Friday, May 23, 2014

Grilling Time!

View of Lake Cayuga, one of the Finger Lakes. Both Wells College and Cornell University overlook this beautiful lake.
Memorial Day officially kicks off the summer season and that means it's time to fire up the grill. Here in Colorado, we grill year round (I usually grill a turkey for Thanksgiving) but once the summer heat hits, it's the only way I cook.
The Original Wells Chicken recipe
So, to celebrate the start of grilling season, I offer "Wells Chicken." I was just back from central New York where I attended my daughter's graduation from Wells College (my alma mater, too). Cornell Chicken is sold out of shacks throughout this part of New York. Two of my college friend's decided that our little college needed its own version. This is what they came up with, and I proudly served it to friends and family last week at my daughter's graduation party. The main difference? Cornell Chicken uses apple cider vinegar and her Wells version uses red wine vinegar. Try them both this summer. Either way, it's a delicious take on grilled chicken.

The real secret ingredient in both these recipes is the egg. Egg yolks are full of lecithin, an emulsifier. It keeps the oil and vinegar from separating in the marinade. Because we eventually cook the chicken, the egg works well for this.

Someday, do try to sample Cornell Chicken in the Finger Lakes. It's a beautiful place, filled with wineries, tree-lined villages, history, and of course, stunning lakes!

Wells Chicken
(For 5 broiler halves, enough for 8-10 people)

½ cup oil
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoon poultry seasoning
¼ teaspoon white pepper
1 egg
juice of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, mashed 
healthy pinch of crushed red pepper

Combine everything in a big bowl, making sure to beat egg in well. Add chicken and marinate for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Overnight is the minimum. Turn chicken a few times to makes sure all pieces are well-covered.

Grill on a slow grill to prevent flare-ups. (More tips on grilling chicken)

For traditional Cornell Chicken, replace the red wine vinegar with apple cider vinegar and don't use lemon juice, garlic, and crushed red pepper.

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