Barbecue specialties differ by region – St. Louis has ribs, Kansas City is known for their sweet and tangy sauce, North Carolina uses a vinegar-based sauce and South Carolina favors a mustardy sauce.
Well, Alabama has its own signature, and it’s Alabama white sauce; a tangy barbecue sauce made with mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar and horseradish.
After many trips to Alabama for football games I was first intrigued with the sauce because it’s so different from many others associated with barbecue. The zesty sauce was popularized in Decatur, Alabama and is commonly served on smoked chicken though I enjoy it slathered over crispy, fried chicken as in this recipe.
Much of the flavor from the sauce comes from the addition of Silver Springs Prepared Horseradish. Wisconsin-based company is the world’s largest grower and processor of horseradish. Many people don’t realize that horseradish is actually a root vegetable which is grated and combined with vinegar and salt for the commonly used condiment and its more familiar signature sharp flavor. It’s a great way to enhance the flavor of a roast beef sandwich or freshly shucked oysters particularly when served with a Bloody Mary.
The sauce can be made about 2 weeks ahead of time and stored, refrigerated until ready to use.
4large bonelessskinless chicken thighs, about 1 pound
Kosher saltas needed
Freshly ground black pepperas needed
For the Alabama white sauce:
2tablespoonsapple cider vinegar
1packed tablespoon dark brown sugar
1tablespoonprepared horseradishSilver Spring Foods makes a fantastic one!
¼teaspooncrushed red pepper flakes
½teaspoonfreshly ground black pepper
4sandwich bunshalved lengthwise and toasted
1½cupsshredded green and red cabbage
For the fried chicken:
Fill a large cast iron pan with vegetable oil so it reaches 2-inches up the pan. Heat the oil to 350°F.
In a medium shallow bowl add the flour. Whisk the buttermilk and egg together in another medium bowl. Season chicken with salt and pepper. One piece at a time, dip chicken in the buttermilk mixture then dredge in the flour.
Shake off any excess flour and fry in the oil, flipping once, until the chicken is golden brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Remove the chicken and allow to drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
For the Alabama white sauce:
In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, horseradish, Worcestershire, red pepper flakes, black pepper, garlic powder and onion powder with 1 tablespoon of water until completely combined. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Add a piece of fried chicken to the bottom half of each sandwich bun. Top with shredded cabbage, pickles and a drizzle of the Alabama white sauce. Close the sandwich and serve immediately.
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