I was always taught that the birds should be 26 inches above the BOTTOM of the fire.
Gotta go find my recipe from the early 1960’s for the sauce. IIRC the current recipe calls for much less salt.
When I first helped with doing Cornell Chicken in the erly to mid 1960’s, we always held the cooked birds in “standard” 40 quart milk cans. The lids were tight-fitting
and would keep the birds hot for several hours. In addition the birds never dried out while being held this way.
Unfortunately milk cans are hard to find today.
Way to go…Agnes!
That meal looks fantastic!
I use some Cornish game hens that were on sale and cooked them on my Weber using indirect heat. The came out so good! I made salt potatoes and okra, corn and tomatoes to go with them.
Cosmos – I had never heard the 22 inch rule. I’ll try that next time for better results. I think a Weber Smoky Mountain Cooker with water pan and lower rack removed would give close to that distance.
I am always happy to see anything written about this recipe. As a Central New Yorker, I look forward to the fragrant white smoke of the first chicken BBQ of the year. In fact I will drive by Bob’s BBQ in Homer on my way back to Syracuse from Watkins Glen tomorrow evening in hopes they will be open…
One comment on the published recipe: The last step is to grill over charcoal and baste frequently. I believe there is a very scientific process for cooking over coals at least 22 inches away from the chicken for a prescribed period. This is obviously not easy without a custom pit. You need to cook it indirectly on a Weber or other quality grill. Low and slow is the word. Then finish it up directly over coals to get the caramelized skin.
Good luck and enjoy a taste (and smell) of Central New York..
You can’t drive down some roads on a Saturday or Sunday in the summer without smelling a chicken bbq on the air around here. There’s always a firehouse or church doing one. They all pretty much serve the same thing… Cornell style chicken (either a half, or a leg and thigh, or a breast), Grandma Brown’s baked beans, salt potatoes, and a roll. One of my all time favorite meals.
Wallhd mentioned milk buckets, I’ve noticed a lot of places just use clean 10 gallon pails to hold the chicken in… all that hot chicken stacked and sealed up in the bucket does keep it hot for a long time and almost steams it, the bones pull right out and I don’t ever remember eating dry chicken from it. Sublime would be a good description.
Cornell Chicken Recipe from 4/5/13 RF Front Page
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