As I have probably mentioned before, Serious Eats is one of my favourite food websites. Their recipes always look delicious and I like their scientific approach to cooking. A couple of weeks ago I noticed a picture of some really amazing looking grilled chicken on the website and after reading the recipe I was intrigued. This specific recipe is called Cornell Chicken and what makes it special is that the chicken is marinated and basted with a white barbecue sauce. Before I read this recipe I didn’t even know that white barbecue sauce existed!
And why is it called Cornell Chicken? Well according to Serious Eats, “in the late 1940s, food scientist and Cornell professor Dr. Bob Baker was asked to develop a new chicken recipe for the then Pennsylvanian governor. He brought this method back to his home of New York, where it’s been used as a means to cook a lot of chicken quickly at Baker’s Chicken Coop at the New York State Fair for over half a century.”
Since this chicken looked so delicious and had such great reviews, I thought it would be the perfect thing to make for Father’s Day. Although the recipe calls for a whole chicken, quartered, I didn’t see any at the grocery store, so I ended up just picking up some chicken drumsticks and using those instead, so I’m amending the Serious Eats recipe a little to account for that.
Cornell Chicken Drumsticks
– 1 egg
– 1 cup vegetable oil
– 2 cups cider vinegar
– 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
– 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
– 2 teaspoons dried sage
– 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
– 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
– 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
– 2 chickens (3 1/2 to 4 pounds each), cut into quarters
1. Place egg in blender and pulse until beaten. With motor running, slowly pour in oil, a thick emulsion should form. Add in vinegar, salt, pepper, sage, thyme, marjoram, and rosemary and puree until combined.
2. Using a pairing knife, cut a few small slits in skin of each piece of chicken. Transfer chicken to a large resealable bag and pour in all but 1 cup of sauce. Place in refrigerator and let sit for 3 hours, up to overnight.
3. Turn your BBQ to medium-high. Cook the drumsticks on indirect heat, turning and basting with reserved sauce every 5-10 minutes. It should take about 30 minutes to cook the drumsticks through and crisp up the skin, but it’s best to test with an instant read thermometer.
4. Transfer the chicken to a plate, let it sit for about 10 minutes and serve immediately!
The chicken was wonderful! The white BBQ sauce gave the chicken a wonderful tangy flavour and also made it so moist. At the same time, the skin was wonderfully crispy. I was very pleased with how the chicken turned out and I think I’d like to try the original recipe with the whole, quartered chicken, just to see how that would turn out.