Recipe Box: Alabama white BBQ sauce is smoked chicken’s best friend
Beef rules in Texas barbecue, pork ribs is the preferred protein in Memphis and Kansas City, and pork shoulder is a religious deity in the Carolinas. Barbecued chicken, however, gets short shrift (unless you count the gunk on bespoke California pizzas, which you shouldn’t). That is, unless you find yourself in northern Alabama, our nation’s beating heart of smoked chicken culture.
On my only trip to Decatur, Alabama, I made the pilgrimage to where all who visit Decatur must go, no exceptions: the fabled Big Bob Gibson BBQ. It is home to a specific variant of smoked chicken that’s become so influential within barbecue circles, this restaurant alone is credited for spawning an entire regional style. Alabama white barbecue sauce is Big Bob Gibson’s; Big Bob Gibson’s is Alabama white barbecue sauce.
In 1925, Robert Gibson was an employee for a railroad company. Looking for …