This is not what everyone thinks of when they think of barbecue sauce. It is white, first of all. And it is not sweet. Not everyone likes it, and it doesn’t work well on pork or beef. But it’s very nice on chicken, an American classic, and worth a try if you love barbecue. If you don’t like it on chicken, it’s just fine on coleslaw. Below is the recipe.
In the past decade the Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q, has achieved national fame on the coat tails of the acclaim slathered on Chef Chris Lilly and his Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q competition team. Big Bob Gibson’s now has two locations in Decatur, and the original is now destination dining.
That’s Chris, below, in the red shirt, with his father-in-law, Don McLemore, owner of Big Bob Gibson’s and the son-in-law of Big Bob himself. The photo of the man in the green shirt dipping butterflied chicken into white sauce is Ken Hess, a former team member and pitmaster at Big Bob Gibson’s.
Their BBQ team has won practically every major competition on the circuit. Lilly can be seen doing TV commercials for Kingsford charcoal, and he has been featured on the Today Show, USA Today, in the Wall Street Journal, Martha Stewart Living and numerous other publications. You can even sit at the foot of the master and learn how to make championship barbecue by watching his DVD series.
Big Bob Gibson’s red sauce has been named “Best on the Planet” at the American Royal Open in Kansas City, but their signature Alabama white BBQ sauce for chicken is their most famous because it is unique, although it now has several imitators.
A few years after I wrote this recipe, Lilly published a damn fine cookbook, and there is a white sauce recipe in it. But he is coy. He says “There is now a large number of ‘authentic’ versions of Big Bob’s original secret recipe and cooking method – all different from one another. This is one of my favorites.”
You can bet I immediately made the recipe in his book. Then I cut a chicken cut in half. Half got my recipe half got his book’s recipe, and damned if his wasn’t better. So I went back to the drawing board and blended the two together. I did another tasting, and damned if the new version wasn’t better than both the parents. So I revised my recipe. The new one is pictured above, and the recipe is below.
Serve with: a pale ale.
Published On: 8/5/2012 Last Modified: 4/16/2021
A redneck is driving a back road in Alabama when he sees a pickup parked alongside the road with a grill next to it. A sign says “Chicken Breasts and Beer.”
“Lord Almighty!” He exclaims. “My three favorite things!”
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