How to Make Alabama White Sauce

How to Make Alabama White Sauce

  • Duration

    4 hours

  • Serves

    4
Chef’s notes

I made a whole mess of these fried beauties at a fundraising dinner last fall, and they did not disappoint. It was a fun scene watching the group of upland hunters wrangle the whole-fried quail, dripping with the Alabama white sauce and at the same time trying to manage a cold drink. It made for perfect party fare and is an excellent addition to any barbecue or potluck-style meal.

Brining in pickle juice is a killer way to tenderize and add great flavor to the game birds before taking an extended bath in seasoned buttermilk. The Alabama white sauce is, of course, not native to my Midwest stomping grounds. Still, the tangy combination of mayo and apple cider vinegar is a welcomed variation from the more traditional style of BBQ sauce. The folks down South got it pegged on this one, and I promise, after trying the sauce, you'll always want a jar on hand.

alabama white sauce

Ingredients

  • 8 to 10 quail, plucked and trimmed
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • 1 qt. whole-fat buttermilk
  • 2 cups dill pickle juice
  • Lousiana hot sauce
  • Homemade cajun spice
  • Canola oil for frying

Cajun Spice

  • 2 tbsp. ground chili (cayenne, chipotle, or Arbol)
  • 2 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp. cracked black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. dry thyme
  • 2 tbsp. dry oregano
  • 2 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp. onion powder
  • 2 tbsp. smoked paprika

Alabama White Sauce

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. stone-ground or dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. creamy horseradish
  • 2 tbsp. Louisiana hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp. Worchestershire sauce
  • 1½ tsp. garlic powder
  • 1½ tsp. cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt

Also works with

Any small gamebird

Preparation

  1. Trim and pluck the quail. Firmly press down on the breast bone and flatten. Flattening the bird will help it fry evenly and hold its form during the frying process.
  2. Put the quail in a large Ziploc bag. Pour the pickle juice into the bag and remove as much air as possible. Place the quail in the refrigerator to marinate for at least an hour and up to two, flipping halfway through.
  3. While the quail is in the brine, make the Alabama white sauce. Combine all of the ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk until combined. Pour the sauce into a jar and place it in the refrigerator.
  4. After 1 to 2 hours, remove the quail from the pickle brine. In a large container, pour in the quart of whole fat buttermilk and season with salt, pepper, and a heavy dash of Louisiana hot sauce. Put the quail in the buttermilk and press down to ensure they are covered. Allow the quail to marinate in the buttermilk for at least two hours or overnight.
  5. While the quail is taking its buttermilk bath, prepare the breading. Mix the flour, cornstarch, and cajun spice mix. Add the flour mixture to a large brown paper bag.
  6. Remove the quail from the buttermilk, one at a time, pouring off any excess juices, and add them to the brown paper bag with the flour. Shake the daylights out of the bag. Remove the quail and add them to a sheet tray lightly coated with the flour mix. Let them sit in the refrigerator for thirty minutes to an hour.
  7. Pull the quail and toss them a second time in the seasoned flour mix. A second toss in the breading will give you an extra crispy and evenly-fried finished product.
  8. Pour about three inches of canola oil into a dutch oven. Heat the oil to 340ºF. Fry the quail in two batches for about five minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160ºF. Make sure to maintain the oil temperature so it doesn't fall below 325ºF or go above 350ºF. Test the temperature of the meat by inserting a thermometer into the center of the bird's cavity. Let the quail rest for ten minutes and serve with the Alabama white sauce.
Chef’s notes

I made a whole mess of these fried beauties at a fundraising dinner last fall, and they did not disappoint. It was a fun scene watching the group of upland hunters wrangle the whole-fried quail, dripping with the Alabama white sauce and at the same time trying to manage a cold drink. It made for perfect party fare and is an excellent addition to any barbecue or potluck-style meal.

Brining in pickle juice is a killer way to tenderize and add great flavor to the game birds before taking an extended bath in seasoned buttermilk. The Alabama white sauce is, of course, not native to my Midwest stomping grounds. Still, the tangy combination of mayo and apple cider vinegar is a welcomed variation from the more traditional style of BBQ sauce. The folks down South got it pegged on this one, and I promise, after trying the sauce, you'll always want a jar on hand.

alabama white sauce

Ingredients

  • 8 to 10 quail, plucked and trimmed
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • 1 qt. whole-fat buttermilk
  • 2 cups dill pickle juice
  • Lousiana hot sauce
  • Homemade cajun spice
  • Canola oil for frying

Cajun Spice

  • 2 tbsp. ground chili (cayenne, chipotle, or Arbol)
  • 2 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp. cracked black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. dry thyme
  • 2 tbsp. dry oregano
  • 2 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp. onion powder
  • 2 tbsp. smoked paprika

Alabama White Sauce

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. stone-ground or dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. creamy horseradish
  • 2 tbsp. Louisiana hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp. Worchestershire sauce
  • 1½ tsp. garlic powder
  • 1½ tsp. cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt

