Hello, Summer

This Finger-Lickin’ Finger Lakes Chicken Has a Juicy Secret Ingredient

June 25, 2018

As Food52 gets older (and wiser), and our archive of recipes grows, we’re making the effort to revisit some good as gold recipes. Today, we're featuring chicken so delicious that you'll be lickin' your fingers clean.

What's cookin', good lookin'? Photo by Ty Mecham

Speedy, affordable chicken dinners are pretty much everyone’s weeknight standby, but that wasn’t always the case. Until the early 1900s, broiler chickens were considered great (and rare) delicacies. But the advent of industrialized farming and transportation brought chickens into American kitchens and stomachs.

One of the earliest recipes to take advantage of the abundance of birds came from a Cornell animal science professor who wanted more people to eat poultry. He marinated chicken in vegetable oil, apple cider vinegar, poultry seasoning, lots of salt, and an egg, resulting in a crispy, tangy bird.

Another delicious way to eat chicken

Food52 community member wwsmom first tried the professor’s chicken decades ago at a summer picnic near Lake Owasco.

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“To this day, it remains omnipresent at all manner of public gatherings in the Finger Lakes region," she says. "From country fairs to Boy Scout fundraisers, VFW dinners, 4-H club outings and beyond."

The secret to keeping the chicken tender and juicy is a long soak in an aioli-based marinade. When aargersi first tested the recipe, she was pleasantly surprised by its flavor:

I thought that it might be very vinegary or herby, but it’s not, those are just subtle notes in what is very good grilled chicken. I used the extra aioli to marinate a pork tenderloin which I also grilled. All variations were tender and delicious.

The longer the chicken marinades, the better it tastes. So set aside time to let it mix and mingle. While you’re waiting, run out and grab a bottle of Finger Lakes riesling. wsmom highly recommends the pairing.

What's your favorite summertime chicken recipe? Share recipes in the comments below!

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The Dynamite Chicken cookbook is here! Get ready for 60 brand-new ways to love your favorite bird. Inside this clever collection by Food52 and chef Tyler Kord, you'll find everything from lightning-quick weeknight dinners to the coziest of comfort foods.

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Katie is a food writer and editor who loves cheesy puns and cheesy cheese.