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Cornell Chicken Marinade

In 1946, Robert Baker, a University of Pennsylvania masters degree student with an undergraduate degree in pomology, created something unusual to serve at a dinner to be held for the state's governor. Baker, whose goal in life was to encourage people to eat more chicken, devised a tomato-free marinade with which to baste chicken parts as they cooked over charcoal. The dish was much loved by all in attendance; and when Baker moved to Cornell University in 1957, he brought the recipe with him. As Cornell chicken, served at Baker's Chicken Coop booth at the annual New York State Fair in Syracuse, it was a hit for over five decades. Long a favorite of backyard barbecuists throughout New York's Southern Tier, Cornell chicken's primary role is as picnic food at fund-raisers, political rallies and church suppers. Slow-cooked over charcoal, the chicken comes off the grill with a gold glaze and plush meat.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Servings: 8


1 large egg
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups cider vinegar
3 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Beat the egg well in a medium-size bowl. Whisk in all the remaining ingredients. Set aside about a cup of the sauce to use for basting chicken as it cooks.
  2. Place washed and patted-dry chicken parts in a shallow dish and coat them with the remaining sauce. Cover the dish and refrigerate the chicken for 24 hours.
  3. Grill chicken over a charcoal fire, basting frequently.
Recipe photo of Cornell Chicken Marinade

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