The busiest times of the day for any parent are the morning hours, before the kids get on the bus. We try to feed them breakfast, pack their lunch and get ourselves ready for work, as well. As a working wife and parent, there were always mini battles in the morning before the kids left for school. On top of that, the lunches to prepare were crucial. This is why these Easy Chicken Barbecue Sandwiches are convenient for busy parents. It’s a good way to send the children off to school in good spirits and with a hefty lunch to look forward to.
Instead of the usual mundane cold cuts or deli sliced fillings, a Chicken Barbecue sandwich is delightful. This was a no-brainer for me. My sons enjoyed the grilled chicken barbecue I often made for them when we cooked outdoors in the summer. I converted the meal into a sandwich lunch by cooking ahead, filling a large pan de sal (the Filipino bread bun) with a slice of savory-sweet glistening chicken barbecue, slices of fresh tomato, cucumber and some crisp lettuce leaves in between.
If you make this Chicken Barbecue Sandwich you can try two options: First, marinate and grill the chicken slices from scratch. Or you can do the shortcut, easy way by using Martin’s Pure Foods Chicken Barbecue. Martin’s is a brand I trust and the barbecue flavors are exactly similar to how I make it at home. Martin’s Chicken Barbecue are tender, juicy, chicken slices which are pre-flavored with a sweet-savory glaze. Once grilled and cooked, whether you are using my recipe below or trying Martin’s Chicken Barbecue, the sweet aromatic chicken pieces go well with the crunchy vegetable condiments in between the freshly baked bun.
Mornings and lunch box prep don’t need to get stressful anymore. Have these chicken barbecue slices ready and just stuff them into the buns. Make some for you, too, to bring to work. Everyone will want to swap lunches with you.
Easy Chicken Barbecue Sandwiches
- Outdoor grill: Charcoal or Electric
- 4 pounds chicken thighs, boneless, skinless about 8 pieces
- 1/2 cup soy sauce or use tamari sauce for low sodium and gluten free option
- 1/2 cup banana ketchup or substitute with tomato catsup
- 1/8 cup chili sauce bottled
- 1/4 cup lemon or calamansi juice
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 can (8 oz.) Sprite or 7-up soda
- 2 cloves garlic minced fine
- 1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 8 pieces Pan de Sal (Filipino bun) or substitute with hoagie or large dinner rolls
- 1 whole large salad tomato sliced
- 1 whole medium-sized cucumber peeled, seeded, sliced
- 8-10 pieces lettuce leaves washed
- 1 whole medium-sized onion sliced, for garnish
- 8 to 10 pieces bamboo skewers pre-soaked in water for 30 minutes before placing meat to grill
- Prepare the marinade: In a medium-sized bowl mix the soy sauce, banana ketchup, chili sauce, calamansi juice, Sprite soda, garlic, sesame oil, salt, black pepper. Blend ingredients well. Pour over the boneless chicken thighs. Pierce some parts of the chicken with a fork for the marinade to absorb. Keep the marinated chicken pieces in a resealable plastic bag. Refrigerate overnight. (Or you can freeze the marinated chicken for a week or two till ready to grill. Just thaw it before hand).
- To cook the chicken: The next day, skewer the chicken pieces in bamboo sticks that have been pre-soaked in water for at least 30 minutes. Use one bamboo skewer for each chicken thigh.
- Prepare the basting liquid by using the marinade. Or if preferred make a new mix by using the same marinade ingredients listed above. Add the brown sugar to the basting liquid and blend well. (Note: I add the sugar at the very end. Sugar crystallizes and can toughen the meat if left in the marinade too long).
- Pre-heat the grill to a medium high for at least 5 to 10 minutes. Grill the chicken pieces for a total time of 20 to 25 minutes, basting every now and then to have a shiny glaze. Flip the chicken pieces after the first half of cooking so they cook thoroughly on all sides.
- To make a sandwich: Assemble in a large pan de sal bun (or any large bread roll, hamburger bun) the following in this order --lettuce leaves, barbecue chicken (remove skewers), cucumber, tomatoes, onion slices.
- Cook's comments: Ingredients like banana ketchup and calamansi juice (frozen or from fresh limes) can be purchased at Asian markets by the Philippine section. If not available, substitute with tomato catsup and fresh lemon juice.
- Recipe notes: Boneless chicken thighs are best for this recipe and cook fast. If preferred, substitute with chicken breast. If using chicken breast pieces, tenderize with a meat mallet before marinating.
- Ingredients: The Martin's Pure Foods Chicken Barbecue product is pre-marinated and frozen, available in major supermarkets and Asian markets. They are a brand of cured meat products I trust and have used when I need 'extra help' in the kitchen.
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Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.
Did you like this recipe?I have more Filipino Instant Pot recipes in my newest cookbook Instant Filipino Recipes: My Mother’s Traditional Philippine Cooking in A Multicooker Pot by Elizabeth Ann Besa-Quirino. I also have more classic recipes inspired by my mother’s cooking in my popular cookbook: My Mother’s Philippine Recipes. If you’re learning how to cook Filipino food or a fan of Philippine cuisine, buy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.
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