Crispy Chicken Thighs with Alabama White Sauce

Because I generally believe that mayonnaise makes the world a better place, I’ve always been a fan of Alabama White Barbecue Sauce. Spicy from horseradish and a dash of hot sauce, the creamy, tangy sauce is so good that I want to drizzle it over everything on my plate. So, consider thinking of it as “salad dressing,” rounding out the meal with grilled vegetables (corn, mushrooms, blistered cherry tomatoes, whatever you’re feeling), and your favorite salad greens (I used a mix of baby spinach and kale). Naturally, your bounty will require another drizzle of sauce.

Crispy Chicken Thighs with Alabama White Sauce 

Serves 4 to 6

For the White Sauce (makes 4 cups): 

  • 2 cups mayonnaise, preferably Duke’s
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped pickled peppers (banana or jalapeno)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons Holy Garlic
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Dash or two hot sauce
  • Pinch cayenne

Combine the ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk until evenly combined. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more heat, acid, salt or pepper as desired.

For the best results, refrigerate the sauce for a couple hours before serving, to allow the flavors to meld. You’ll only need half the sauce for 8 thighs, but it lasts in the fridge for two weeks. And trust me, you’ll be ready for round two (with chicken, pork chops, even spare ribs) in no time.

For the Chicken Thighs:

  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons Super Bird 
  • Salad greens, as desired

Place the thighs in a large mixing bowl, top with Super Bird seasoning and use your hands to toss the chicken until it’s even coated. Set the chicken aside to marinate at room temperature while you prepare the grill.

Prepare the grill for two-zone cooking and build a medium-high fire. Clean and oil the cooking grate. When the coals are glowing red and covered with a fine gray ash, place the thighs over direct heat, skin-side down, close the grill and vent the grill for smoking. Allow the chicken to cook until the skin is golden and nicely charred (the skin should pull away from the grates easily, without sticking), about 4 to 5 minutes. Flip the thighs and rotate them around the heat, if needed for even cooking; close the grill and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes. Move the chicken to the cool side of the grill, close the grill and cook until the thighs reach an internal temperature of 165℉. 

Remove the chicken from heat and allow it to rest 5 minutes. Place your favorite salad greens on a serving platter. Pour half of the white sauce into a mixing bowl. Use tongs to dunk each thigh into the sauce, and then place the thigh on the greens. Repeat with remaining thighs, give the platter and additional drizzle of dressing, if desired. Top with any additional grilled vegetables and serve.

Grill-side banter provided by food writer, cookbook author and grilling enthusiast, Paula Disbrowe.

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