Have you ever wanted to sell everything you own and just "take off?" Travel the country's back roads, paddle down a meandering stream, experience breath-taking mountain views, walk among 100-year old trees, and just marvel at America's beauty? That is the dream that my partner, Betsy, and I decided to make a reality. This blog describes our adventure. The food we eat, people we meet, sights we see, and the enjoyment we find in traveling.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Chicken with White Barbecue Sauce

When I first saw a recipe for “white barbecue sauce” my nose wrinkled and the word “gross” came to mind. But this recipe kept popping up on websites and social media and my culinary curiosity would not let it die.

For sure the color of barbecue sauce varies . . . traditional sauces run the spectrum from red, caramel-colored, mahogany, etc . . . but never white! Unless, of course, you are from North Alabama which is where this regional staple hails from. I lived in the south (New Orleans to be exact) for over 15 years and never heard of or were served white barbecue sauce before. Even when I took my “Soups, Stocks, and Sauces” course in culinary school we were not taught about this colorless saucy concoction. How could I be left in the barbecue sauce darkness for so long?

The credit for this concoction goes to Bob Gibson who developed the sauce back in 1925 in Decatur, Alabama. The putty-colored sauce is a tangy, mayonnaise-based creamy goodness that seems to melt effortlessly into grilled chicken. I went from mistakenly labeling this sauce as “gross” to making it every time I grill chicken. (Be mindful that poor chicken does not get much grill time up here in the land of lobster). The basic ingredients for the sauce are mayonnaise, vinegar, salt and pepper. But from there, recipes vary adding lemon juice, creole mustard, garlic, corn syrup, onion powder, and what ever else may be in the southern pantry.

The sauce is super easy and quick to make and keeps well in the refrigerator for a week. The recipe I kept seeing was from world barbecue champion Chris Lilly of Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q restaurant. I tweaked Lilly's recipe to give it a little more kick with horseradish and Sambal. The recipe makes enough for 6-8 pieces of chicken.

Yield: approximately ¾ cup

  • ½ cup mayonnaise 
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Sambal® or Tabasco® 
  • ½ teapoon prepared horseradish
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder 
  • salt and pepper, to taste

In a medium bowl, whisk all ingredients. Serve at room temperature with barbecue chicken.


  1. I have never heard of white barbecue sauce but this one sounds like something hubby would love. Thanks!

    1. It is a different taste for sure but really works with chicken and pork chops.

  2. This sounds yummy, we'll have to give it a try! We also wanted to remind you that there are some great Harvest Hosts locations up in the northeast. If you would like any suggestions on Hosts to visit, just let us know! Cheers!

    Kim & Don Greene
    Harvest Hosts

    1. We will certainly try some of the HH sites here in Maine and just sent information to a prospective farm (Seal Cove Farm) that was interested in joining the program.

  3. If y'all ever pass through Decatur, Al and stay at Point Mallard Campground, you definitely need to stop in at Big Bob Gibson's Bbq which is still in operation. They make the BEST stuffed potatoes you've ever eaten!!

    I am very glad to have discovered your blog tonight.


    1. Welcome to RV-A-GOGO! We already put the restaurant on our list of places to go so the campground tip is much appreciated.


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