Created by:

Kirsty Towns — Aiken, SC

Treat yourself to some Southern hospitality with the Birmingham. This sandwich features smoked chicken, fried okra and a special Alabama white BBQ sauce, all topped with Wisconsin monterey jack and American cheese to make you feel right at home.


For BBQ sauce: Combine all sauce ingredients in small bowl. Whisk to combine, cover and keep chilled.

For chicken: In small bowl, combine salt, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder and brown sugar. Thoroughly rub spice mixture over skin of chicken breasts. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare charcoal grill to medium-low heat, 275°F. Sprinkle wood chips (about 1 1/2 cups) over coals, or place chips in vented foil packet if using gas grill. Place chicken, skin side up, on grill. Cover and cook over indirect heat for 20-25 minutes, turn and cook additional 20 minutes. Cover and move chicken to hotter part of the grill for last few minutes of cooking time. Remove when the skin is crispy and juices run clear, total time about 45-55 minutes. Cool; remove bones, skin can remain, and cut chicken into 1/4-inch-thick slices.

Make fried okra: Combine buttermilk and hot sauce in medium bowl; stir in okra. Set aside. In another bowl, combine cornmeal, flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Drain okra slices; add to flour mixture and toss to coat. Pour oil into medium saucepan. Pour enough oil to cover okra pieces; do not fill pan more than halfway up the sides with oil. Heat over medium-high heat to 350°F. Fry okra until crispy and golden, about 3-4 minutes. Remove to paper towels to drain; sprinkle with remaining salt. Keep warm in a low oven.

Assemble sandwiches: Bring grill to medium heat. Baste 1 side of each of the bread slices with melted butter. Spread thin layer of reserved BBQ sauce on other side of slices. Place bread, buttered-side-down, in center of grill rack. Top 2 slices with 1 slice of American and 1 slice monterey jack cheese; these will be the top slices. Cover and grill until cheese is melted and bread is crispy with defined grill marks. Remove bread slices from grill. On each bottom slice add heaping portion of the chicken, drizzle with a generous portion of the BBQ sauce and sprinkle on half of the fried okra. Close with the top halves cheesy side down, slice and serve!

Make sure your grill is clean and well oiled. You may substitute store-bought rotisserie chicken for grilled chicken. Chicken can also be grilled in a grill pan or cast iron skillet on the stovetop.



For Alabama White BBQ Sauce:

  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

For Chicken:

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 bone-in, skin-on, chicken breasts

For Fried Okra:

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 4-5 pieces fresh okra, cut crosswise into
  • 1/4-inch slices
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • Peanut or vegetable oil for frying
  • 4 thick slices country loaf bread
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 slices Wisconsin American Cheese
  • 2 slices Wisconsin Monterey Jack cheese
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