Curried Chicken Salad Tea Sandwiches

A few posts ago, I mentioned attending afternoon tea with theDaughter and her bridesmaids as part of her wedding shower weekend.  Among the way-too-many-items for us to devour nibble daintily was a curried chicken salad, served on a microscopic raisin bread round.  Topped with a few drops of fruit preserves and a nut half, it was as cute as a button ... and almost as miniscule.

It looked like a pretty easy-ish thing to recreate at home.  So I did.  I think.  Here's the Real Thing, centered between the egg salad and the lox, excuse me, smoked salmon:

... and here's my clone:

If you squint, the resemblance is frightening.

I finely diced the chicken because it was easier for me ... and because I don't have a working fleishig (meat) food processor.  But to really duplicate the original, shred or process the cooked chicken.  It'll taste the same, but look and mouth-feel fancier-schmancier.

Since it is, after all, curried chicken salad, I logically figured that curry would be the main spice (hey, I didn't go learnin' at that 'spensive college for nutin').  Probably also a little coriander and  the usual salt and pepper as well.

As for the preserves, I mind-processed the following (stay with me here):

Curried food is from India.
England used to "own" India.
England invented the afternoon tea.  Therefore, the preserves used must be Major Grey Chutney.  Mango is the first ingredient; but if you already own a jar of peach preserves feel free to use that instead.

Regarding that big o'nut half gracing the original, I believe it is a walnut.  But since I already had in my possession some pecans, I decided to go with that instead.  Once again, use whatever you have handy ... your guests won't mind a bit.

Don't faint at the quantity of curry called for.  Spices and flavors are usually kicked up a notch (or three) in order to capture flavor in a tiny bite.  You can, instead, serve the chicken salad in regular-sized portions, with or without crust.  In that case, cut back the amount of curry by a teaspoon or two. 

By the way, why are rich people referred to as upper-crust when they are the ones who eat crustless sandwiches?

Curried Chicken Salad Tea Sandwiches
Yield: 16 appetizer servings

1 chicken breast, cooked and chilled
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. coriander
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
4 slices raisin-cinnamon bread
4 tsp. Major Grey's Chutney (or peach preserves)
16 pecan or walnut halves

Shred, process or finely chop chicken breast.   Place in medium-sized bowl and set aside.

In a small bowl, stir together mayonnaise, curry, coriander, salt and pepper.

Stir curry mixture into the chicken until completely combined.  If too dry, add another teaspoon of mayo.  You want it to hold together without excess mayo oozing out.

Using a 1-1/2 inch biscuit cutter (or a small jar), cut out 4 rounds from each bread slice.  Arrange on serving platter in a single layer.

Place a rounded tablespoon of chicken mixture on each slice.  Top each with a 1/4 teaspoon of chutney, then gently press in a pecan half.

If not serving within an hour, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.  Remove from fridge about a half-hour before serving.


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