Also works with

Any small gamebird

Preparation

  1. Trim and pluck the quail. Firmly press down on the breast bone and flatten. Flattening the bird will help it fry evenly and hold its form during the frying process.
  2. Put the quail in a large Ziploc bag. Pour the pickle juice into the bag and remove as much air as possible. Place the quail in the refrigerator to marinate for at least an hour and up to two, flipping halfway through.
  3. While the quail is in the brine, make the Alabama white sauce. Combine all of the ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk until combined. Pour the sauce into a jar and place it in the refrigerator.
  4. After 1 to 2 hours, remove the quail from the pickle brine. In a large container, pour in the quart of whole fat buttermilk and season with salt, pepper, and a heavy dash of Louisiana hot sauce. Put the quail in the buttermilk and press down to ensure they are covered. Allow the quail to marinate in the buttermilk for at least two hours or overnight.
  5. While the quail is taking its buttermilk bath, prepare the breading. Mix the flour, cornstarch, and cajun spice mix. Add the flour mixture to a large brown paper bag.
  6. Remove the quail from the buttermilk, one at a time, pouring off any excess juices, and add them to the brown paper bag with the flour. Shake the daylights out of the bag. Remove the quail and add them to a sheet tray lightly coated with the flour mix. Let them sit in the refrigerator for thirty minutes to an hour.
  7. Pull the quail and toss them a second time in the seasoned flour mix. A second toss in the breading will give you an extra crispy and evenly-fried finished product.
  8. Pour about three inches of canola oil into a dutch oven. Heat the oil to 340ºF. Fry the quail in two batches for about five minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160ºF. Make sure to maintain the oil temperature so it doesn't fall below 325ºF or go above 350ºF. Test the temperature of the meat by inserting a thermometer into the center of the bird's cavity. Let the quail rest for ten minutes and serve with the Alabama white sauce.

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Save this recipe

How to Make Alabama White Sauce

Recipe by: Lukas Leaf
How to Make Alabama White Sauce
  • Duration

    4 hours

  • Serves

    4
Chef’s notes

I made a whole mess of these fried beauties at a fundraising dinner last fall, and they did not disappoint. It was a fun scene watching the group of upland hunters wrangle the whole-fried quail, dripping with the Alabama white sauce and at the same time trying to manage a cold drink. It made for perfect party fare and is an excellent addition to any barbecue or potluck-style meal.

Brining in pickle juice is a killer way to tenderize and add great flavor to the game birds before taking an extended bath in seasoned buttermilk. The Alabama white sauce is, of course, not native to my Midwest stomping grounds. Still, the tangy combination of mayo and apple cider vinegar is a welcomed variation from the more traditional style of BBQ sauce. The folks down South got it pegged on this one, and I promise, after trying the sauce, you'll always want a jar on hand.

alabama white sauce

Ingredients

  • 8 to 10 quail, plucked and trimmed
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • 1 qt. whole-fat buttermilk
  • 2 cups dill pickle juice
  • Lousiana hot sauce
  • Homemade cajun spice
  • Canola oil for frying

Cajun Spice

  • 2 tbsp. ground chili (cayenne, chipotle, or Arbol)
  • 2 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp. cracked black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. dry thyme
  • 2 tbsp. dry oregano
  • 2 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp. onion powder
  • 2 tbsp. smoked paprika

Alabama White Sauce

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. stone-ground or dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. creamy horseradish
  • 2 tbsp. Louisiana hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp. Worchestershire sauce
  • 1½ tsp. garlic powder
  • 1½ tsp. cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt

Also works with

Any small gamebird

Preparation

  1. Trim and pluck the quail. Firmly press down on the breast bone and flatten. Flattening the bird will help it fry evenly and hold its form during the frying process.
  2. Put the quail in a large Ziploc bag. Pour the pickle juice into the bag and remove as much air as possible. Place the quail in the refrigerator to marinate for at least an hour and up to two, flipping halfway through.
  3. While the quail is in the brine, make the Alabama white sauce. Combine all of the ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk until combined. Pour the sauce into a jar and place it in the refrigerator.
  4. After 1 to 2 hours, remove the quail from the pickle brine. In a large container, pour in the quart of whole fat buttermilk and season with salt, pepper, and a heavy dash of Louisiana hot sauce. Put the quail in the buttermilk and press down to ensure they are covered. Allow the quail to marinate in the buttermilk for at least two hours or overnight.
  5. While the quail is taking its buttermilk bath, prepare the breading. Mix the flour, cornstarch, and cajun spice mix. Add the flour mixture to a large brown paper bag.
  6. Remove the quail from the buttermilk, one at a time, pouring off any excess juices, and add them to the brown paper bag with the flour. Shake the daylights out of the bag. Remove the quail and add them to a sheet tray lightly coated with the flour mix. Let them sit in the refrigerator for thirty minutes to an hour.
  7. Pull the quail and toss them a second time in the seasoned flour mix. A second toss in the breading will give you an extra crispy and evenly-fried finished product.
  8. Pour about three inches of canola oil into a dutch oven. Heat the oil to 340ºF. Fry the quail in two batches for about five minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160ºF. Make sure to maintain the oil temperature so it doesn't fall below 325ºF or go above 350ºF. Test the temperature of the meat by inserting a thermometer into the center of the bird's cavity. Let the quail rest for ten minutes and serve with the Alabama white sauce.