Temples of BBQ

Alabama White Sauce Chicken

White sauce chicken originated at Big Bob Gibson BBQ in Decatur, Alabama. Bob generously shared his white sauce recipe and the style has spread statewide.

I like to finish my chicken over some hot coals to ensure the skin is not flabby, but this is an optional step. Chicken that is cooked low and slow will still have a pinkish tinge to the meat. This doesn’t mean that the chicken is raw.

Alabama White Sauce Chicken

1 whole chicken

Alabama white sauce2 1/2 cups mayonnaise — whole egg is best 1 cup white vinegar 1 cup apple juice 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish 3 teaspoons ground white pepper 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon chicken stock powder 1/4 teaspoon citric acid

Serves 4

To make the white sauce, combine all the ingredients except the chicken. Mix well.

Butterfly the whole chicken.

Lightly cover the chicken with some of the white sauce and let it sit in the fridge or at room temperature for at least 1 hour, but no more than 3 hours.

Place the chicken skin side down on your smoker at 110°C for an hour then turn the chicken skin side up. Do not baste at this stage as the smoke will not penetrate a wet item.

Cook the chicken skin side up for another hour, then baste with white sauce every half hour. An important hygiene point at this stage is not to cross- contaminate the rest of the white sauce with your basting brush. If you need extra white sauce, just tip some into a separate bowl and keep the rest of the white sauce separate from the brush and meat.

Continue to baste the chicken until it is cooked — the internal temperature in the thigh should be just above 72°C. You can also check for doneness by piercing the thigh meat with a small sharp knife, if the juices run clear the meat is cooked.

Transfer the cooked chicken to a hot grill, skin side up. Baste the skin, place the chicken skin side down and baste again. Do this one more time so the skin is no longer flabby. Remove the chicken from the grill and give it a final baste. Allow to rest for at least 5 minutes before cutting.