I have discovered the secret to making the best Chicken Salad Finger Sandwiches. Finger sandwiches are basically small crustless sandwiches with various fillings. They are easy to assemble and can be made ahead of time. They are great for kids, easy lunches, and for girlie parties. My sister Marisa served a finger sandwich tray for a girl’s tea party recently. She included Cucumber, Watercress & Cream Cheese, Turkey, Provolone and Apple, Almond Butter and Raspberry Jelly, along with the Chicken Salad Finger Sandwiches. All the girls loved it! I was asked to share my recipe for the Chicken Salad Finger Sandwiches.
So here are my secrets to making great Chicken Salad Finger Sandwiches:
Mango Chutney and Brioche Bread! I learned this trick from the wonderful woman at the prepared-foods counter at Heinens grocery store. The Mango Chutney is used as a background flavor. It is mixed into the mayo/sour cream dressing. The chutney adds a sweetness and slight spiciness that sets this Chicken Salad apart from other typical recipes. If your jar of Mango Chutney has large chunks of mango, dice it up to smaller pieces.
The other amazing tip for a great finger sandwich is to use a loaf of quality French Brioche bread. Brioche has a high egg and butter content giving it a yellow color and delicious flavor. It also hold ups well. The brioche bread I found at Heinens has (mostly) squared off corners making it the perfect bread for crustless finger sandwiches.
Another secret – use rotisserie white chicken meat for the best results. The packaged rotisserie chicken at Costco is great. Most grocery stores also carry it now. Another secret is to “pull” the chicken meat. The texture of the chicken salad is better if the chicken meat is pulled apart with your hands into small bite size pieces. Do not cut the chicken into cubes with a knife. I also added diced celery, diced green apples, sliced almonds, mayo, sour cream and mango chutney.
Another key secret to making finger sandwiches is to keep them from getting soggy! The trick I learned from my Mom is to spread the fresh bread slices with a thin layer of softened butter. This helps to prevent the bread from getting soggy once the filling is added.
Cut off the crusts, and then cut the crustless sandwiches in thirds or in triangles. Store the finger sandwiches in a large tupperware container. Another tip is to place a paper towel on top of a layer of cut finger sandwiches and then cover with a piece of parchment paper. This will help keep moisture to a minimum and the bread will remain fresh. Add another layer of sandwiches and repeat the paper towel-parchment layer. Cover and store in the fridge. The finger sandwiches will last 1-3 days. I guarantee you, they won’t last that long.
So now you know the secrets: buttered Brioche bread, pulled rotisserie white chicken, Mango Chutney, and store with a paper towel/parchment layer.
You can get creative with these tips and vary the ingredients. Add some chopped dried mango or dried sweetened cranberries for a sweet bite. Use chopped walnuts instead of sliced almonds. Add green grapes for a pop of juice. Substitute turkey meat for chicken. Replace the sour cream with yogurt. The options are endless. If you make cucumber sandwiches, be sure to peel and seed the cucumber first. Add a thin layer of butter AND cream cheese to each bread slice. Lay some cucumber slices and watercress for a wonderful and dainty finger sandwich.
Long live the Queen.
Yield 21 sandwiches
Chicken Salad Finger Sandwiches are easy to assemble and can be made ahead of time. They are great for kids, easy lunches, and for girlie parties.
You can get creative with these tips and vary the ingredients. Add some chopped dried mango or dried sweetened cranberries for a sweet bite. Use chopped walnuts instead of sliced almonds. Add green grapes for a pop of juice. Substitute turkey meat for chicken. Replace the sour cream with yogurt. The options are endless.
1 cup Miracle Whip mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream (or yogurt)
3 tablespoons Mango Chutney (or more if desired)
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
4 cups rotisserie chicken white meat, pulled by hand into small pieces
3 celery sticks, trimmed and diced small
1 green apple, cored and diced small
½ cup sliced almonds (or chopped walnuts)
1 stick butter, softened at room temperature
1 loaf Brioche bread (14 slices)
Combine mayonnaise and sour cream in a small bowl. Mix in the mango chutney, salt and pepper. Dice any large chunks of mango (if any) and return to the mix.
Place the chicken, celery, apple and almonds in a large bowl. Toss to combine. Add the mayo/sour cream/chutney mixture and mix to coat evenly. Add more salt and pepper if desired.
Lay out all the bread slices on a board. Spread each slice with a thin layer of softened butter. Add a generous scoop of chicken salad to half of the bread slices. Top with the remaining bread.
With a large serrated bread knife, trim the crusts from each sandwich. Cut the crustless sandwich into thirds.
Store the crustless finger sandwiches in a storage container. Lay a paper towel of the first layer of sandwiches, and then lay a pieces of parchment paper on top of the paper towel. Repeat with another layer of finger sandwiches. Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Serve chilled or room temperature.