RE: Roadside Chicken BBQ
Ah yes, the famous Cornell bar-b-que sauce. Most likely it was the creation of Prof.Robert Baker. He originally devised this sauce as a way to help poultry producers sell more product. He was more or less the pioneer of the concept of a 1/2 chicken with a weight not to exceed 22 oz or so and cooked over a charcoal fire on wire racks placed 26" (important distance) above the base of the fire.The sauce enhanced the flavor of the chicken and the oil aided in the cooking. Prior to this most chickens produced were larger (and thus older) with the methods of cooking either roasting whole or cutting in to various parts (i.e. breast, drumstuck, thigh, etc) for frying. The concept of the lighter bird for bbq meant a younger bird which, in turn, allowed the poultry producer to raise more flocks of birds each year, thus increasing his business.
The sauce is actually very simple consisting of cider vinegar, cooking oil, salt, pepper, poultry seasoning (Bells being the preferred brand)with eggs as a binder (eggs being optional). The 1/2's are marinated prior to being placed on the racks and then are basted frequently during cooking. Each rack is tunred 5 or more times during the aprox. 60 minute cooking period. If you've never had chicken done this way, you are really missing something great!
I originally learned to do this at a church fall fair in the early 60's. Some years we would cook over 1000 chicken halves.
Later as an undergraduate at Cornell, I got to know Prof. Baker. I never took a course from him, but, like most of the faculty at the NYS College of Agr (now NYS College of Agr. and Life Sciences) at Cornell, he was a genuine nice guy.
The recipe is available thru a Cornell Extension bulletin.
Brooks House of BBQ near Oneonta, NY does their bbq chicken in the "Cornell style".
And I would be remiss if didn't wish good luck to the Big Red hockey team at the Frozen Four this coming Thursday at Buffalo.
GO BIG RED!!