These little tea sandwiches pack a bunch of flavor. The addition of fresh apple and grapes give it a refreshing crunch. Fresh tarragon is preferred, but if you can’t find it in the market or garden center, dried will do. -E
Chicken Tarragon Tea Sandwiches
For the aioli:
2 T. butter
2 shallots, minced (1/2 cup)
2/3 cup good-quality mayonnaise (5 oz.)
2 t. tarragon vinegar
1/2 t. dried tarragon or 1 t. fresh, minced
salt and pepper to taste
For the sandwiches:
8 slices of white bread
1 cup cooked, minced chicken breast
1/4 cup minced celery
1/4 cup thinly sliced red grapes
1/4 cup coarsely ground toasted almonds (optional)
1 granny smith apple or pear, thinly sliced
2 T. whole-grain dijon mustard
- To make the aioli, in a small frying pan, melt the butter. Sauté the minced scallions over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes, or when the shallots have turned a nice amber color. Cool.
- In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Add the cooled shallots. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight.
- To assemble the sandwich filling, in a medium bowl, combine the chicken, celery, grapes, and almonds.
- Add one third of the aioli mixture to the chicken mixture and blend well. To the remaining aioli, stir in the whole grain dijon mustard.
- To assemble the sandwiches, spread the mustard-aioli on each half of the bread. Cover each slice with the apple (or pear) slices. Divide the chicken filling and spread on top of the four slices. Cover with the remaining four slices of bread.
- Slice in desired shapes and serve.
The sandwiches will hold a few hours, but the almonds (if using) will lose their crunch after 4 or more hours. I use Hellman’s mayonnaise (or Best Foods brand in the western U.S.) My mayonnaise of choice in the southern U.S. is Duke’s.
I use a Benriner mandoline to slice my apples/pears as it quickly makes consistent slices. This kitchen workhorse is adjustable so that your veggies are almost translucent.
When it comes time to slice your sandwiches, I find that if you have an electric knife, this makes the job more precise and much easier and faster–especially if you are making sandwiches for a crowd.
If you want to make sandwiches several hours ahead of your tea, cut the crusts off of the sandwiches and cut the individual sandwiches, then wrap 3-4 of them in plastic wrap at a time and place in the refrigerator. If you want to make the sandwiches about an hour before your tea, place them on a half-sheet pan or arrange them on the plate for the 3-tiered tea tray. Then wet and wring out paper towels and gently lay the unfurled damp towels on top of the sandwiches until tea time.
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