Dear Editor,

I grew up in colonial Sydney in the 1950’s when it was an outpost of the British Empire. One of my most vivid memories is of my mother dressed in hat, white gloves and pearls, attending bridge parties where tea was served. Occasionally I was allowed to indulge in the leftovers from these parties. The assortment of sandwiches included the usual curried egg, cucumber and so on, but the variety I loved best were the chicken mayonnaise with chives. These sandwiches were always cut into fingers without their crusts. It was not until four decades later that I discovered them again in Venice at Harry’s Bar.

When asked to organise the catering for the book launch of my husband Michael Montgomery’s (writing under the pseudonym Helen Batting) most recent publication, Wallis Simpson’s Diary, I thought these delicious finger sandwiches very appropriate.

Chicken and Chive Sandwiches

1 chicken
Bouquet garni bag for poultry
1 carrot peeled and cut into chunks
l onion peeled and quartered
Chopped chives
Mayonnaise (a good bought variety if you prefer)


  1. Poach chicken in a large saucepan with the bouquet garni, carrot, onion, salt and a few peppercorns.
  2. Bring to the boil, cover with lid and simmer gently for l hour or until the juices run clear when the point of a knife is stuck into the thigh.
  3. Leave the chicken to cool in the stock.
  4. When cold, skin it and strip all the meat from the bones and chop into small pieces.
  5. Mix chicken with chives and mayonnaise.
  6. Spread onto slices of freshly-baked granary bread.


— Patricia Montgomery
Idbury, Oxfordshire


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