BBQ Chicken Sandwiches with Cilantro Sesame Slaw

This weekend was incredible, exhausting, tearful, yet wonderful!  

bye grandpa

We celebrated my Grandpa’s life, surrounded by family and friends.  Several of the funeral home directors and employees, stopped me to say that they love our kind of family. The ones that really enjoy each other, the ones that can laugh and hug, and have a great time in spite of the grief, celebrating a life well lived. From a man who deals with death all the time, I thought that was a real compliment.  Grandpa’s viewing was noisy, it was tearful at times as we said our good byes, yet it was full of laughter, as we recounted stories of Grandpa in the good ol’ days, and hugged necks of second cousins we hadn’t seen in years! 

  I am more tired than I have ever been in my life, both emotionally and physically.  Even my feet hurt!  I am hearing my Mom, Aunts and Uncles, and Grandma say the same!  Most nights I saw anywhere from 1-3 am before crawling to bed and sometimes we were having “second supper” around my Aunt’s table at 11 pm, laughing with the cousins.  There is lots to do when planning a funeral, memory table, photo slideshow, or what have you.  I just had no idea how much went into the planning of such an event, and am thankful to have gotten to have a small part in it.  

  I took nearly 400 photos of our time together, and I am just too tired to deal with it now.  My emotions are spent and I am not ready to dig into the pictures capturing that beautiful, yet emotional day.  But, if and when I do, I will surely consider sharing here.  

  Thank you all for your loving support as we went through this weekend!  I am so blessed to have you all in our lives.

  On to the food: 

  Sweet BBQ meets Savory, in an amazing fresh tasting cilantro-sesame slaw topped sandwich…

  This recipe is adapted from the April-May 2013 Taste of Home magazine.  What drew me to this recipe was the brine you soak the chicken in over night.  I decided to couple it with our FAVORITE Cilantro Sesame Slaw and buttered toasted buns. Amazing!

BBQ Chicken Sandwiches
with Cilantro Sesame Slaw

{click title for recipe}

BBQ chicken sandwich txt


  • BRINE:
  • 1-½ quart Water
  • ¼ cups Brown Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Coarse Kosher Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Liquid Smoke
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Pressed
  • ½ teaspoons Dried Thyme
  • 3 pounds Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • ⅓ cups Liquid Smoke
  • 1-½ cup High Quality BBQ Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch With A Splash Of Cold Water, For Thickening
  • 3 cups Coleslaw Cabbage Mix
  • ½ cups Green Pepper, Finely Chopped
  • ¼ cups Cilantro, Snipped
  • 3 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons White Vinegar
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Pressed
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • ¼ teaspoons Pepper

Preparation Instructions

In a large bowl, mix brine ingredients, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Reserve 1 cup of brine out for the next morning. Place chicken in a large zip lock bag or Tupperware and soak for 24 hours, turning often.
The next day, remove chicken from brine and place chicken in your crock pot on low with reserved 1 cup brine. Cook on low for 4-5 hours until chicken is tender.
Remove chicken to a bowl to shred and drain juices into a small pot. Whisk together 1 T. corn starch with a splash of cold water and add to pot, boil until nice and thick, pour back over shredded chicken, adding liquid smoke and 1 1/2 cups BBQ sauce. Keep warm until serving time.

Make Sesame Coleslaw earlier in the day, by combining in a medium bowl, coleslaw cabbage mix, finely chopped green pepper, snipped cilantro, sesame oil, white vinegar, pressed garlic and salt and pepper. Refrigerate until meat is ready to allow flavors to blend.

At serving time, butter toast buns under a broiler for a minute, then drizzle with BBQ sauce, a large scoop of meat and slaw.

Roll those sleeves up and dig in!

