Cornell Chicken (Grilled Chicken With White Barbecue Sauce) Recipe

Joshua Bousel

So what makes a Cornell Chicken? It's all in the tangy white sauce that serves as a marinade and baste, creating a moist and flavorful grilled bird.

Note: Do not serve leftover basting sauce on finished chicken as it will have been contaminated with raw chicken during the repeated basting. If you want extra sauce to serve on the side, reserve some of the sauce ahead of time until serving.

Recipe Facts

Active: 60 mins
Total: 4 hrs
Serves: 8 servings

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  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 2 chickens (3 1/2 to 4 pounds each), cut into quarters
  • Type of fire: two-zone indirect
  • Grill heat: high


  1. Place egg in blender and pulse until beaten. With motor running, slowly pour in oil, a thick emulsion should form. Add in vinegar, salt, pepper, sage, thyme, marjoram, and rosemary and puree until combined.

  2. Using a paring knife, cut a few small slits in skin of each piece of chicken. Transfer chicken to a large resealable bag and pour in all but 1 cup of sauce. Place in refrigerator and let sit for 3 hours, up to overnight.

  3. Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals on one side of the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Place chicken, skin side up, on cool side of grill and cover. Cook, basting every 10 minutes with reserved sauce, until breast meat registers 155 degrees and thigh meat registers 160 degrees on an instant read thermometer inserted in thickest part of meat, 30 to 45 minutes.

  4. Move chicken to hot side of the grill, flip skin side down, and cook until skin crisps and browns, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a platter, let rest for 10 minutes, then serve immediately.

Special equipment

Blender, Grill

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