Queen Elizabeth Prefers This Fancy Fish and Chips Recipe Fit For a Royal, According to Former Palace Chef

Queen Elizabeth is regal in everything she does — and that includes the way she likes the traditional meal of fish and chips prepared. Her former royal chef shared exactly how the queen prefers “a more refined fish and chips” recipe.

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony to mark her official birthday at Windsor Castle
Queen Elizabeth | Toby Melville – WPA Pool/Getty Images

The Queen’s fish and chips recipe is elegant

In a July YouTube video, former palace chef Darren McGrady shared the exact way the queen enjoys her fish and chips. Traditionally, the fish is a beer-battered cod that’s fried, paired with chips soaked in vinegar.

The queen has a slightly different take on the meal, however. “So, the queen wouldn’t really eat the fish fried in all that crispy rich batter — a little bit too much for her,” McGrady explained. “She preferred a more refined fish and chips.

Additionally, he noted, “The chips were all cut the same length — every one the same length, perfect rectangles.”

“When we were making the fish, we’d actually do a panko crusting, a bread crusting instead,” McGrady explained. “So we’d take the fish and season with some salt and pepper. And it would go into flour and then a mixture of egg yolk and melted butter. The egg yolk helped bind the panko crumbs to the fish and then the butter sort of helped fry the fish as it cooked in the oven.”

The oven was preheated to 400F degrees as McGrady got to work breading the fish, first dredging it through the flour, then coating both sides with the egg yolk and melted butter, before coating it with the panko breadcrumbs.

After the fish was coated, he baked it in the oven for 10 minutes until it was crispy.

There’s a special sauce for the queen’s fish and chips

The chef further explained how there’s a sauce to accompany the dish, which he prepared while the fish was baking. “When we served this to the queen, we’d do a tarragon hollandaise.”

McGrady started by whisking egg yolks before adding lemon juice, tarragon, salt, pepper, and clarified butter.

“Once you’ve mixed the egg yolks together, you put them over the heat over a bowl of hot water and we whisk them until they start to warm up and what we call ‘break,'” he explained.

McGrady continued, “Once I’ve gotten my egg yolks hot, I can then start slowly adding the butter. As it starts to thicken, you can add a little of the lemon juice.”

The tarragon, salt, and pepper was added after he had whisked the ingredients into “a nice thick, creamy sauce.”

The chips were added to the fryer for four to five minutes until they turned “super crispy and nice and golden brown,” then drained on paper towels and salted while they were still hot.

When the fish was removed from the oven, McGrady show how it turned crispy and golden brown from the butter and the egg yolk.


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It’s all about the presentation

The chef plated the fish and chips in the most elegant way for such a simple dish — fitting for a queen, of course!

McGrady placed the fish on the plate, explaining, “and then we add the chips, but these are special chips, so we have to build a little tower.” He placed two of the rectangular chips on the plate before building the tower in the most visually pleasing way.

The plate was finished with the hollandaise sauce spooned around the plate and topped with a flower garnish.

McGrady shared, “We’d serve this a lot when the queen had guests for lunch. The gorgeous, tender, flaky fish and the beautiful cod and those crispy crumbs on the outside… the crispy chips.”

He explained that this recipe was how the queen preferred her fish and chips, while the staff would get the more traditional fried dish.