BBQ Chicken Salad Sandwich

This is not your average chicken salad sandwich! But what more can you expect when Chef Brian Duffy is the mastermind behind it? Duffy uses a sous vide to flawlessly cook BBQ chicken thigh. The end result is a tender, moisture-packed piece of meat, perfect for mixing into a salad. He then accents the chicken with a fresh smoked fennel slaw, salted roast tomatoes, arugula, and a BBQ aioli with a hint of kick. Atop our focaccia bun, this is a SandwichMaster creation that’s packed — and we mean packed — with flavor!

Using a sous vide is ideal to get supremely tender chicken in a short amount of time. If you do not have access to a sous vide, slow cook the chicken until tender and heated through (5-6 hours).


  • Gonnella focaccia bun
  • 6 oz free range chicken thigh
  • 1 pinch of chili pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp minced onion
  • 1 tbsp barbecue sauce
  • 1 tsp Montreal chicken seasoning
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 bulb fennel
  • 1 bag of wood chips (for smoking)
  • 1 head cabbage
  • 1 bunch of fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 c mayo
  • 1 tsp chipotle flakes
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1-2 vine ripe tomatoes
  • 1 bunch of arugula
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For Aioli:

  • ½ c mayo
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp minced red onion
  • 1 pinch of chili pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp BBQ sauce


  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper, and place in ziplock bag along with chili pepper, minced onion, BBQ sauce, and Montreal chicken seasoning. Cook for two hours at 155 degrees. If using a slow cooker, add ingredients to pot, cover, and cook on high for 5-6 hours or low for 7-8 hours. When finished, remove and allow chicken to chill before tearing or chopping into fine pieces.
  2. Prep fennel. Slice and season with light olive oil, salt, and pepper. Stock grill with wood chips, place fennel in a perforated pan, and smoke for 45 minutes at 225 degrees. Or begin to smoke on the stove, and finish in 300 degree oven for 20 minutes.
  3. Cut red onion into 1-inch rings. Season with oil, salt, and pepper. Grill on each side for 2-3 minutes, until grill marks are evident. Place in bowl and cover for 10 minutes.
  4. Quarter tomatoes. Season with salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. Roast in oven for about 10 minutes.
  5. Make BBQ aioli. Mix ½ c mayo with minced garlic, minced red onion, chili flakes, and BBQ sauce. Set aside.
  6. Mix chicken salad slaw. Once fennel is finished cooking (it should be soft), julienne by slicing into fine strips. In a mixing bowl, add 1 c shaved cabbage, smoked fennel, 3 tbsp julienned red onion, 1 tbsp chopped parsley, minced garlic, ½ c julienned red peppers, ½ c mayo, chipotle flakes, apple cider vinegar, and honey. Add grilled red onions and julienned chicken, and mix until fully incorporated.
  7. Slice focaccia bun, add a touch of olive oil to each side and toast.
  8. Assemble sandwich. Spread BBQ aioli on bottom bun, add layer of arugula and roasted tomatoes, followed by a good helping of chicken salad slaw. Top with BBQ aioli and top half of bun.