back to the potluck: I knew I had curry powder and golden raisins, but I didn’t have any almonds — only salted, roasted cashews, so I used what I had in the pantry and hoped for the best! I made the dressing with mayonnaise, curry powder, cayenne pepper (for an added kick), some apple cider vinegar for some acidity, and honey for a touch of sweetness. I tossed the coleslaw mix and golden raisins with the dressing and allowed all the flavors to meld and the raisins to plump up in the fridge for an hour. I brought the cashews to the party and folded them in at the last minute to add an extra crunch.

I put it out, not knowing how it would be received, but it was a hit! Lots of people asked me for the recipe that night, and the slaw has become my go-to summer potluck contribution. Some of my friends even request that I make it.

This summer seems an especially fitting time to share the recipe, as the Queen just celebrated her Platinum Jubilee after 70 years on the throne. Long live the Queen — and long live happy accidents that turn into delicious recipes!

Coronation Coleslaw Recipe

Prep time 15 minutes to 20 minutes

Makes about 6 1/2 cups

Serves 6 to 8

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the dressing:

  • 2/3 cup

    regular or vegan mayonnaise

  • 2 tablespoons

    apple cider vinegar

  • 4 teaspoons

    curry powder

  • 1 tablespoon

    honey

  • 2 teaspoons

    onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon

    cayenne pepper

For the slaw:

  • 1/2 medium head

    green cabbage (about 1 1/4 pounds)

  • 1/2 medium head

    red cabbage (about 3/4 pound)

  • 1

    large carrot (about 5 ounces)

  • 1 1/4 cups

    plus 2 tablespoons golden raisins, divided

  • 1 1/4 cups

    plus 2 tablespoons salted, roasted cashews

  • Kosher salt

Instructions

Make the dressing:

  1. Place 2/3 cup mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 4 teaspoons curry powder, 1 tablespoon honey, 2 teaspoons onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper in a large bowl and stir to combine.

Make the slaw:

  1. Prepare the following, adding each to the bowl of dressing as it is completed: Cut the core from 1/2 medium head green cabbage, then thinly slice until you have 4 cups. Repeat with 1/2 medium head red cabbage until you have 3 cups. Peel and grate 1 large carrot on the large holes of a box grater (about 1 cup).

  2. Add 1 1/4 cups of the golden raisins and stir to combine, making sure the coleslaw is evenly dressed. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to let the flavors meld.

  3. Before serving, add 1 1/4 cups of the salted, roasted cashews and toss to combine. Taste and season with more kosher salt as needed. Transfer the coleslaw to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons golden raisins and 2 tablespoons cashews.

Recipe Notes

Coleslaw mix: 8 cups (18 ounces) store-bought coleslaw mix can be substituted for the cabbages and carrot.

Make ahead: The coleslaw can be made up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container.

Storage: Leftover coronation coleslaw can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Give the coleslaw a good stir and add a handful of extra cashews to add texture before serving.