Recipes · Savoury

Smoked Chicken & Chili Garlic Pesto Open Faced Sandwiches

Whew! What a mouthful that is for a title!

This picture would probably be more than enough and save me the 991 words leftover in describing them!

IMG_2665-3A picture is worth a thousand words, after all!

The chili & garlic pesto add a depth of flavour, lightly tying every element together. You’re left with this slight smoky aftertaste that’s highlighted by the red chili flakes sprinkled on top. It’s a fun, delicious & filling sandwich that’s not too heavy on the palate.

I learned to make this smoked chicken from my sister’s best friend and although I have tweaked it just a bit, the credit still goes to her.

A couple years back, I’d gone home to my parents’ and she was in town as well, so all us girls had gone, surprise, surprise, shopping! Suffice to say, it went very well and we carried back our weight in bags. But the best part was, we planned a cooking party for the next weekend.

You can just imagine my excitement!



I made my Mom’s Chicken Biryani. Have any of you tried the Indian Biryani? Technically it’s the gravy mixed into semi-cooked rice and then left to cook together which results in a delicious, flavorful dish. Which is my take on it! There are so many different variations- I think there actually was an article about the 14-ish different types of Biryanis found in India!

So our friend made her smoked chicken which paired absolutely wonderfully with the Biryani and I’ve made it numerous times since!

My chicken shredded and waiting to be smoked

This smoked chicken & chili garlic pesto sandwich is actually pretty simple to put together. The chicken does not take too long to cook. Just marinate it an hour or so before, toss it into the pan with a little oil and cook till done and shred.

You get these little charcoal cubes that are great for adding a smoky flavor to dishes right in the kitchen without needing to fire up the grill- that’s what I’ve used to smoke the chicken.

You can make this chicken ahead of time and keep it refrigerated until you are ready to make your sandwich. You’re going to pop the finished sandwich in the oven to melt the cheese, giving ample time for the chicken to warm up!



The chili and garlic pesto I picked up recently and is part of Jamie Oliver’s line and is just a great addition to sandwiches- especially a good grilled cheese!

The bread is actually homemade sandwich bread. I’ve actually been on a bread kick recently and I’m waiting to try my hand at brown bread. If anyone has a good successful recipe, please share! I would be so incredibly grateful. The bread in India leaves everything to desired- I’m not even kidding! So there was nothing else to do but make my own! I’m a total bread baby- breakfast, lunch, dinner, midnight snack- I grew up having sandwiches when we were too bored to make an entire meal.

Enough talk! You guys need to go make these sandwiches! I made them two days in a row- and requested by my husband! Which is really something- if it’s loved by him, then it’s a really good sandwich!

I’m gonna shut up now!

You guys go get that boneless ready to smoke!


If you try out this recipe, please let me know! Tag me on instagram (_littlemiracles_). Feel free to leave a comment below; let me know what you think! I love to hear from you all! Follow me on Instagra: @_littlemiracles_ or just click on the Follow Me! button on the top right hand of the page to get an email every time there’s a post!♥

Smoked Chicken & Chili Garlic Pesto Open Faced Sandwiches


Yield: 7-8 sandwiches


Chicken element: 1 hr 30 mins

Total: 1 hr 45 mins- 2 hrs


Smoked Chicken

300 gms boneless chicken, cleaned

2 tbsp. full fat regular yoghurt

1/2 tsp garlic paste

1/2 tsp ginger paste

1/4 tsp coriander powder

11/4 tsp turmeric powder

1/4 tsp cumin powder

1/2 tsp red chili powder

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

salt to taste

1 tbsp. olive oil

Sandwich Ingredients

4-5 tbsp. Chili & Garlic Pesto*

Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Red chilli flakes

Dried Basil

*The amount of Chili & Garlic Pesto completely depends on how much you’d like on your sandwich!


  1. Making Smoked Chicken: Chop chicken roughly into medium pieces. You are going to shred it once it is cooked, so don’t worry about it’s size.
  2. Add the yoghurt, garlic & ginger pastes, coriander, turmeric cumin, red chilli & smoked paprika powders to a large bowl. Sprinkle salt to taste and mix everything together. Add the chicken and using a spoon, coat completely. Let it marinate for an hour at least.
  3. Heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the chicken and cook until completely cooked through. When it is nearly done, place the charcoal on an open flame and heat up.
  4. Preheat oven to 180ºC/350ºF. Keep a cookie sheet ready for the sandwiches.
  5. Turn off the heat under the chicken and shred. I usually use two forks to shred it as it will definitely be pretty hot! Push the shredded chicken to the corner of the pan in a large circle. Keep a small heatproof bowl ready that will sit perfectly in the center of the pan and allow for the saucepan to be covered with its lid.
  6. Gotta move quick here: Once the charcoal is hot enough, place it in the heatproof bowl. Place bowl in the center of the saucepan and cover with the lid immediately. Let it sit, with the flame off, for 3-5 minutes, allowing the chicken to absorb the smokiness.
  7. Prepare the bread, spread with pesto. Spoon over chicken, as high as you like! Top with shredded cheese and pop into the oven! Bake until the cheese has melted – depends on how you enjoy it- bubbly or golden!
  8. Sprinkle red pepper flakes and dried basil on top before serving- optional!

Dig in and Enjoy!





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