Deep down in the heart of Alabama, a legendary sauce was born at Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q. This mayo-based sauce was simply named "Alabama white sauce," and is creamy, tangy with a little punch of heat. The flavor profile perfectly lends itself to smoked or grilled chicken. Given this, we thought we'd give it a sous vide twist.
Cue sous vide chicken quarters. As we already know by now, sous vide chicken is simply unbelievable. It is insanely tender and juicy every time, the definition of perfection.
Then you top it with creamy, zesty sauce, and you've got yourself the perfect flavor profile.
Save yourself a trip to Alabama and make this sauce at home now.
Time and Temperature
Through loads of experimentation, we’ve found that cooking chicken quarters at 74C/165F for 3 hours is the perfect combo. Cooking the chicken for 3 hours results in extremely tender, juicy chicken that Thomas Keller would be proud of. Also, cooking the chicken at 165F ensures that it is fully cooked to the bone. Just make sure you have a reliable sous vide that accurately regulates the temperature of the bath or your results may vary (check out the Anova or Joule). For other time and temperature options, check out our cooking guide here.
Sous Vide Machine – This one is obvious. To cook sous vide, you’re going to need a device to precisely regulate the temperature of the bath water. The two best sous vide machines in the game right now are the Anova Precision Cooker and the Breville Joule. The main difference between the two is that with the Anova you can control the device both manually and with a mobile device, and with the Joule you can only control the device by using your mobile device. Either way, both sous vide machines are top class and you can’t go wrong with either choice.
12-quart Container – Although you can use a basic stockpot for your sous vide cooking needs, I highly recommend buying a large plastic container. They are inexpensive and spacious, so you won’t have to worry about cooking a big roast in a small pot. I recommend a 12 quart Rubbermaid container, as it is BPA free, sturdy, and large enough for just about anything you will be cooking.
Container Lid – If you are going to buy a plastic container, I highly suggest buying a compatible lid for it. When you sous vide for a long duration, the heat of the water causes evaporation. With a lid, it eliminates a majority of the evaporation so you can cook for 72 hours care-free.
Cast Iron Skillet – If you are looking to take your searing game to the next level, we recommend investing in a cast iron skillet. By using a cast iron in this recipe, you’ll achieve a deep sear on the protein. Cast irons are also extremely handy for searing just about any and all sous vide meat. Lodge offers the best quality and price, which is why it is our favorite cast iron brand.
Next Level Sous Vide –Looking to take your sous vide skills to the next level? The Next Level Sous Vide eCookbook will push your culinary boundaries with 65 delicious recipes that are equally approachable and tasty. With pro tips and a detailed explanation of the sous vide process, you will be on your way to maximize your sous vide skills.
Check out our full list of recommended gear here.
Sous Vide Chicken Quarters with Alabama White Sauce
Chicken Quarters and Seasonings
- 2-3 lbs chicken quarters
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
Alabama White Sauce
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoon extra hot horseradish
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
Alabama White Sauce
In a bowl, mix together mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, extra hot horseradish, lemon juice and yellow mustard. Once stirred, add salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and garlic powder and stir again. Put Alabama white sauce in the fridge for an hour to let flavors combine.
Set sous vide machine to 74C/165F.
Place chicken in freezer bag and remove the air through a vacuum sealer or the displacement method. Drop the bag in the bath for three hours.
Remove bag from bath. Take chicken quarters out of the bag, pat dry and season with blend of salt, pepper, cumin, paprika and garlic powder.
Heat a large skillet on high and add oil. Sear for 60 seconds on each side. If you have a grill, preheat on high and sear for 60 seconds on both sides. Remove from pan or grill and place on plate to rest. Serve the chicken quarters with Alabama white sauce and enjoy!
The chicken was great, and flavorful, and the timing of the sous vide cook was spot on - tender juicy meat. The only negative I'd say is that the meat was so well flavored it didn't even need the sauce. The sauce was kind of meh, when compared to the delicious, flavorful chicken.
Alterations I made: I added the seasoning before doing the sous vide, and touched up with a little garlic, salt, pepper, and cumin before searing.
Jason Veselak says
Hi Samantha, glad you had great success with the chicken! The sauce can be a bit polarizing, some love it, some are just average on it. I'm working on changing it up to make it more awesome. 🙂
This is a great recipe and no surprise! This is the 4th recipe I've tried from this site and they've all been awesome. A couple tweaks I made was seasoning before sous vide. Also for the white sauce i substituted Greek yogurt (I think this changes the meal from unhealthy to fairly healthy) and regular horseradish vs extra hot. My wife loved the sauce and I thought it was really good but there could be something to make it a little better (maybe using mayo lol).
We had Cajun roasted potatoes as a side. Any suggestions on other sides that would fit well with this?
Jason Veselak says
Thank you Scott, so glad to hear you've been enjoying the recipes! When I think of Alabama white sauce my mind goes to delicious BBQ joints, so some great pairings could be coleslaw, mac n cheese, potato salad. If you are trying to go a healthier route, I think a nice arugula salad with sliced cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced red onions, and a simple lemon and olive oil dressing would be delicious as well.