This Alabama white bbq sauce chicken is a tangy, creamy riff on classic barbecue chicken. Classic barbecue sauce gets an unconventional twist, with creamy mayo, zesty horseradish, and loads of savoury goodness. Brushed on seasoned grilled chicken, you may never look to regular barbecue sauce again! The best part is, the sauce requires no cooking!
What Is Alabama White BBQ Sauce?
Alabama white sauce is a regional barbecue sauce, that unlike traditional barbecue sauce, is mayonnaise-based.
White barbecue sauce gets its iconic taste from good quality mayo, and a punch of horseradish and vinegar. The end result is a deliciously balanced sauce, that is used as a finisher on grilled or smoked chicken.
👩🏽🍳Why This Recipe Works
No slow cooking required! Traditional barbecue sauces develop flavour through slow simmering and cooking. This barbecue sauce does not require any cooking, and is still full of flavour!
The sauce is versatile! Not only does this sauce taste delicious on grilled chicken, but it works great as a dipping sauce and a sandwich spread too! This makes leftovers easy to use.
Simple ingredients! Barbecue sauces in general turn pantry ingredients into something delicious. This Alabama white sauce is no different! You likely already have everything you need.
- Bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts: I like to use bone-in and skin-on chicken breasts because both the bone and skin add extra flavour, fat, and moisture to the chicken breasts.
- Spice rub: You will need garlic powder, onion powder, salt, mustard powder, brown sugar, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper. If you prefer to make larger batches of all purpose chicken seasoning, you can follow this recipe.
- Mayonnaise: This barbecue sauce is mayonnaise-based. For that reason, I recommend using a good quality, full fat mayonnaise, that you know and love.
- Dijon mustard: Dijon mustard adds a delicious, savoury and tangy flavour to the sauce. I recommend dijon mustard over plain yellow mustard, as yellow mustard is more overwhelming.
- Prepared horseradish: You can use regular prepared horseradish, or extra spicy horseradish depending on how hot you like your horseradish.
A full list of ingredients with measurements is located on the recipe card, below.
- Chicken breasts: Feel free to use chicken thighs, drumsticks, or a whole chicken broken down for a variety.
- Dijon mustard: You can use grainy mustard, or brown mustard, in place of dijon. They both are packed with a similar tang and bite.
- Apple cider vinegar: Plain white vinegar will also work instead.
- Chicken rub: If you have a preferred BBQ chicken rub, feel free to use it in place of a homemade chicken rub.
- Mild: Feel free to omit the horseradish from the sauce, if you prefer a milder version.
- Smoked: If you have a smoker at home, feel free to smoke the chicken for a varied flavour. If you don't have a smoker but like smokey flavours, season the chicken with a dash of liquid smoke before adding the spice rub.
⏲️ Step-by-Step Instructions
Prep Work Before Cooking
Collecting all your ingredients - This will make cooking so much easier. Gather all the spices you will need, and keep them nearby.
Pat the chicken dry - Using a paper towel, pat the chicken breasts dry on both sides. This will help the spice rub adhere, and will allow the skin to crisp up.
Whisk together the spice rub mixture in a small mixing bowl. Set aside. [photo 1]
In another medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the Alabama white sauce. Keep covered and refrigerated until you are ready to serve. [photo 2]
Liberally sprinkle the chicken breasts with the mixed spice rub, on both sides. Rub the spice mix into the chicken with your hands. [photo 3]
Preheat your grill to 425°F, or a grill pan on medium-high heat. Spray the grill or grill pan with cooking spray.
Sear the chicken, skin-side down, for approximately 20 minutes on each side. If using a barbecue, you can keep the heat lower on one side of the barbecue, and transfer the chicken breasts to the cooler side to continue cooking. Cook the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F on an instant read thermometer. [photo 4]
Finish the chicken by brushing with the white bbq sauce onto the hot chicken.
Let the spice rub sit on the chicken for 5-10 minutes. This will allow the spice rub to stick nicely to the chicken, instead of staying dry on top.
🍽Make Ahead & Storage
Make Ahead Instructions
You can make this BBQ sauce 4-5 days in advance. It can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container, until you are ready to use it.
In addition, the spice rub can be mixed together and stored in an airtight jar for up to 4 months.
Store leftover grilled chicken in an airtight container, in the fridge. The chicken will keep well for 2-3 days.
To reheat, cover with foil and heat in the oven, or the air fryer.
Alabama white bbq sauce gets its name, as it originates from Northern Alabama. Big Bob Gibson BBQ made this iconic sauce famous, slathering a peppery version on their chicken.
You should not freeze Alabama white sauce. Because it is a mayonnaise-based sauce, the mayonnaise will likely separate when it thaws. It is best to make the sauce fresh, when you are ready to use it.
Alabama white sauce is delicious on chicken, pork, or even as a dressing for a homemade potato salad. You can also use this sauce as a dipping sauce, or a sandwich spread too.
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Alabama White BBQ Sauce Chicken
- 4 Chicken breasts bone-in, skin-on
For Chicken Spice Rub
- Dry the chicken: Pat both sides of the chicken breasts dry, with a paper towel.
- Prepare the spice rub: Whisk together the spice rub mixture in a small mixing bowl. Set aside.1 ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder, 1 ½ teaspoon Onion powder, 1 tablespoon Mustard powder, 2 tablespoon Brown sugar, 1 teaspoon Smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon Cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon Sea salt
- Prepare the sauce: In another medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the Alabama white sauce. Keep covered and refrigerated until you are ready to serve.½ cup Mayonnaise, 2 teaspoon Apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon Prepared horseradish, ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder, 2 teaspoon Sugar, Salt and pepper to taste
- Season the chicken: Liberally sprinkle the chicken breasts with the mixed spice rub, on both sides. Rub the spice mix into the chicken with your hands.4 Chicken breasts
- Preheat: Preheat your grill to 425°F, or a grill pan on medium-high heat. Spray the grill or grill pan with cooking spray.
- Grill: Sear the chicken, skin-side down, for approximately 20 minutes on each side. If using a barbecue, you can keep the heat lower on one side of the barbecue, and transfer the chicken breasts to the cooler side to continue cooking. Cook the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F on an instant read thermometer.
- Brush with sauce: Finish the chicken by brushing with the white bbq sauce onto the hot chicken.
- Let the spice rub sit on the chicken for 5-10 minutes. This will allow the spice rub to stick nicely to the chicken, instead of staying dry on top.