Alabama Chicken Sandwiches


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A whole chicken cooked to shredded tender goodness in the crockpot and a homemade white sauce makes delicious Alabama Chicken Sandwiches your family is sure to love. Serve these for dinner, at a potluck, or on the next big game day.

Are you looking for another state-iconic recipe to try? You’ll also love these Slow Cooker Ohio Chicken Sandwiches. See why Ohioans rave about this being one of their most classic meals!

Alabama sauce being poured over a chicken sandwich.

What is an Alabama Chicken Sandwich?

An Alabama chicken sandwich takes flavorful shredded chicken and pairs it with a homemade white sauce. This unique white bbq sauce recipe is typically made with a mayonnaise base and various pantry staple seasonings. For the Alabama native, the chicken and white barbecue sauce are served on a toasted and buttered bun with pickles.

Recipe Ingredients

ingredients for alabama chicken sandwiches on a table.
  • Chicken: A whole chicken is cooked in the slow cooker until it is shred-ready.
  • For Cooking the Chicken: Butter (melted), Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, salt, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, and the onion cut into rings are used for cooking the chicken.
  • For the Alabama Barbecue Sauce: Mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, creamed horseradish, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. 
  • Buns: For serving.

Step-by-Step Directions

4 images showing how to make a whole chicken for alabama sanwiches in the crockpot.

Step One – Place the whole chicken into the crock pot.

Step Two – Drizzle over the melted butter, Worcestershire sauce, and liquid smoke.

Step Three – Sprinkle over the salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika.

Step Four – Add the onion rings on top. Cook on LOW for 7-8 hours.

4 images showing how to make alabama sauce and shredded chicken sandwiches.

Step Five – In a medium bowl, add the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, creamed horseradish, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. Mix with a spoon until smooth. (Set aside or refrigerate until you’re ready to use it.)

Step Six – Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and place it on a baking tray.

Step Seven – Pick apart the chicken into small shredded pieces and place them back in the crockpot.

Step Eight – Serve the shredded chicken on a toasted bun with a generous drizzle of Alabama barbecue sauce.

alabama chicken sandwich on a plate.

How to serve

  • As mentioned above, the traditional way of serving this chicken sandwich is on a toasted bun, topped with a nice helping of Alabama white sauce, then topped with pickles.
  • You can also top the chicken sandwiches with other toppings of your choice, such as onions, tomatoes, jalapenos, and the like.
  • You can also make Alabama Chicken Wraps; pile the meat on warmed flour tortillas along with shredded romaine, diced tomato, and shredded cheddar cheese.
  • Regarding sides, crinkled French fries, cole slaw, or your favorite chips are great meal options.
assembled alabama chicken sandwich with slow cooker in background.

Recipe FAQs

What is the best way to store Alabama white barbecue sauce?

Once you’ve mixed it, one of the best ways to store it is in a mason jar. Then, you can keep it in the fridge and use what you need when you need it.

How do I make a milder version of the white sauce?

If you want a less spicy sauce, you can cut the cayenne pepper and horseradish measurements in half. You can always add more should you want a spicier flavor.

How do I store the leftover chicken?

Add any shredded chicken into an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Can I use boneless skinless chicken breasts for this recipe?

Yes, chicken breast works fine; however, the idea is to use a combination of light and dark meat from the chicken, as well as yield a generous serving size for the sandwiches.

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close up of made alabama chicken sandwich.

Alabama Chicken Sandwiches

5 from 7 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 8
A whole chicken cooked with plenty of seasonings, onion and liquid smoke that is turned into chicken sandwiches and topped with a homemade Alabama barbecue sauce.

Ingredients 
 

For the Chicken

  • 5-6 lb. whole chicken
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. liquid smoke
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • 1 sweet yellow onion, cut into rings

Alabama Barbecue Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp. creamed horseradish
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper

For serving

  • sesame seed buns

Instructions 

  • Add your clean chicken to the slow cooker, being sure that you removed anything that is on the inside and discard.
  • Drizzle over the melted butter, Worcestershire sauce, and liquid smoke.
  • Sprinkle over the salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and paprika.
  • Add the onion rings on top.
  • Cook on LOW for 7-8 hours. You want the chicken falling off the bone.
  • Before the day gets away from you, make the Alabama barbecue sauce. In a small bowl (or a pint jar) add the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, creamed horseradish, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Mix with a spoon or whisk until smooth. Place in the fridge until ready to serve.
  • When the cooking time is up, remove the chicken onto a sheet pan that has a lip, or a baking dish. Remove the drippings from the slow cooker, saving them aside. The onions you can add back into the slow cooker for serving (or discard them if you have people who hate onions).
  • Let the chicken cool for about 15 minutes, enough where you can handle it.
  • With clean hands remove all the meat off the chicken, being EXTRA careful to remove any bones. Doing this with your hands will ensure that. Pick apart the chicken into small shredded pieces and place back in the crockpot. Do not add any fatty pieces or skin into the crockpot.
  • Add about 2-3 tablespoons of the drippings back into the chicken in the crockpot.
  • Serve the shredded chicken and onions on buns topped with the Alabama barbecue sauce. This is a great recipe to serve "buffet" style.

Video

Notes

  • If you want a less spicy sauce, you can cut the cayenne pepper and horseradish measurements in half. You can always add more should you want a spicier flavor.
  • Add any shredded chicken into an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • Nutritional values do not include buns.

Nutrition

Calories: 611kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 53g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 18g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 177mg | Sodium: 955mg | Potassium: 453mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 490IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition info is auto-generated. This information is an estimate; if you are on a special diet, please use your own calculations.

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5 Comments

  1. Kelly says:

    5 stars
    This was AMAZING. The only change I made was using chicken breast as that’s what I had in (and obviously adjusted the cooking time accordingly). So so flavourful and easy. The sauce is incredible!

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      We LOVE this meal too and I am so glad you tried it.

  2. Barbara says:

    Mmmm! When I read about using different toppings, I wondered if coleslaw would work. I had a barbecued pork sandwich topped with coleslaw when we were traveling through the South. That was yummy!

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      That sounds great actually!

      1. Sherry says:

        5 stars
        It is fantastic, especially if you use red slaw with a shot of tobasco!