I first had it at a random sketchy sandwich shop on a tiny out of the way street in Stratford-upon-Avon (we chose that one because there was seating outside and even though our feet were tired, we were enjoying perfect weather and beautiful scenery), so it was food rather than tradition.
I was rather pleased (i.e. orgasmic) with the results when I made it this way:
1 tsp butter
1/2 medium onion, diced finely
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ketchup
1/4 c. red wine
1 bay leaf
juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 tsp apricot jam
I had some cooked chicken leftovers, so I vaguely cut/shredded those.
In a small pan, I melted a pat of butter and cooked half an onion that was diced as finely as I was physically capable of doing.
When the onion was soft, I added the curry powder, ketchup (the source recipe called for tomato paste, but I didn’t have any), Manischewitz (best cooking wine ever!), a bay leaf, and the lemon juice.
Once that was all nice and saucy, I looked in my fridge because I knew I had some sort of light colored jelly in the fridge, and I was determined to use it whatever it was – only I had apricot! So that went in and was cooked until it melted into the sauce. At this point, I would have been quite willing to just eat this reduction straight.
But I soldiered on. I pulled out the bay leaf and poured the rest into a bowl (why bother cutting the onions fine, if you are just going to strain them out? besides, the cooked onions were lovely still in there). When it was cook enough to not melt the mayonnaise immediately, I beat in a forkful and then another until I had a smooth, creamy consistency. And then I added the chicken.
OMG! So tasty! And very, very rich. This was better than the stuff I had in england, which tasted like regular chicken salad with a bit of curry powder and a touch of fruit (raisins, if I remember correctly).