Alabama-Style Chicken Kebabs

By • May 5, 2013 • 98 Comments

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Author Notes: Maybe you've heard of or make "white" barbecue sauce from Alabama -- it's tart and tangy with mayo and vinegar as its base instead of the more common tomato. I like it a lot and thought I'd put a new twist on it for some chicken kebabs. Instead of the traditional horseradish I substituted sambal oelek for a bigger kick and a little sugar for sweetness. And extra is great as a dipping sauce. inpatskitchen

Food52 Review: WHO: We've been cooking with inpatskitchen for a long time, and this is one of her best recipes yet.
WHAT: Moist, flavorful, addictive kebabs that will put the rest of the backyard barbecue spread to shame.
HOW: Mix up the sauce, fire up the grill, don't forget to baste.
WHY WE LOVE IT: "How is this chicken so moist?" is what you'll ask yourself while you're eating these. And probably, "Why can't I stop?" Don't ask questions, just keep eating. You have the recipe now -- the secrets are yours.
The Editors

Makes 4 kebabs (but there will be enough sauce to do 6 to 8 kebabs)

Sauce

  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sambal oelek (or more if you can handle it..I used two!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, mashed or put through a press
  1. Whisk all ingredients together. Cover and refrigerate. (Sauce can be made well ahead of time.)

Kebabs

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6 to 8 ounces each)
  • Four 12-inch skewers (if using wood, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes to prevent burning)
  • Salt, pepper, and olive oil
  • The sauce
  1. Cut the breast halves into 1 1/2 inch cubes and thread them on the skewers. Season the kebabs with a little salt and pepper and drizzle with a little olive oil. Light your grill to medium heat and oil the grates well.
  2. Reserve 1/2 to 3/4 cup of the sauce for dipping.
  3. Place your kebabs on the grill and start lightly basting and turning until the chicken is done. (Be careful not to burn!) Serve them up with a little of the reserved sauce on the side.
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Comments (98) Questions (1)

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17 days ago Paulette McKenzie

What are you serving with it?

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17 days ago inpatskitchen

Depends on the occasion...usually a spinach salad if it's just the two of us. I like it with rice also.

Food52

29 days ago Manhattan Tart

It's rare that my family goes on and on about so basic a preparation, but they did and this certainly was. I followed the recipe to a T, despite my reservations about the 1/4 cup of sugar; it didn't disappoint. Though I'm frequently guilty of using low-fat mayo, I sucked it up and bought the full-fat kind (and I'm glad I did). That said, my husband said that there were several flare-ups from the fat in the mayo, so mindfulness at the barbeque was a must. I made the full recipe and next time will make much more chicken, as everybody ate substantially more than normal and I would've loved to have had more leftovers for a salad -- and used that fabulous sauce as the dressing! As it was, I used the leftover chicken as a pizza topping with Bermuda onions and a drizzle of the leftover dressing; it was rich and fabulous. Thanks, Inpatskitchen. This is a winner!

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28 days ago inpatskitchen

So happy the whole family enjoyed! I made these for a family BBQ last summer along with some pork kebabs and beef kebabs and the chicken was the first to go and was a hit with all (including the little ones!). And your pizza sounds amazing!

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about 1 month ago Nancy

Let's just say I'm obsessed! The sauce is outstanding. I even just drizzled it over a salad I made with last nights chicken. I used chile garlic sauce instead of sambal oelek, which after googling are essentially the same. I used double amount of the chile and I'm not a super spicy kind of girl, but it gives a nice bite. The sauce makes a ton. I recommend cutting it by half unless you double amount of chicken called for in the recipe. Yum!

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about 1 month ago inpatskitchen

Thanks Nancy! So happy you enjoyed!

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3 months ago Marah Small

Can you substitute the sambal oelek?

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3 months ago inpatskitchen

You can use Sriracha if you can't find the sambal...or are you thinking of something less spicy?

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3 months ago Marah Small

No I love spice. Just don't think I would find sambal oelek.

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3 months ago inpatskitchen

Are you in the US near a large city? I find the sambal in the Asian section of my local Kroger and at Asian markets.

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3 months ago Marah Small

Ironically I live in Alabama. Near Birmingham. I might find it at whole foods or Publix. I was originally thinking the regular spice section..didn't think about the Asian section.

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3 months ago inpatskitchen

Hope you find it!

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3 months ago Stephen Pedersen

Sambal oelek is in most grocery stores in the Asian section. If you can't find it, look for something called Chili Garlic sauce. It's pretty much the same.

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3 months ago Lynne Anstey

My husband has a hate of vinegar - do you think I could substitute lemon juice?

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3 months ago inpatskitchen

You can certainly try it...some Alabama white sauces have both cider vinegar and lemon juice.

Stringio

3 months ago derrell.akins

What is sambal oelek ?

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3 months ago inpatskitchen

It's a ground fresh chili paste normally available in the Asian section of supermarkets or at Asian grocers. Extremely spicy but oh so good!

Stringio

3 months ago lydia.sugarman

This apartment dweller can't grill outside. Thinking you could marinate chicken cutlets in the sauce and either broil or pan grill, then serve w/ reserved sauce.

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3 months ago inpatskitchen

I think that would be fine! Please let me know how it goes!

