Sunday, September 6, 2020

Smoked Chicken with Alabama White Sauce

Chicken thighs and legs, rub marinated, then smoke cooked, brushed with Alabama white sauce and served with additional sauce on the side. May also be grilled or baked.
Bone-in chicken thighs and legs, rub marinated, then grilled over indirect heat or smoke cooked, brushed with Alabama white sauce and served with additional sauce on the side.

Smoked Chicken with Alabama White Sauce

I have to admit, I don't cook outside as much these days. The heat is just too hard on me as I've gotten older, and it gets hot as a match in the summertime here! I mean, I was filling bird feeders yesterday and just in that short time I thought I was gonna die!

Though I haven't let go of my stack smoker, Weber, Lodge Sportsman, or my gas grill, of all of the cookout tools I have, I still love my Traeger pellet cooker {affil link} the most.

Now I know real Qers don't consider that to be hard core smoke cooking, but I love it anyway, because it puts on some nice smoke flavor and because it's an indirect and electric cooking method, you can put your food on and leave it to return to the comfort of your air conditioner, without worrying over flare ups or needing to check on the temperature every few minutes.

When it comes to barbecue, if you live in the Deep South, and especially if you're from the northern Alabama area, then you're likely familiar with Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q, in Decatur Alabama, and know all about Alabama White Sauce.

A fella named Don McLemore started Big Bob's in 1925 with his son-in-law Chris Lilly, and became famous for inventing an all-purpose white sauce, used mostly for barbecue, but also for pasta salads, potato salads and cabbage slaws these days. The original recipe is widely available, but I played around with it to come up with my own variation and paired it up with my chicken rub for some bone-in thighs and legs. I've written the directions for my Traeger, but this chicken can certainly be grilled or baked as well.

As always, full recipe text with measurements and instructions, as well as a printable document, are a little bit further down the page. Just swipe or scroll past the step by step pictures below. Here's how to make my Smoked Chicken with Alabama White Sauce.

Cover chicken with rub, cover and let rest 30 minutes, or refrigerate if longer. When ready to cook, whisk together sauce ingredients and set aside. For pellet grill, fill hopper with hickory pellets and preheat to Smoke 5 minutes with lid open or heat grill to high with all burners, then turn off half for indirect cooking.


Set temperature to 325 degrees F. When temp is reached, add chicken and smoke, or grill on indirect side, for 30 minutes. Transfer some of the sauce into a separate bowl and brush on chicken; reserve remaining sauce. Turn, brush again and continue cooking another 30 minutes. Brush with sauce, turn and cook for about another 15 minutes, or if grilling, transfer to direct heat side. Cook to internal temperature of 165/170 degrees F. Turn off smoker and let chicken rest on grates with lid shut for 10 minutes then transfer to platter. If grilling, remove immediately. Serve with a bowl of remaining sauce for the table.


Now I don't care who you are - that's some good looking chicken. Dig in!


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Recipe: Smoked Chicken with Alabama White Sauce

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Inactive time: 40 min
Cook time: 1 hour 15 min

Total time: 2 hours
Yield: About 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients
  • 3 pounds each bone-in chicken thighs and legs
For the Rub:
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 2 teaspoons Creole or Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama) {affil link}, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
For the Alabama White Sauce:
  • 1-1/2 cups real mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Creole or Cajun seasoning
Instructions

Cover chicken with rub, cover and let rest 30 minutes, or refrigerate if longer. When ready to cook, whisk together sauce ingredients and set aside. For pellet grill, fill hopper with hickory pellets and preheat to Smoke 5 minutes with lid open.

Set temperature to 325 degrees F. When temp is reached, add chicken fat side up and smoke for 30 minutes. Transfer some sauce into a separate bowl and brush on chicken; reserve remaining sauce. Turn, brush again and continue cooking another 30 minutes. Brush with sauce, turn and cook another 15 minutes, or to internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Turn off smoker and let chicken rest on grates with lid shut for 10 minutes then transfer to serving platter. Offer remaining sauce for the table.

To Grill: Use a smoker box and an indirect heat method by preheating with all burners on grill to 400 degrees F. Brush grates with a little cooking oil and sear chicken on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes, then turn half of grill off, and move chicken to that side of grill. Continue to cook chicken over indirect heat, brushing with sauce and turning several times, until fully cooked through, about 30 minutes total or until internal temperature in thickest part reaches 165 degrees F on an instant read thermometer. Actual time will depend on size of pieces.

To Bake: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place chicken in a single layer into rimmed baking dishes. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Brush chicken and turn, brush again and continue cooking another 30 minutes, or until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, reads 165 degrees F. Total time will depend on size of pieces.

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Posted by Mary on September 6, 2020
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