Cornell Chicken

It’s Friday and I sit resting from a fun-filled, busy week. I’m melancholy though for as fun as the week was – I have to say goodbye to my daughters as they return back to their homes out of state.

The highlight of the week was the family cookout and the highlight of the cookout was the chicken. You need to make this especially if you have a cookout. It’s moist, delicious, crispy and easy!

The recipe hails from Cornell University and was even written up in the New York Times.

At roadside stands, firefighter fund-raisers and a handful of restaurants, Cornell chicken — also known as Baker’s chicken — reigns supreme. Robert Baker, an animal science professor, brought the recipe with him when he joined the Cornell University faculty in 1957 on a mission to promote chicken consumption. Mr. Baker invented the process for the frozen chicken nugget, which would not become popular for a few more decades. His marinade for barbecued chicken was a more immediate hit.

After a good, long dunk in cider vinegar, oil and poultry seasoning bound together with an egg, half chickens are laid out on screens set over cinderblock barbecue pits filled with hot charcoal briquettes. The result is a bronze-skinned, salty bird that, in the versions I tried, ranged from succulent to as dry as a firefighter’s boot.

Here’s the recipe from Cornell University’s website. (Don’t let the amount of salt scare you, it works like a brine!)

1 C. cooking oil
1 Pint cider vinegar
3 T. salt
1 T. poultry seasoning
1/2 t. pepper
1 egg, beaten*

1 whole cut up chicken fryer

Add oil to beaten egg, beat again. Add other ingredients and stir. Clean and de-skin chicken. Soak chicken in brine overnight. Remove chicken from brine and save brine to baste chicken during entire grilling time.

I use cut up chicken pieces, and grill using indirect heat…it takes about 45 minutes….basting every half hour or so. For the last 15 minutes, put the chicken over direct heat & baste until the skin is crispy.

* Please note that the photo shows two eggs – I doubled the recipe this time. For a whole chicken cutup fryer, use 1 egg as indicated in this recipe.

Printable recipe here.

Happy Weekend! I have to go, I have some hugs to give out….

Sniff. Sniff.

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7 comments on “Cornell Chicken

  1. Sandra on said:

    Great recipe and I feel your pain. 3 of our 5 children live out of state and we don’t get to see them as much as we like. Isn’t it awesome though when they’re all home?

  2. janet@fromcupcakestocaviar on said:

    I’m loving your blog! Your photos are wonderful. And the food looks pretty darn amazing too :-)

  3. sounds very good, but I’m perplexed by instructions. how does the skin get crispy is the chicken has been de-skinned? I took that to mean “remove the skin from the chicken.” Please elaborate.
    Enjoy your blog and photos very much!

    • A Kitchen Muse on said:

      This recipe can go either way – if you choose to leave the skin on, then the skin gets crispy. Otherwise – it’s just as good without the skin and portions of the chicken get crispy. It’s all personal choice.

  4. Pingback: list of crowd-pleasing recipes for summer entertaining | ListPlanIt

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