#BrownBagIt with Chef David Neinstein

#brownbagit with Chef David Neinstein

As part of our #brownbagit campaign, Action Against Hunger is sharing simple packed lunch recipes from Canadian chefs from coast-to-coast-to-coast. This fall, join your fellow Canadians: pack a nutritious lunch and donate the money you save so every kid can eat a healthy lunch.  Read on for the firsty tasty recipe from Toronto’s Chef David Neinstein:


Chef David Neinstein

Restaurant: Barque & Barque Butcher Bar
Located: Toronto and Burlington
Follow Chef Neinstein & Barque & Butcher Bar: Twitter / Facebook / Instagram

Like you, Chef David is concerned about fair access to food for all Canadians — so he took action — Chef David is sharing this delicious recipe for an easy lunch to take to work or school. Make this recipe this week and be sure to donate if you believe in a Canada free from hunger.



Chef David Neinstein’s easy BBQ lunch


BBQ Chicken Thigh

  • 1 large chicken thigh, bone-in skin-on
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2 tbsp. Homemade BBQ rub (See recipe below)

Fresh Chopped Salad

  • 1/2 cup diced cucumber
  • 1/2 cup heirloom grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon (tbsp.) fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. Finely diced red onion
  • 1 teaspoon (tsp.) toasted coriander seeds, crushed
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Baked Potato

  • 1 baking potato, cut in half length wise
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Equipment Required

  • Oven or toaster oven
  • Baking sheet pan
  • Wire rack to fit into baking sheet pan
  • Mixing bowls
  • Knife and cutting board
  • Meat thermometer *optional


  1. Preheat your oven to 350F. This recipe also works very well in a toaster oven.
  2. Season one side chicken thigh generously with BBQ rub. Flip the chicken thigh over and repeat on the other side.
  3. Fold the sides of the thigh underneath (so the thigh is a tubular shape instead of flat) and place it onto the wire rack. Folding the sides of the thigh underneath it creates a more uniform shape and helps the meat to cook more evenly.
  4. Place the wire rack onto the baking sheet and pour the water into the baking sheet. Adding water to the baking sheet helps prevent the chicken from drying out during the cooking process.
  5. Cut the baking potato in half, lengthwise. Pierce the skin multiple times with a fork. Drizzle each half of the potato with olive oil and season to taste. Wrap each half with aluminum foil and place on the wire rack with the chicken.
  6. Put the tray into the oven. The chicken thigh is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165F (74C), it should take approximately 40 minutes to cook. Once the chicken is done, remove it from the oven to rest for 10 minutes. The potato should be done after approximately 50 minutes.
  7. While the chicken sand potatoes are cooking, prepare the salad ingredients; slice the tomatoes, dice the onions and cucumber, and chop the basil. To toast the coriander seeds; place them in a dry pan over medium-high heat. Move the seeds around the pan until they are aromatic (1-2 minutes). Remove the seeds from the heat and crush them.
  8.  Toss all of the salad ingredients together and dress lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

BBQ Rub Recipe

This is our signature BBQ rub recipe. It can be easily adjusted to make your own unique BBQ rub for any occasion. It’s called 3-2-1 because of how the ingredients are broken down; 3 portions of each base ingredients (salt and sugars), 2 portions of each of the central ingredients (these are the main flavours that will be present in your rub), and 1 portion of each of your accent flavours (these are the flavours that work best in limited quantities, such as hot peppers). In this recipe we’re using teaspoons for measurement but you can adjust the quantity of rub according to your need by adjusting the unit of measurement. Portion out all of the ingredients into a dry bowl and mix thoroughly. This mixture can be stored in a sealed container for up to 1 year.

  • 3 tsp. Granulated white sugar
  • 3 tsp. Brown sugar
  • 3 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. Granulated garlic
  • 2 tsp. Granulated onion
  • 2 tsp. Coarse black pepper
  • 2 tsp. Smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp. Ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. Mustard powder
  • 1 tsp. Cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. Celery salt

Don’t forget to take a photo of your lunch and share it on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #brownbagit. 


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