DIVAS ON A DIME: Alabama’s secret to great barbecue

By Patti Diamond

Grilled chicken slathered with Alabama White Sauce. (www.JasonCoblentz.com)


Tis the season for outdoor cooking. But if you’ve lost the thrill for your grill, it’s time to add the OMG back to your BBQ. You’ve got to make this delectable down-home barbeque sauce. We’re leaving the sweet, red, molasses-based sauces behind. We’re making Alabama White BBQ Sauce.

Did you make the “what the heck?” squishy face when you saw “white” BBQ sauce? Trust me. If you haven’t tried grilled chicken with white barbeque sauce, prepare to have your world rocked. Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q in Decatur, Alabama, is credited with introducing this mayonnaise-based sauce to the barbecue fanatics of world. While there are lots of Alabama white-sauce recipes floating around, this is my own take on the celebrated sauce.

Don’t let the lack of color fool you, this sauce is anything but plain. The flavor is complex. It’s creamy and cooling but also tangy with a just a hint of heat. It’s one of those addictive flavor combinations that keeps you coming back for more.

This magical concoction is meant to be used as both a baste and dipping sauce. When you prepare chicken using this sauce as a baste, the chicken takes on a deep mahogany glazed crust. Then when you dip the cooked chicken in the sauce, it’s perfection.

If you’re cooking for more than a couple of people, I suggest making a double batch, so you’ll have plenty. If you’re lucky enough to have leftover sauce, you’ll want to schmear it on everything — because it’s good on everything. It’s perfect on pulled pork, fabulous with fries, banging on burgers, wakes your baked potatoes, perks up pasta, transforms ‘tater salad and elevates your veggies.




Yield: 1 1/4 cups Time: 5 minutes


What You’ll Need:

1/4 cup mayo

1/4 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 1/2 tablespoons apple cider

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon prepared horseradish

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Pinch of cayenne


To make the sauce:

Whisk all the ingredients in a bowl or mason jar and refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving. Refrigerate any unused sauce for up to 5 days.


To make Alabama White BBQ Chicken:

  1. Set aside half the sauce for serving later.
  2. Season four chicken breasts or eight chicken thighs with bone and skin lightly with salt and pepper. Keep it simple so the sauce can shine.
  3. Let the chicken come to room temperature while you preheat the grill to medium-high (approximately 400 F). Prepare the grill for indirect heat by either turning off burners on one side or moving coals to one side.
  4. Place chicken on the grill, skin side down, over the indirect heat area. Baste the underside with the white sauce. Cook for 7 to 10 minutes, then turn the chicken and baste the skin side. Continue turning and basting until the chicken registers 160 F using your meat thermometer. The temperature will continue to rise as it rests.
  5. Tent chicken for 10 minutes before serving. Any sauce that has been contaminated by raw meat should be discarded. Serve extra sauce on the side.

There’s nothing more satisfying than having people rave about your barbeque and being able to tell them you made the sauce from scratch. Sharing good food with the people you love is precious. As the late chef and author Anthony Bourdain said, “Barbeque may not be the road to world peace, but it’s a start.”

Let’s walk this road together with extra napkins. Bon appetit, friends.


Lifestyle expert Patti Diamond is the penny-pinching, party-planning, recipe developer and content creator of the website “Divas On A Dime — Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous!” Visit Patti at www.divasonadime.com and join the conversation on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom. Email Patti at divapatti@divasonadime.com


© 2021 King Features Synd., Inc.