Cornell Chicken

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Junior Burger
RE: Cornell Chicken 2005/07/10 16:43:02
As a young boy and the son of a Cornell Professor of forestry, I spent many summers enjoying this chicken which was served at the Arnot Forest. Arnot is Cornell's teaching center and outreach for 4H and other groups learning about forestry, environment and conservation. The recipe was used there for the summer celebrations of the Natural Resources Dept outings. Fred Fontana was the man in charge of the facility and worked closely with students, professors and staff to keep things running. He looked liked Roy Scheider and was very energetic. He ALWAYS was excellent with everyone. He was an innovator: because these events were serving anywhere from fifty to over two hundred people he built pits with cinder blocks and had two old spring bedframes attached on a hinge with hand holds on each end. The chickens(half birds) were on one side and coated with the Cornell recipe. As a matter of fact - he NEVER marinated the chicken in the stuff but would immerse the chicken for a few minutes in the stuff just before putting them on the frame. The 2nd side of the frame would be flipped over on top of the chicken and two people would 'flip the birds'
To the recipe: Fred told me when I was very young(single digits) that the stuff was old crankcase oil. I'm sure he must have laughed his butt off thinking about that and my reaction: "REALLYYYY!!!"

My suggestion is to do what Fred and my mother who adopted the recipe would do. Use Olive oil, substitute some of the vinegar with lemon juice and add as much sage as you use poultry seasoning. This is very good and simple. The olive oil burns more quickly at lower tempurature and the raw egg also seals the meat keeping it moist. This was Fred's method. He had to move quick and did not have time to mess with this.

Also, we would have potato and macaroni salads, corn on the cob, bean salads and several other things. At the time, no alcohol was served at these events. At my home we always had the chicken, rarely had any other meat. Gin and tonics with lots of ice and lime were the de riguer at our cookouts. Beer was more often served. I believe a Riesling or other more tart or fuity wine would go well.

One more thing: my Mom would slice cucumbers into a soup dish and cover with cruched ice, sugar, salt and vinegar and let sit in the refrigerator until cold - at leat 1/2 hour.


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Double Cheeseburger
RE: Cornell Chicken 2007/08/06 16:19:52
if you go to the New York State Fair, The Baker family, (their father invented it), serves their famous Cornell chicken ay Baker's Chicken coop on the Midway, It's been there for 50+ years.
RE: Cornell Chicken 2007/08/14 12:46:03
thanks for the terrific recipe! i have no grill, so i marinated and then cooked the chicken in a crock pot on high for 4 1/2 hours, and it was very flavorful - i can't wait to try it on the boyfriend's grill!
carpetbagger, esq.
Junior Burger
RE: Cornell Chicken 2007/08/14 13:18:08
Does anyone have a good seasoning mix (not poultry seasoning) they use on their homemade Cornell Chicken?

I haven't had it in over a decade (moved to the South for school and stayed down here), but I've been able to get a local bbq joint to offer CCs this Fall as a special - but I have to come up wih the mix. So far, I've done a little research and come up with the following as the basics for a poultry seasoning:

"A commercially available seasoning mixture that typically includes thyme, sage, marjoram, rosemary, black pepper, and nutmeg. The seasoning is used for poultry seasoning and poultry stuffing."

My issue is that since this will be a new thing down here, how close do I keep it to the classic CC? There's part of me that says stick to the old school way, but then I also think if he wants me to provide my own take, I could go in a new direction. One of the thoughts I had was to add some heat. Hot Chicken is pretty popular here in Nashville, and I thought that by adding some heat, it would be somewhat familiar (even though it won't be a fried chicken like you'd get at prince's). Along these lines, I was thinking of maybe swapping out the nutmeg for some cayenne, and also adding some tbd paprika.

Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Cornell Chicken 2007/08/15 09:08:22
I'd try the original recipe and see if it sells. I've never monkeyed w/ it myself..
RE: Cornell Chicken 2007/08/22 12:29:36
I made Cornell Chicken last night. It reminded me exactly of firehouse and church chicken BBQs of my youth in New York State.

I stuck exactly to the recipe from the "perfessor" that was cited at the top of the thread, and didn't deviate a millimeter. I decided on a short marinade of about an hour because the cider is so overpowering. For poultry seasoning, I used a brand called McCormick's, very common. I used a regular egg, not a large egg, and emulsified the egg and oil first in a blender before adding the cider and then the seasonings, pulsing things together with frequent bursts as they went into the glass. It makes plenty.

I frequently turned the chicken with a pair of tongs as it was grilling over a very hot fire, slathering on in the abundant Cornell recipe sauce every time it turned. I made an entire chicken that was cut lengthwise into two halves deboned to a certain extent so the halves would lie flat. The recipe would have accommodated another chicken easily.

In a word: Delicious! Rather than a sweet taste such as BBQ chicken, there is a slight cidery, salty tang to it. The chicken came out very juicy even though it went through some hellish heat, confirming that the recipe seals in the juices.

I'd highly recommend using a meat thermometer so you can gauge the right time for "doneness." Also, if you use chicken halves as I did, beware that at the end of the process the halves tend to tear "in half" where breast meets leg as it gets tender-done.

Leftovers tonight!

Great grilling, everyone. Thanks for the recipe!

Double Cheeseburger
RE: Cornell Chicken 2007/08/22 12:47:08
I've been to a BBQ chicken joint in upstate NY called "Brook's Chicken", it's close to Oneanta (sp)

Excellent chicken...last time I was there I bought a bottle of their marinade....after seeing this thread I realize that it nothing more then the marinade recipes posted here using the raw egg.

