Cornell Chicken Marinade

Cornell chicken

Another one from rom my brother-in-law, Russell’s friends Doug and Greg at Keuka Lake, NY. Developed in at Cornell University (story below) in nearby Ithaca, this marinade forms a paste that will stick to the chicken and not drip onto the coals causing flames like so many barbecue marinades do. And it was delicious. The recipe didn’t say how much chicken this would cover, but it did say “24 servings”…so enough for 4-6 cut-up chickens. I would personally reduce the salt to 2 Tbs.

In 1946, Robert Baker, a University of Pennsylvania masters degree student with an undergraduate degree in pomology, created something unusual to serve at a dinner to be held for the state’s governor. Baker, whose goal in life was to encourage people to eat more chicken, devised a tomato-free marinade with which to baste chicken parts as they cooked over charcoal. The dish was much loved by all in attendance; and when Baker moved to Cornell University in 1957, he brought the recipe with him. As Cornell chicken, served at Baker’s Chicken Coop booth at the annual New York State Fair in Syracuse, it was a hit for over five decades. Long a favorite of backyard barbecuists throughout New York’s Southern Tier, Cornell chicken’s primary role is as picnic food at fund-raisers, political rallies and church suppers. Slow-cooked over charcoal, the chicken comes off the grill with a gold glaze and plush meat.

Cornell Chicken Marinade

1 egg
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cup cider vinegar
3 Tbs salt
1 Tbs poultry seasoning
1 tsp ground black pepper

Beat the egg well in a medium-size bowl. Whisk in all the remaining ingredients. Set aside about a cup of the sauce to use for basting chicken as it cooks.

Place washed and patted-dry chicken parts in a shallow dish and coat them with the remaining sauce. Cover the dish and refrigerate the chicken for 24 hours.

Grill chicken over a charcoal fire, basting frequently.

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