Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Bar-B-Q Chicken with White Sauce

One of the best ways to rid your mind of prejudice and stereotypes is to make the foreign into the familiar. I'll confess: white barbecue sauce made from mayonnaise sounds pretty gross to me. But I trust that the good people of Alabama don't eat it simply to make the rest of us cringe. Even if it's an acquired taste, it must be popular for a reason. I decided it was time to expand my BBQ horizons. 

This was my second recipe in as many days from Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book. 

On the heels of a study confirming the benefits of eating organic meat, I bought an organic chicken and spatchcocked it. That's to say that using kitchen scissors I cut along either side of the spine and opened the bird up and laid it out pressing on the sternum until it pops and flattens out.
By the way I had started off cooking at a high temp in order to burn off a little crud on the inside of my Big Green Egg then I choked it back down for this cook. Any time you go from high temps to low, it's always good to "burb" the lid before opening it all the way. I forgot this valuable nugget and gave myself grill knuckles. Better than grill eyebrows, right?
Another reason for letting it get really hot is I had my other spatchcocked chicken in the back of my mind. It was the very first thing I cooked on my Big Green Egg almost 3 years ago to the day. It's funny to see how--uh, green--I was on the Big Green Egg. First of all it seems silly that I put foil down to protect my platesetter, which now sports the drippings from dozens (hundreds?) of other cooks. Second I recall that the coals weren't fully going, so the chicken was marred with that too-heavy smoky flavor. I wanted to make sure this fire was burning clean.

After sprinkling the chicken with salt I put it on the Big Green Egg indirect (using a platesetter) at 350f. Then I got to work on the sauce. Here's what went into it:
  • Mayonnaise
  • Apple juice
  • White vinegar
  • Horseradish
  • Lemon juice
  • Black Pepper
  • Salt
  • Cayenne Pepper
Mixing it up with a spoon didn't do much to change my preconceived notions.

Using a whisk I was feeling a little better about it. The sauce was no longer chunky.

After an hour of cooking skin-side up I brushed both sides with olive oil and sprinkled the cavity side with fresh-ground pepper.I flipped the chicken over and cooked it for another hour.

The recipe then calls for you to dip the bird into the sauce. I didn't have a container that would let me do that very easily so I quartered the chicken and then dunked it and served it up hot.

I gotta say. This white sauce is alright! The vinegar tang to it makes you realize that it's certainly kin to the eastern North Carolina sauce I typically favor. The sauce is thin and didn't really stick to the chicken very well. It ran right off onto the plate. I found myself spooning it on and wiping morsels through it. My wife and I both really liked it and the chicken was tender and moist and really good. Makes me realize I don't cook bone-in chicken often enough. Going indirect and taking your time with it really pays off too. Alabama? I like your sauce.

1 comment:

  1. It is a thin sauce but delicious. I actually like to dip or baste it with the sauce earlier in the cook and then again as directed at the end. Some of it cooks on that way.