Normally, when Larry requests fried chicken, I turn to Ad Hoc at Home and make the delicious but involved buttermilk fried chicken. Yes, it’s work, but it’s so worth it. But this time, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and not only make a different version of fried chicken, but also a weird barbecue sauce to go with it.
I’d never heard of white barbecue sauce, but apparently it’s a thing, originating in Northern Alabama. There’s not a lot to it – just mayo and apple cider vinegar, and a bit of sweetener and spice. It’s very, very vinegar-y. When I gave Larry a taste before dinner, he made a face and said “ugh”. So I didn’t have high hopes.
The chicken is marinated in some of the white barbecue sauce overnight, then triple-coated in flour, milk and egg, and a cornmeal mixture to finish. It’s shallow-fried, not fully submerge, but there’s still a good amount of oil that goes into the pan. It takes quite a while to cook the chicken, but it holds beautifully in a warm oven so it can be made a bit ahead of time.
The chicken is really freaking good. The coating is super crispy and crackly and is even good cold. But what really brought it together was the white barbecue sauce. A bit gets set aside for dipping after the chicken is fried, and that sharply acidic sauce cuts through the rich fried chicken so well. It’s fantastic and will become a part of my regular rotation when I make fried chicken from here on out.
When I ate a piece of cold fried chicken for lunch the next day, Larry admonished me for not having sauce on the side. I think that’s a solid endorsement, from someone who first made a face when tasting the sauce.
Rounding out the meal were rustic, peppery red mashed potatoes and a shredded Brussels sprout salad that was good but not memorable. The recipe for the fried chicken can be found here and potatoes here.
- Cornmeal-Crusted Fried Chicken with White Barbecue Sauce (Fried Chicken: Recipes for the Crispy, Crunchy, Comfort-Food Classic)
- Black Pepper Mashed Potatoes (Milk Bar Life: Recipes & Stories)
- Hashed Brussels Sprouts With Lemon (The New York Times)