One day, long ago, I was told that someone “is bringing over some barbecued chicken from Decatur. It’s the best.” About an hour later, two barbecued chickens arrived with little containers of white sauce. Being the young naive person that I was (probably still am I guess), barbecue sauce from a barbecue joint, to me, was red–thick or thin. My views would change after that day. “Pour it over your chicken or dip a piece into it, either way you have to eat the chicken with the sauce,” I was told. My pinky finger went immediately into the container to see just how good this sauce really was. Slightly sweet, tangy, and creamy. The perfect balance of flavors. Heh, like those were the words that entered my mind. No, I was thinking “Damn, this $#!@ is good!” To keep from slugging down white sauce shooters, I quickly dumped it on my chicken. The chicken alone was great–tender, juicy, and smoky. Along with the sauce, I agreed with everyone else who told me that this was some of the best barbecued chicken they ever tried. Big Bob Gibson’s Barbecue in Decatur, Alabama. I never got around to trying their ribs as I look back. The chicken was just too damn good.
Those were the days. Anyway, I’ve been blessed to have a local parrilla take-out joint that offers a killer white sauce for their own barbecued chicken. While Big Bob Gibson’s is vinegary and mildly sweet, Pom Pom’s sauce is quite tart and lemony with the inclusion of tarragon. Granted their chicken doesn’t hold a candle to ‘ol Big Bob Gibson’s but no 30 minute drive each way is needed to grab a good bird or two. The sauce and chicken pair well but on some occasions the breast meat can be a bit dry. Nonetheless the place is great for a quick barbecue fix when you don’t want the hassle, nor have the time, to build up a fire on the parrilla.
Want to give these sauces a try? Good. No need to baste or marinate with them, just season the chicken with salt and pepper and when ready to serve, dump the sauce liberally all over. But don’t pour all of it, make sure to set some aside as a dipping sauce.
Various versions of Big Bob’s recipe can be found all over the place. I’ve tried many of them and they work great. Problem is, I tried them after I moved out of Alabama and can’t really compare which one is closer to the original.
Here’s a great one that I like: Big Bob Gibson’s White Barbecue Sauce
As for Pom Pom, they won’t give me the recipe but I’ve been trying to nail it down. I’m getting close, and what I’ve brewed up so far works wonders.
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup Freshly squeezed lemon juice*
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoon tarragon
*If you don’t want it as sour, add 4 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 tablespoon water
Stir mayonnaise until creamy. Slowly add lemon juice while mixing to prevent mayo lumps. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Let stand in the refrigerator for 1 hour then stir mixture before using.
Since each of the above sauces each have their own great properties (the tarragon really works wonders), I’ve mashed up the two in order create my own version. I’m still playing with it so I’ll be sure to update this page when that happens.
Asado Argentina’s White Barbecue Sauce
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoon water
2 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoon tarragon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Mix all of the ingredients together and allow to rest for at least one hour in the refrigerator.