From Backyard BBQ To Sauce-ation

It all started with a dilemma in the mid-1920’s.  An Alabama railroad man and pitmaster “Big” Bob Gibson (nicknamed so for his over 6 foot and 300-pound stature) found that his North Carolina-style bbq sauce worked well with his pork shoulders, but after 3 hours in the pit whole chickens began to dry out.  He needed something to lock in the moisture.

The answer was mayonnaise.

Gibson modified his beloved tomato vinegar-based bbq sauce with mayonnaise instead. It succeeded in keeping the chicken moist, it gave the meat a new “peppery, vinegary flavor”.

Armed with two trademark sauces (The Carolinian and white sauce), Gibson grew his operation from a hand-dug pit in his backyard to his first restaurant in Decatur, Alabama in 1925. Soon after, the popularity of his Alabama white sauce skyrocketed and made it’s way to New York, Chicago, Europe and of course, Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen.

At Lucky’s, we know and love our own signature Voodoo Sauce. But once a year on our Winter’s Hearth menu, we feature a version of the Alabama BBQ sauce on our Alabama Chicken Bread.  As one of the most popular seasonal features, we wanted to share the recipe that has been the secret to our sauce-cess.


  • 3 cups heavy Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup White Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh Garlic
  • 1/8 cup Coarse Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/8 cup Boetje Mustard
  • 2 tsp Granulated Sugar
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Prepared Horseradish

In a storage container, combine all ingredients, whisking together well. Refrigerate. Makes: 30 fl oz

Alabama Chicken Bread

North Alabama Chicken Bread

  • 3 fl oz White BBQ Sauce
  • 1 small loaf Ciabatta Bread
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 8 oz pulled Roasted Chicken
  • 6 oz grated Pepper Jack Cheese
  • 4 oz sliced Cremini Mushrooms
  • 1 fl oz White BBQ Sauce
  • 2 fl oz Pickled Onions

Cut ciabatta loaf in half lengthwise. Place in a hot saute pan or on griddle and flatten with a spatula. Spread 1 1⁄2 ounces of White BBQ Sauce on each piece of ciabatta. Top with pulled chicken and salt & pepper to taste. Layer cheese and mushrooms on top of chicken. Bake in moderate oven until cheese is browned and the center is hot. Remove from oven and drizzle each piece with 1/2 fluid ounce of White BBQ Sauce. Cut each piece in thirds and arrange on plate with a side of Pickled Onions. Makes – 2 serving

Disclaimer: All our recipes were originally designed for much larger batch size. This recipe has been reduced – but not tested at this scale. Please adjust as to your taste and portion size.

© 1989-2020. This recipe is the property of Quaintance-Weaver Restaurants, LLC. Unauthorized commercial use is forbidden.

For more about our seasonal recipes, see our current menu at Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen and our Blog Recipe Index. 

Learn more about “Big” Bob Gibson and the original white sauce at:

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