Phil’s Chicken House

Review by: Michael Stern

Phil’s Chicken House was opened some 40 years ago by Phil Card, who learned his skills at Endicott’s Chicken Inn. His folksy wood-paneled restaurant is decorated to the hilt with country-crafty nick-nacks (souvenir plates, angel statuettes, lighthouse miniatures) and it attracts customers that range from local families to well-armed state police SWAT teams (who practice marksmanship nearby).

As you might guess by the name of the restaurant, the featured attraction is chicken – slow cooked, and relentlessly basted on a rotisserie until the skin is glazed gold and the meat drips juice. The breast meat is velvet soft; thighs and drumsticks pack a roundhouse flavor punch; wings, which carry maximum marinade, reverberate with exclamatory gusto.

Mr. Card told us that his chicken recipe is no secret; in fact it’s well known throughout the southern Finger Lakes. “It’s your basic Cornell chicken,” he said, referring to a formula developed by Cornell Professor Dr. Robert Baker back in the early 1950s. Dr. Baker’s vinaigrette, enriched with eggs and shot through with poultry spice, is now used as a marinade and/or basting sauce by cooks throughout the region.

While nine out of ten customers come to Phil’s for a half or a quarter barbecued chicken, there are plenty of other square meals on the menu, including pot roast, meat loaf, grilled ham, and steak. There’s a lunch buffet every day and a breakfast buffet on weekends.

What To Eat

1/2 BBQ Chicken Dinner

Chicken & Biscuit

Fresh Strawberry Shortcake

Salad Bar

Blueberry Pie al la Mode


Phil’s Chicken House Recipes


What do you think of Phil’s Chicken House?

One Response to “Phil’s Chicken House”

Dineen Talerico-Petez

June 18th, 2021

When we go to Binghamton . I always make it a point to go to Phil’s. Love their chicken and biscuits!!! I wish they had one in Orlando Fl


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