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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