When you talk white barbecue sauce, this may be barbecue heaven … or it’s certainly somewhere close.
This grilling recipe is inspired by the passing of winter, the anticipation of warmer spring weather ahead, and two of my favorite historical icons, Bob Gibson – and Bob Gibson.
One Bob was a physically imposing, statistical strike-out legend and World Series Champion for the St. Louis Cardinals. Towering far above his opponents, he unmercifully hurled 100-mph fastballs toward and past those brave enough to stand in the batter’s box against him. Bob Gibson led a 17-year career culminating with an induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981, and he is forever recognized as one of the most successful baseball players to button up a uniform.
The other Bob Gibson is the 6’4”, 300-pound creator of the original “white barbecue sauce.” As the undisputed grandfather of outdoor cooking in North Alabama, he established a culinary institution that continues to lead the way nearly 90 years after inception. Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q is still the pride of Decatur today, continuing tradition not only in its fourth-generation restaurant, but also on the National Barbecue Circuit, having been crowned “Grand Champion” four times in the last 15 years!
Take a look at what David Olson of abachelorandhisgrill.com does with a tasty IPA, chicken thighs and a white sauce. Good googly moogly!
“With the first pitch upon us and tailgate season officially commencing, this post marries my love of both barbecue and baseball. Slowly bathed in a marinade of golden craft beer, these smoky, peppercorn-encrusted chicken thighs are then barbecued with the essence of charcoal and hardwood until they’ve reached succulent, pull-from-the-bone, tender perfection. Tossed with thick meaty cuts of chopped bacon and lightly drizzled in a creamy white barbecue sauce, more than a quarter pound of roughly shredded chicken is loaded over a bed of tangy homemade coleslaw and topped with crisp pickled cucumbers and sandwiched inside buttery, toasted artisan slider rolls.” — David Olson
Beer-Marinated Smoky Chicken Thigh Sliders with Creamy White Barbecue Sauce
- 3-5 pounds boneless chicken thighs, trimmed
- Dark Beer Marinade (beer, chopped onion, EVO, brown sugar, dijon mustard, S&P to taste)
- Peppercorn and Herb Dry Rub
- 12-16 ounces thick center-cut bacon strips
- Applewood chunks
- Apple-Beer Spray (1/2 cup apple juice, 1/2 cup dark beer)
- White Barbecue Sauce (See below)
- Coleslaw and pickle to garnish
- 1 dozen slider rolls, lightly buttered and toasted
- The evening before grilling: prepare beer marinade and submerge chicken.
- Refrigerate for 8 hours, up to overnight, per instructions above.
- Remove chicken from refrigerator two hours before grilling.
- Roll in a bed of peppercorn and herb dry rub, then cover with plastic wrap and rest at room temperature.
- Prepare White Barbecue Sauce
- Fry bacon in skillet, place on paper towel-lined plate to cool.
- Roughly chop bacon and set aside.
- Preheat grill to 300 degrees F using the 2-zone grilling method (see notes section below) and apply water-soaked apple chunks over the hottest direct-heat grill grates. Once grill is to temperature, place chicken thighs over indirect cooler grates. Rotate chicken and spray intermittently to keep exterior moist. When the chicken’s internal temperature reaches 150 degrees F, turn all burners to max heat and begin to brush on layers of the White Barbecue Sauce until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Remove from grill and tent loosely with tin foil for 10-15 minutes. Using two forks, shred the meat. Toss with White Barbecue Sauce. To plate, place between two toasted buns, over coleslaw and sliced pickles. Serve alongside a cold beer, baked beans and homemade macaroni and cheese.
White Barbecue Sauce
- 1 cup all-natural mayonnaise
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup white distilled vinegar
- 1 tablespoon horseradish
- 2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- 1 teaspoon dried mustard
- Kosher salt and fresh ground peppercorn and cayenne pepper, to taste