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9 months ago meganvt01

Amazing recipe pat. Your sauce transforms simple chicken breast into something so special. Thanks for a great meal!

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9 months ago inpatskitchen

Thank YOU megan! So happy you enjoyed!

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11 months ago Anne Sejer

Am I missing a point? Where does the sauce come in, it isn't mentioned in the recipe, is it used as a marinade? The recipe, by the way, sounds totally irresistible!

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11 months ago inpatskitchen

I see what you mean Anne. I meant to say to "start basting with the sauce" that wasn't reserved. Hope this helps.

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11 months ago Anne Sejer

It certainly does, thank you, will be giving it a try tomorrow :-)

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11 months ago inpatskitchen

For some reason I can't edit the recipe. Please let me know how it goes for you!

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11 months ago Lori

I make a similar dish using Yogurt, Red wine vinegar, lemons, garlic and Aleppo Pepper. I will give this recipe a try and see if it is better, but I love the yogurt recipe!

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11 months ago inpatskitchen

Yours sounds wonderful Lori! Welcome to Food52!

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about 1 year ago Bryan

This white sauce is amazing, I cooked over indirect heat for a while on the grill basting several times then flipped up the heat and basted for a few more minutes, great recipe. This white sauce can go on anything. I'm going to use leftovers on salmon tonight to see how it is. I've made a different version of this sauce that used some other (in my opinion unnecessary) ingredients including horseradish on chicken wings, I'll look forward to trying this on wings w/ skin on.

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about 1 year ago inpatskitchen

Thanks Bryan! Salmon and wings sound wonderful! I've used the sauce on shrimp and really like it. Now you've got me wanting to dig the grill out of the snow! Welcome to Food52!

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about 1 year ago thirteenJ

IPK/Detroit/Cleveland!
I keep seeing recipes for cauliflower "wingdings" with Frank's Redhot. I'm gonna try Alabama Style!

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about 1 year ago inpatskitchen

Go for it thirteenJ! And let us know how it turns out!

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almost 2 years ago Julia

This was so yummy! A huge hit at my house! We put some extra sauce on our corn on the cob. :)

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almost 2 years ago inpatskitchen

Thanks so much Julia! I love the idea of the sauce with corn...will try next time!!

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almost 2 years ago LeeLeeBee

LOVED this recipe. We are chile addicts, so we used two tablespoons of sambal oelek, and will probably use three or four next time. The sauce needed a touch more salt - perhaps one teaspoon total. The recipe makes a lot of sauce, and we might just make 2/3 next time.

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almost 2 years ago inpatskitchen

So happy you were happy! Thanks!

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almost 2 years ago sexyLAMBCHOPx

sexyLAMBCHOPx is a trusted home cook.

You must enter your tasty sauce in the Hellman's Mayonnaise Mario Batali contest. Here's the link if you're interested. Made your recipe 2x - delicious! https://apps.facebook.com...

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almost 2 years ago inpatskitchen

I'm so glad you're enjoying! I messaged you re: the contest.

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almost 2 years ago sexyLAMBCHOPx

sexyLAMBCHOPx is a trusted home cook.

I didn't receive your message - not surprised. I haven't received any notifications in about 1 1/2 either. I've emailed the editors over a year ago but no resolution. : (

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almost 2 years ago inpatskitchen

Boy I know how that is! Anyway this contest seems to only allow one to add ingredients to a Batali recipe and doesn't allow any deletions of his ingredients. Any suggestions?

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almost 2 years ago sexyLAMBCHOPx

sexyLAMBCHOPx is a trusted home cook.

Let me look back at the specifics of the contest and let you know.

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almost 2 years ago za'atar

This sauce is fantastic! I tried it on chicken and can't wait to try it out on all kinds of other meat and veggies.

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almost 2 years ago inpatskitchen

I'm so happy you liked this! Thank you so much!

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almost 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Congrats again on being a finalist Pat! We're grilling these tonight. :)

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almost 2 years ago inpatskitchen

Thanks again Emily! Please let me know what you think of them..

Sausage2

almost 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Delicious! We loved it.

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almost 2 years ago inpatskitchen

So happy you enjoyed!

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almost 2 years ago Kukla

Many Congratulations Pat and thanks for adding another great recipe to our arsenal!!!

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almost 2 years ago inpatskitchen

Thanks Kukla! You're so right about the great arsenal of recipes!

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almost 2 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

You and your recipes will always be winners in my kitchen, Pat! Many congrats on your wonderful recipe making it into the finals circle :-)

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almost 2 years ago inpatskitchen

Thanks so much susan! I'm pleased as punch for it making it there!

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almost 2 years ago darksideofthespoon

We're making this again tonight despite the rain. Addictive! Congrats on being a runner up - you're a winner in my heart though ;)

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almost 2 years ago inpatskitchen

Thanks so much darksideofthespoon! I'm so glad you're enjoying this....and thanks for your warm thoughts.

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almost 2 years ago Texas Ex

Add my accolades to your list. Perfect for a weekend barbecue. I've had white sauce before, but this was by far the best.

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almost 2 years ago inpatskitchen

I'm so happy you enjoyed! We had the family over yesterday and they were a hit! Thanks so much!!