Unlike most of America's regional culinary specialties, the origins of the Cornell chicken recipe are undisputed. According to nearly all reports, as well as the college itself, this famous grilled chicken recipe was created by Dr. Robert C. Baker, Professor of Animal Sciences at New York's Cornell University.
They say Dr. Baker was simply trying to invent an easy and delicious way to grill smaller, younger chickens, so that the local chicken farms could sell more birds, sell them sooner, and more affordably. The doc's tasty recipe ended up being such a success that sales in the area soared, and the recipe became a statewide favorite.
While that all makes sense, there was something that just seemed to be a bit odd. I mean, why would a college professor be so unusually motivated to increase chicken sales? Then I thought, what if he had no choice? Maybe I've been watching too many straight-to-cable movies, but what if the real story was much more sinister and diabolical.
What if Dr. Baker just didn't love chickens, but really, really, "loved" chickens? What if someone inside the local poultry industry found out about the professor's "love" and blackmailed him into devoting his life's work to promoting the succulent grilling of their chickens. That's completely insane, you say? Well, is it? Is it? Yes, actually that is ridiculous. Never mind.
Anyway, the results of my Cornell chicken experiment were exceptional. I love this basing sauce. The combination of the egg, oil, and vinegar created a super flavorful, and very moist chicken. I used the original recipe "as is," but as I explain in the video, Dr. Baker's method was intended to be done over a barbecue pit. If you want to see his original plans, you can see them here on the Cornell University website.
I have a bunch of the sauce leftover, so I'm excited to play around with some different variations, so stay tuned for that. I hope you give this a try, since grilling season will soon be in full swing, and you can never have too many ways to do chicken. Enjoy!
2 cups cider vinegar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning