I'll add to this weekend's collection of chicken picture posts. I found out I was going to be home early enough on Sunday, I could grill something for supper. Originally had planned to make some nice steaks, but I received a 3rd "sign" I couldn't ignore. About 3 Weeks ago I saw a show on popular food from fairs & carnivals. They mentioned Cornell Chicken, which I'd never heard of, but looked excellent. A week ago Screaming Chicken made some Cornell Chicken and I thought: I need to try that. Saturday afternoon I got home and sat down with a cookbook to see which steak recipe I was going to make. I fired up the TV and my TiVo was recording a Cook's Country TV marathon. What were they making?You guessed it Cornell Chicken. It was a sign. So yesterday on the way home I picked up a 4 pound whole chicken and made the Cook's Country recipe together with some Syracuse salt potatoes from the same show. I'll also add the Cook's Country folks made some changes to the classic recipe for the Cornell Chicken. So if there are members of the Committee for the Conservation of Classic Cornell Chicken out there: Just deal with it. The chicken turned out excellent.
The chicken has been cut in half
The first change to the classic recipe was the use of a brine. It used salt, water and vinegar. The vinegar was intended to echo the flavor of the basting sauce.
The simple rub was salt, pepper and poultry rub.
The basting sauce used Dijon mustard, cider vinegar, olive oil, salt & pepper, plus instead of more poultry rub added fresh sage and rosemary. I used an immersion blender to make the sauce.
The grill was preheated on high and was dropped down to medium low when the chicken halves were added.
The grill is at medium low and the chicken is skin side up and gets basted with the sauce.
Halfway through the 25 minute cooking time for the first side, the chicken gets basted again.
After 25 minutes the chicken was at an internal temp of 120 degrees and it is time to flip and finish it skin side down. It grills on medium low for about 25 more minutes until it hits 170 degrees.
Meanwhile time to start on the salt potatoes. The water has 1 1/2 cups of Kosher salt in it and has been brought to a boil. The small red potatoes simmer for 25 minutes. Then they are placed on a sheet pan with a wire rack to dry and the outside gets a thin coating of crystalized salt.
The Cornell chicken reached 170 and rests uncovered for 5 minutes before serving.
The Syracuse salt potatoes are served with some melted butter, pepper & chopped fresh chives on the side. You pour the butter mixture over the potatoes if desired.
Some finished shots of the chicken & salt potatoes.
This was an amazing meal. I meant to stop at the breast and wing, but I couldn't help myself and finished the whole chicken half. The chicken was extremely moist and flavorful. Even though it was cooked at a low heat, the skin was crispy and tasty from the sauce and rub. It was a unique flavor unlike any chicken I've had and was definitely up there with the best chicken I've made or eaten. The salt potatoes were great too. They had a bit of a crispy skin, there was a little snap when you bit in. There was just enough salt flavor which wasn't over powering. The interiors were nice and creamy and the butter sauce helped them just melt in your mouth. I have already been told I'm doing this x8 in two weeks for some dinner guests. Thanks Brad for the inspiration.