Thursday, May 25, 2017

Harry's BBQ Chicken

Harry's BBQ Chicken

Who’s Harry? That’s what I asked, when our friend Craig shared this recipe with us.

My husband and his buddy Craig attended college together in upstate New York and their house cook was – you guessed it, Harry. Every year Harry would make this chicken for the annual BBQ and being the sleuth that Craig is, he got Harry to share his recipe, for which we are all grateful.

After doing a little sleuthing on my own, I discovered a recipe called Cornell Chicken.  Just so happens, Cornell is their Alma Mater, which stirred my curiosity. The interesting part is that neither one of them had heard of Cornell Chicken prior to this find. They must have been too busy studying. A couple of hungry college kids getting fed by Harry = Harry’s Chicken and I’m sure that Harry never mentioned it otherwise.

The sauces and cooking methods are almost identical, with just a slight difference. Harry used white vinegar and the Cornell Chicken uses cider, both cooked over a low slow fire, basting 3 or 4 times over the course of about 50 minutes to an hour. This process crisps the skin without it burning.

I guess you could say that Harry put his own twist to the famous Cornell Chicken, which would make them close cousins. I don’t know much about Harry (wish I did). However, I can share a little bit about the famous Cornell Chicken.

Back in the 1940’s Bob Baker, a professor of food science at Cornell University, who specialized in poultry, invented this tangy, crisp skinned grilled chicken recipe, to help promote New York State’s poultry industry. He also helped invent oddities like chicken nuggets, turkey ham and chicken hot dogs. However, he is best remembered for his Cornell Chicken that is the main event at the New York State Fair in Syracuse and at every cookout or fundraiser all across Western New York.

Truth be told, Bob Baker is the reason chicken is so popular today.

Harry’s BBQ Chicken
Makes about 1 ½ cups of sauce - enough sauce for 1 whole chicken or 8 thighs/drums.
Marinade
2          large               eggs
½         cup                 cooking oil
1          cup                 white vinegar
1          Tbsp.              kosher salt
1          Tbsp.              black pepper
1          Tbsp.              poultry seasoning

Blend well with a whisk. Reserve ½ cup for basting. Pour the rest over chicken pieces and marinate overnight.


Though there are many versions of Cornell chicken, I’m including this one because it’s almost exactly like Harry’s – with the exception of using cider vinegar


Cornell Chicken
Makes about 1 ½ cups of sauce - enough sauce for 5 pounds of chicken

Marinade
1          large               eggs
½         cup                 cooking oil
1          cup                 cider vinegar
2          tsp.                  kosher salt
¼         tsp.                  black pepper
2          tsp.                  poultry seasoning

Blend well with a whisk. Reserve ½ cup for basting. Pour the rest over chicken pieces and marinate overnight. 

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