Cornell Chicken
Yield: 1 batch of sauce is enough for 8-10 chicken quarters or the equivalent amount of legs and thighs (see notes for halving the recipe)
Reminiscent of the classic roadside barbecue, advance prep and tender, juicy meat make this chicken dinner a real winner.  For those who enjoy, a favorite sauce could be served on the side. 


  • 1 egg*
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 pint apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning**
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces


  1. Crack the egg into a mixing bowl and whisk until beaten. Slowly whisk in the oil until fully blended. Then whisk in the remaining marinade ingredients.  Reserve a half cup or so of the sauce in a separate container to use for basting later.

    Marinate the desired amount of bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (I like to use quarters; could use a combination of thighs, legs, etc.) in a zip-top bag*** for several hours, all day, or overnight.  Turn the bags occasionally while marinating to ensure even coating.

    The chicken is best when grilled slow and low, basting with the reserved sauce occasionally.  Feel free to use your favorite grilling method or use ours, which is included below.


*Why an egg in the marinade? The emulsion of eggs, oil, and vinegar helps the chicken to crisp without burning as quickly as it would with a red barbecue sauce, which, unlike the Cornell sauce, contains sugar.

For a half recipe, beat the egg and use 2 tablespoons of it.  Discard the leftover egg or save for scrambled eggs later.  Alternatively, leftover sauce can be stored in a glass jar in the refrigerator for several weeks as the vinegar acts as a preservative, extending the freshness of the egg.

**Many poultry seasonings are salt-free, but some do contain salt.  I use a salt-free variety.  If your poultry seasoning contains salt, you may wish to reduce the salt measurement slightly to account for the extra in the poultry seasoning.

***A gallon-size zipper-top bag will accommodate 4 chicken quarters.  I often use two bags, each containing four quarters.  I add a little over 1 cup of marinade to each bag and save the remaining marinade for basting.

Perfect Barbecued Chicken

Prepare the grill for direct and indirect cooking over medium heat (350 degrees F).  If using a gas grill, use the heating element on one side and turn the other off.

Brush the cooking grates clean.  Grill the chicken, skin side down, over direct medium heat with the lid closed until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes, turning occasionally.

Move the chicken pieces over the indirect medium heat. Continue to grill the chicken, with the lid closed, for about 20 minutes. Then brush both sides of the chicken with the reserved marinade (or with your favorite BBQ sauce when using this grilling method for other recipes) and cook, occasionally turning and brushing with more sauce, until the juices run clear and the meat is no longer pink at the bone, about 15 minutes more, give or take depending on size of chicken pieces. Because the Cornell chicken marinade contains egg, stop basting during the final minutes of grilling.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Tip: To ensure tender, juicy chicken that is not at all dry, use a quick read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh (without touching the bone), and look for an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.

More recipes at