Chicken Salad Finger Sandwiches

1 cup chopped cooked chicken
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons celery
2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 loaf un-sliced sandwich bread
3 tablespoons butter, softened
One (4 ounces) whipped cream cheese

Combine first 6 ingredients, tossing well. Stir in mayonnaise; cover and chill. Trim crust from loaf of bread, making bread an even rectangle. Slice bread horizontally into eight 1/3 inch slices. Lightly spread softened butter on one side of each slice. Spread chicken salad evenly over butter on 4 slices; top with remaining slices of bread, buttered side down. Spread cream cheese evenly on top of sandwiches. Slice each large sandwich rectangle into 6 finger sandwiches. Cover with a damp paper towel, then plastic wrap, chill until ready to serve.

Just before serving, garnish tops of sandwiches as desired.

Yield: 2 dozen

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Cajun Country -- New Iberia, Louisiana