I wondered if this was a Brook's I see it's a regional
seafarer john
Filet Mignon
RE: Cornell Chicken 2007/08/22 13:56:30
As we dont ever keep a poultry seasoning mix on hand, we us a a mix of sage . thyme, rosemary, black and white ground pepper in no particular proportions, except to warn that thyme is very strong stuff.

Cheers, John
Junior Burger
RE: Cornell Chicken 2007/09/04 12:40:07
I tried this for Labor Day weekend, instead of a whole chicken I used a dozen wings. Using the original recipe I marinated them about 8 hours and they came out great, I basted them with reserved marinade as I grilled them.

I will do these again, They were incredibly moist and I really loved the tang from the vineagar. Thanks for the thread and the recipe, I really like being able to try the specialities from different regions of the country.
RE: Cornell Chicken 2007/09/17 17:43:18
I am about to cook this but I didn't reserve any marinade. will I be OK? and how long will the chicken take on a gas grill?
Filet Mignon
RE: Cornell Chicken 2007/09/17 17:58:18
Originally posted by Rando

I am about to cook this but I didn't reserve any marinade. will I be OK? and how long will the chicken take on a gas grill?

You really need that marinade to keep brushing on in order for it to taste like it should. Just make up a small batch of it. It is very inexpensive and you will be that that you did this.
the grillman
Double Cheeseburger
RE: Cornell Chicken 2007/09/17 17:58:35
Cornell chicken is great stuff…….I’ve used the recipe many times, and we all love it.
RE: Cornell Chicken 2007/09/17 20:13:43
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Cornell Chicken 2008/05/06 11:52:50
Its that time of year again...white smoke wafts over Homer...We enjoyed our first chicken dinner of the summer from Bob's BBQ north of Homer, NY...Two half birds, one with salt potatoes and Mac salad, the other with potato salad and slaw...awsome!!!
RE: Cornell Chicken 2008/05/14 12:35:58
Well, our first really pleasant evening and I planned ahead for a Cornell Chicken dinner. I had a fresh chicken split in half neck to tail. The marinade recipe above is good for two whole chickens cut this way.

Only change I made to my technique (described in an earlier posting) was to station the marinade pan (glass) right next to the grill. As the chicken grilled, I would periodically take it off and dunk it generously both sides in the Cornell sauce and then gently lift it back on to the grill.

A meat thermometer is a big help, too. Care is needed not to destroy the chicken halves as they are taken off, dunked and regrilled so many times. I used a big BBQ spatula in one hand and a set of tongs in the other.

What a fabulous recipe! The chicken comes out moist, yet crunchy in the right places, mildly salty and vinegary tasting. Wow!

- Rusty
Double Cheeseburger
RE: Cornell Chicken 2008/05/18 14:08:25
I made Cornell Chicken today! What a great recipe! Thanks to all who posted it. Yes, you do have to plan ahead a bit, but it's well worth the effort.
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Cornell Chicken 2008/05/19 09:22:33
Originally posted by will_work_4_bbq

I made Cornell Chicken today! What a great recipe! Thanks to all who posted it. Yes, you do have to plan ahead a bit, but it's well worth the effort.
Welcome to the order of the white smoke...

We went back to Bob's again this weekend for more...
RE: Cornell Chicken 2008/05/19 10:02:05
Raised in Upstate NY- this is the only way I know to grill and eat barbeque chicken! And a note for RustyWolf- use a brush to paint the marinade on the chicken- it is not necessary to dunk the cooking chicken in the marinade....when the grill masters in NY do theirs- the chickens are on huge double sided racks- big versions of the hand held grill racks your folks used to cook burgers and such over a campfire- and they slather on the sauce before they turn each rack- maybe six to eight times during the cooking. And the chickens are soaked in marinade for a full 8-12 hours before they are grilled- that's the secret to a juicy and delicious grilled chicken.
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Cornell Chicken 2008/05/30 14:42:10
I'm planning on grilling this up on Sunday.
We will be marinating 2 cut up chickens from Saturday to Sunday morning, it will be more than 24 hours in:

2 cups cider vinegar
1 cup canola
1 beaten egg
2 tbs salt
1 tbs thyme
2 tsp pepper

I heard the vinegar will not be overwhelming. I'll let you know Monday how it went.
Filet Mignon
RE: Cornell Chicken 2008/05/30 15:22:59
I am wondering why you are chosing to use thyne.........that really is a very strong herb. I always use poultry seasoning or sage. If you really love the flavor of thyme, I suggest you use half thyme and half sage. I have made this recipe for years; in fact, we had it for our meal on Sunday and it was terrific,
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Cornell Chicken 2008/06/02 09:34:00
Hello Greymo,
I love thyme, I've used whole bunches and stuffed them into the cavity of the chicken. I like poultry seasoning but it's so "thanksgiving" to me, thats why I wanted to use thyme.
Well, it was great, but I used italian seasoning mix instead, a little bit of everything. I basted the chicken with the marinade too it was great and tender, the children loved it!
I always wanted a "basting marinade" for BBQ that was not tomato based, this is great and I will use it again. I was hesitant in the past about this recipe because of using the raw egg but after trying it, I realized the egg cooks up,"everyone survived".
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Cornell Chicken 2008/06/02 09:39:35
Here is the italian seasoning mix recipe I use, I love this website, have saved alot of money:
RE: Cornell Chicken 2008/06/04 08:51:02
Here's a spice mix that I recently tried with crockpot Cornell chicken and was very pleased with. Not sure how it would do with BBQ Cornell but might be worth trying:

1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp celery salt
1 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp red cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp onion powder
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