For years and years I lived in a tiny house the size of a seaside cottage with no dining room and a kitchen and living room so small there was no way to put a table in either one. Alright, that's not strictly true. For awhile we had a table in the living room but then there wasn't room for anything else so the table went.
In winter anyone coming over for dinner had to sit with a dinner plate perched on their lap. Not very satisfying. But in summer we moved the show outside where there was enough room for a table, and when we cooked dinner on the grill, more often than not, this is what was served.
I have been making chicken this way since sometime in 1978 when my first husband, who grew up in Tompkins County, New York not too far away from Cornell University, introduced me to it. It's a completely delicious chicken, smoky and vinegary, and I love that this recipe only requires the most basic of ingredients, and has so few ingredients that the recipe is easily memorized.
The recipe comes from a poultry science professor at Cornell who developed it in the late 1940s in an effort to encourage chicken consumption. (It was originally published in a Cornell Cooperative Extension Program Information Bulletin which you can see here,)
This makes enough to marinate and baste 10 pounds of chicken. I'm usually cooking in smaller amounts and half everything but the egg.
Cornell Chicken Barbecue Sauce
1 cup of oil (I use canola oil)
2 cups of cider vinegar
3 tablespoons of salt
1 tablespoon of poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1. Put everything in a blender and blend.
2. Pour the sauce over the chicken and marinate. I usually marinate a couple of hours before I start cooking but others marinate for up to 24 hours.
3. Remove the chicken and grill it, basting every 5 or 10 minutes with the sauce you marinated the chicken in.
Notes: I know nothing about gas grills but if you're grilling it over charcoal, keep the briquets on one side of the grill. Start the chicken on this side and brown on both sides, then move to the other side of the grill to finish it. Keep the cover on the grill while cooking it. I cook it until the internal temp is 165.
Chicken thighs are my favorite parts to grill. Far more forgiving, far cheaper, and far more flavor than chicken breasts.