Chicken Salad Sandwiches with Smoked Almonds

chicken salad sandwiches with smoked almonds

Who knew a chicken salad sandwich could bring out the rudeness in me AND turn me in to a temporary stalker?! In my defense, it wasn’t just ANY chicken salad sandwich, it was a Chicken Salad Sandwich with Smoked Almonds…

Our neighborhood is full of great cooks. And that’s never more evident than at our summer block parties. On the 4th Saturday of each month, all are invited to a gathering, typically in our cul de sac, and asked to BYOB and something to share with the group.

You’d be hard pressed to find Cheetos & store-bought salsa at these soireés. In fact, the spread looks more like a photo shoot for Food & Wine.

Last Saturday, Husband and I wandered to the party, apped’oeuvre in hand. The one I’d made would have easily been the hit of a gathering in any other neighborhood {if I do say so myself} but it was over-shadowed by the amazing selection of roll-ups, kebobs, sliders, flatbreads, salsa and decadent desserts. All homemade and beautiful.

At one end of the table a small group seemed to be guarding a tray of something. I moved closer to get a better look.

WHAT. ARE. THOSE??? I asked… I couldn’t tell if I was looking at an apped’oeuvre or a dessert. That’s when one of the “guards” told me that they were Chicken Salad Sandwiches that Renee brought. I took one and tasted it. Renee? WHO. IS. RENEE???  Turns out she is a relatively new neighbor I’d yet to meet.

Someone I hadn’t seen in awhile started to ask me what I’d been up to lately, but I abruptly ran off to find my new Queen. {Apologies to said neighbor!}

I found Renee and introduced myself, trying my best to ask a proper amount of “get to know you” questions before I began raving about the little morsel I’d inhaled and begging for the recipe. She was as gracious as can be and promised to share it.

I may or may not have “friended” her on Facebook the very next morning, just as a friendly “nudge.” Apparently, I didn’t completely frighten her because she kindly shared the “original” recipe as she’d discovered it, as well as her version – which was the hit of the party.

The original recipe called for poaching some chicken breasts, and in her version, Renee used Tyson’s frozen Breaded Chicken Breasts {prepared as directed}. However, since I’m all about saving time, as long as I’m not compromising on quality – I purchased a rotisserie chicken and shredded it. I also used whole grain bread rather than the white bread that was called for in the recipe. Finally, as I was mixing the chicken salad together {and tasting it along the way} I decided to tweak it just a bit for my tastes. The fresh tarragon and smoked almonds begged for something slightly sweet to balance them out. A grated Granny Smith apple was the perfect addition of sweet and tart.

Finally, my very smart mother – whom I shared the recipe with – suggested cutting the crusts off the bread BEFORE spreading with the chicken salad. That way you don’t cut away some of the yummy filling when you trim the crusts. However, since doing so provided me with a little snack as I was working, I’m not sure I’ll listen to Mom on this one. Either way, these are delicious!

Make these when you want something a little “dressier” than your usual chicken salad sandwich. And if your neighborhood has an upcoming block party, take them. But don’t say I didn’t warn you if you suddenly find yourself bombarded for the recipe.

Thanks Renee!

Chicken Salad Sandwiches with Smoked Almonds
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • 1⅓ cup mayonnaise-plus an additional ½ cup for coating
  • ⅓ cup minced green onions
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and grated
  • 2 tsp minced fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning {an herb blend found with spices, a.k.a. "Tuscan" seasoning}
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 loaf of sliced whole wheat bread
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped smoked almonds
  1. In a bowl stir together chicken, mayonnaise, green onions, tarragon, Tuscan Seasoning, and additional salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Make sandwiches with chicken salad and bread, pressing together gently. Cut the crusts off of the sandwiches and cut into thirds {or fourths} for finger size sandwiches.
  3. Put almonds on a plate and spread edges of each finger sandwich with remaining ½ cup mayonnaise to coat well. Roll edges in almonds.
  4. Sandwiches may be made 2 hours ahead, wrapped in plastic wrap, and chilled.
I used 12 slices of bread to make 6 large sandwiches, which I cut into thirds to get 18 finger sandwiches.

By the way, if you’re into gadgets, I like this handy nut grinder. It’s got settings for fine or course nuts, and it’s a lot safer than a knife if you’re enlisting your kids to help put these together.

chicken salad sandwiches nut grinder

This is the mayo I’m into now… when I don’t make my own.

chicken salad sandwiches - mayo

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