You can thank me later…… Winking smile

Hugs, T



11 thoughts on “BBQ Chicken Sandwiches with Cilantro Sesame Slaw

  1. Oh Tonya, It is so hard to say good-bye but, it is so nice to say it when you know where they have gone is better then here!!! I have been to many funerals in my life and it is so enjoyable to be at the ones where you can talk and remember the good times of that person. So, glad that you could see family that you have not seen in a while. It seems that funerals and wedding are the place to see them all!:)

    This sandwich looks AMAZING!!!!:) Hubby and I are going shopping tonight and the inged. are getting put on the list!:) We have a LOT of chicken to use right now(as in we were paid in chicken for a job!!!:) It was a blessing tho.) and this looks like a way to use it up.
    Sending my love and hugs your way sweet friend,

  2. Recipe sounds fabulous…no doubt it is coming from your kitchen. So thankful to know of the good times you enjoyed with family this past week, even though you all share in the same deep grief, it’s healing to laugh together. The photo of your 4 babes in front of the casket is a heart-grabber. Much love to you and your family now. Get your rest. The blog can wait if need be, but we don’t want you coming down sick. Hope you have a good stock of Emergency-C! XO

  3. We call funerals “Fun-erals” because we know our loved ones are in a better place and we can be happy about that. We celebrate their lives here on earth and their heavenly victory. Yes, it is a sad time, but it is also a happy time. And getting together with family to celebrate that life is priceless! I will be going to the “Fun-eral” of my dear Aunt Ella, who went to heaven last night.

    • You know, I think that is a big part of it! As believers we know that we WILL see our loved ones again, it brings us comfort and hope and peace in the midst of our sorrow. Sorry to hear about your Aunt Ella, but thankful she is in Paradise now! Wonder if she met my Grandpa yet? 🙂

      • My dad also went to heaven just last October 29th. I am sure they are all singing together in the heavenly choir! When my dad isn’t busy driving his brand new semi, that is! Yes, we will see them again! What peace and comfort that is for us!

  4. My grandfather died on Tuesday, and we buried him all together on Friday. What a week, huh? You have a lovely outlook on life/death, and I know your grandfather is free of pain now. REST, sweet friend, and enjoy the start to your week.


    • Sorry to hear about your Grandpa, Lindsay! It was FREEEZING at the burial Saturday morning for us, like 32* and windy. Hopefully the weather where you live was much warmer as you celebrated a life well lived. 🙂 Thank you for this sweet note, you take it easy too, funerals are exhausting! ❤

  5. We had similar experiences at the funeral home when my mom and my brother passed away. The funeral directors said that some families come in and are fighting over everything and hysterical over everything. It must be terribly hard when you have no hope and think that the funeral is the last time you will see that person. My brother was bed-ridden for 30 years and we had so much joy at thinking of him running, and leaping for joy in Heaven…..his legs healed and his voice able to speak. Your grandpa is free of all his physical limitations now and you will miss him here on earth, you know you will all be together again. You will be tired, Tonya….so be easy on yourself. After my mom died, I had to take a leave of absence from work for the summer to be with my children and to heal emotionally and physically. Just rest in the Lord and let others minister to you. You do so much for others…..your turn to sit back. We love you.

  6. Tonya, thank you for sharing such heartfelt moments. Prayers for refreshing and abundant grace during this season. I admire your passion for life and the perspective you bring through your blog. Also, kudos to you for the creative yummy tummy table toppers 🙂 #Steady On

  7. Having the wonderful memories and celebrating them with tears, laughter and joy of a life well lived is healing in itself.
    It takes time to recovery from all of the emotions we go through at times like these from the passing to paradise to seeing long lost loved ones and taking care of our own family it can really get us run down in every way!
    We have to take the time to let our body rest and recover…and just think!
    Now about that recipe….. mouthwatering once again!

  8. My condolences on the loss of your Grandfather. I lost mine at the end of February but do not have the peace of knowing he is in a better place. So glad that you do have that–it is very hard to lose a loved one who never wanted to know God or Jesus. I’ve always hated viewing bodies so I think it’s pretty neat that your kiddos have no back-off at all of that part. 🙂

I adore hearing from you, comment away! :)

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