Whenever the Palmer family gathers in the summertime, my mom’s barbecued chicken will be on the menu. Everyone asked for her secret recipe, which was actually developed at Cornell University in the 1950′s. I call this fireman style chicken, since most fire departments in upstate New York put on chicken barbeques as fund raisers during the summer months using this recipe (or a close variation). They often barbeque 1,000 to 1,500 half chickens. Palmer cookouts have been know to grill 25 half chickens using a homemade pit like in the picture.
2 – 31/2 pound chickens, cut into pieces or halves, rinsed, patted dry
2 – large eggs
1 – cup cooking oil
2 – tablespoon coarse salt
1 – tablespoon Bell’s poultry seasoning
1 – teaspoon ground black pepper
2 – cups cider vinegar
Place chicken in a shallow glass baking dish. Combine eggs with the oil in a medium bowl, whisking until very well blended. Whisk in the salt, poultry seasoning, and pepper, then whisk in the vinegar. Pour the mixture over the chicken. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours but no more than 24 hours, turning the chicken from time to time to ensure that each piece is well marinated.
When ready to cook, preheat the grill, I prefer charcoal. You will want very low heat.
Remove the chicken from the marinade. Grill, turning frequently and brushing with the marinade, for about 40-45 minutes, or until the juices run clear when the meat is pierced with the tip of a small sharp knife.