This recipe was created more than 60 years ago by English food writer Constance Spry and British chef Rosemary Hume for the royal banquet to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953. It has since remained a staple tea sandwich in the U.K. It features an undercurrent of sweetness from the apricots and mango chutney, and a spicy warmth from the curry powder that makes a flavorful dish that can be served as a cold salad over a bed of lettuce or as a sandwich filling.
Rub chicken on all sides with olive oil, season generously with salt and pepper and arrange on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until skin is golden and meat is cooked through, about 45 minutes. Let chicken cool slightly, then remove skin and bones and chop meat into bite-size pieces. Set aside.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the red wine, mango chutney, tomato purée, curry powder, lemon juice and bay leaf and bring to a simmer. Continue simmering, stirring occasionally and adjusting heat as necessary, until sauce is quite thick, 8 to 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper; remove and discard bay leaf.
Transfer sauce to a large bowl and let cool to room temperature, then add the mayonnaise and stir to combine. Add the cooled chicken and the apricots and stir to coat them in the sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. For sandwiches, spread the chicken salad on thick slices of English white bread or seven-grain bread. Cut off crusts if making finger sandwiches for tea.