AP-Brined Party Wings with Leroy’s ‘Bama White Sauce

AP Brined Wings with Duke's Mayonnaise and cilantro dip
Photo Credit: Scotty Scott and Rambo Elliot

Jake Wood learned how to hunt, fish, and cook alongside his grandparents. The rustic cooking methods and family recipes inspired him to open Lawrence Barbecue in Durham, North Carolina, where he shares the treasured cooking style with both visitors and staff. In addition to applying the family cooking practices to how the restaurant smokes meats and prepares food, heirloom family recipes also surface as menu items. These smoked wings with an Alabama-style white sauce are styled after a recipe originally developed by Wood’s grandfather.

While almost everything on the menu is made from scratch, one of the few exceptions is Duke’s Mayonnaise, which has been a staple ingredient in Wood’s kitchens for more than ten years. The Alabama-style white sauce Wood’s grandfather made used Duke’s, and Wood’s recipe similarly follows suit. After all, Wood says, “Growing up, it was Duke’s or nothing.”

Made with 10 pounds of chicken wings, this recipe is designed to feed a crowd. Keep it handy for your tailgates or game day get-togethers.

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Serves 10

    Cilantro-Duke’s Dip
  • 2 cups Duke’s Mayonnaise
  • 1 cup roughly chopped cilantro (stems and leaves)
  • 1 teaspoon course ground black pepper
  • 1 lime, optional
  • Wings
  • 10 pounds chicken wings 
  • 2 cups brown sugar 
  • 2 cups smashed garlic clove 
  • 1 cup kosher salt 
  • 1 cup black peppercorn
  • 1/2 cup cumin 
  • Your favorite dry rub or seasoning
  • Apple cider vinegar
  1. Make the cilantro-Duke’s dip: In a small bowl, add all ingredients and mix well. Include lime juice for additional tanginess. Keep in refrigerator until read to use.

  2. Prepare the wings: In a large container, add wings and dry ingredients and cover entirely with cold water. Use a long spoon or spatula to mix well. Cover and let marinate overnight in refrigerator (for at least 12 hours). 

  3. The next day, strain wings, rinsing off any loose bits of brine. Season wings with dry rub or seasoning (we like Chicken Scratch Rub from Southern Soul Barbecue.

  4. Smoke wings at 275 degrees until internal temperature registers 165 degrees. 

  5. Transfer wings from smoker onto sheet tray or large baking dish. Drizzle lightly with apple cider vinegar and toss in more seasoning. Serve alongside cilantro-Duke’s dip. 

  • Recipe By
    Jake Wood of Lawrence Barbecue, Durham, North Carolina
  • Contributing City

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