Chicken Pineapple Treats – Mid-Century Recipe Guest Test Sunday

Posted on Apr 13 2014 - 8:00am by Erica

Most of the time, we do our retro recipes as a household. Even when I do the cooking and Buzz does the tasting, he knows what’s being made.


This one, I kept a complete surprise until the last possible moment. Frosted party sandwiches are pretty spectacular, particularly when they’re unexpected.

Chicken Pineapple Treats – Mid-Century Recipe Guest Test Sunday
  • 1 loaf white bread
  • 6 pineapple slices, well drained
For filling, mix:
  • 1 can SWANSON BONED CHICKEN, diced
  • ¼ cup diced celery
  • 2 tablespoons chopped ripe olives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green olives
  • 2 teaspoons pickle relish
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
For frosting
  • 2 packages Philadelphia cream cheese
  • Cream
  1. Cut 18 slices of bread into rounds the same size as the pineapple slices. Lay pineapple slices on 6 of the rounds. Spread 6 more with filling and stack, sandwich style. Top with remaining bread rounds.
  2. Mix the cream cheese with enough cream to spread easily. Swirl it on the sides and top of chicken-pineapple treats and garnish with olives, carrot curls, and a sprig of watercress.
  3. These can be made up hours ahead of time, covered with waxed paper and set aside to chill until you're ready to serve. Makes 6.


This “unusual recipe” was shared by Mrs. George Parker’s floating head.


The chicken salad part isn’t terribly unusual or interesting. (Which is good, I guess?)


Cutting bread into circles and stacking pineapple and chicken salad on top felt surprisingly normal, too.


The worst part of making this was trying to “frost” the sandwich. The top isn’t so bad, the pineapple isn’t so bad — but the chicken salad kept getting stuck to the cream cheese as it smeared by, pulling out of the sandwich and making the frosting lumpy. I had to put on a pretty thick layer to keep it cohesive and looking reasonably smooth.


I was so glad that I managed to keep this a surprise, though. Buzz’s face was totally worth it. He just stared for a solid minute.

Then he asked if he could eat the garnish first.


Meanwhile, the kids (who were exempted from this recipe test) were expressing a wide range of reactions. The older ones described how scary and disgusting it looked in great detail, the youngest was crying because he wanted a cupcake too and it was clearly a cupcake on Daddy’s plate and why weren’t we giving him a cupcake?


After the first bite, Buzz proclaimed, “This is pretty good.”

Then it was my turn to stare for a solid minute. “Seriously?

“Yeah, it all works somehow!”

Verdict: Pretty good. Somehow.

Tasting notes:

The pineapple and chicken salad balance each other very nicely. If the cream cheese icing hadn’t been so thick, it would have been a very enjoyable sandwich-salad. The presentation is simultaneously impressive and terrifying.

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Erica was inspired to learn to cook by a complete lack of home economics classes in high school, and a love of old books. When using antique cookbooks to teach herself some skills, she realized a lot of the recipes were pretty strange by modern standards. All that fun testing just begged to be shared with the world. Regular recipe testing can be found here on Mid-Century Menu, on Erica's Retro Recipe Attempts blog, and also I Ate The 80's.

7 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Dan April 13, 2014 at 8:16 am - Reply

    Hurray for frosted party sandwiches! Hurray for Buzz!

  2. Lassie April 13, 2014 at 8:58 am - Reply

    This makes me smile. In the late 60’s I had a book on beauty, fashion, decorating, and a few recipes for young women, and one of the recipes I will always remember was a beautifully garnished chicken salad loaf ‘cake’ similar to this. I never had occasion to make it for a spring luncheon for the sorority, but it looked beautiful and scrumptious, too.

  3. Jeanine April 13, 2014 at 5:16 pm - Reply

    My mom used to make a frosted sandwich loaf too, for baby showers and things like that.

    I’m mainly posting because I have to ask – where did Buzz get that t-shirt? Where I grew up, there was a pub with that name – this is in BC, Canada!

    • Buzz April 14, 2014 at 11:56 am - Reply

      I got the shirt out of a catalog, which featured the logos of various interestingly-named restaurants around the world. It’s not visible in the pictures, but the pub the shirt refers to is identified as being in London. I imagine the pub in B.C. is named after the London one.

      Decades ago, when I had a summer job at a the nuclear reactor at Oregon State University, I came back to my dorm room after dinner one night wearing that shirt. I turned on the radio, and the first thing I heard was a reading of Paul Theroux’s short story “Acknowledgements,” where he was thanking the patrons of the Frog and Nightgown pub, among other individuals. (I can’t seem to find a free version of online, although it’s at the New Yorker site for subscribers; its really an excellent story, told in a very unusual form.)

      • Jeanine April 15, 2014 at 10:00 pm - Reply

        Thank you! Slightly disappointed though…here I thought maybe there was a Canadian element to Mid-Century Menu!

        What a coincidence about hearing the name on the radio just as you were wearing the shirt. I love things like that.

  4. Amorette April 14, 2014 at 5:45 pm - Reply

    Put a thin layer of ‘frosting’ around the sandwiches to lock in the fillings. Then finish with a thicker layer. Just as you do when trying to frost a fancy cake.

  5. S. S. April 15, 2014 at 5:58 pm - Reply

    “This ‘unusual recipe’ was shared by Mrs. George Parker’s floating head” is a surprisingly awesome sentence.

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