As of this past Sunday, summer is officially over – punctuated by the first day that could potentially pass as brisk. We spent a week at the Outer Banks (Hi! I’m really bad at updating the blog when I’m on vacation!) and Sunday was the day we sullenly returned, my spirits lifted only by the fact that I didn’t break an upper lip sweat immediately upon exiting my car.
The changing of seasons in my house usually consists of massive house cleaning, sifting through summer wardrobes for items to donate to Goodwill and then hours of mental gymnastics about whether I think I’ll ever wear that t-shirt from college again, finally deciding that I probably won’t but then getting all sentimental about where and when that shirt came to be a part of my wardrobe and somehow it lives to see another year. NOT THIS YEAR. This year things are different.
This year I actually have TIME to sort through EVERYTHING and also a complete lack of SPACE to store ANYTHING, and finally a complete and total *cough* lackofdisposableincome *cough*, which will hopefully be remedied by selling some of these (never worn!) items that were doomed from the start. The hoarder’s trifecta.
So let me tell you what Fall is not around this house: Pumpkin Spice obsessed. My apologies if you’re a fan of the ubiquitous “flavor” (if I deign to even call it that) that was at one time a product of actual pumpkins and actual spices baked into pies and not much else, but is now a bonafide non-food flavor syrup that is added to just about every item that could act as a vehicle for flavor or scent. Call me a contrarian (I really totally am) or a food snob (I’m very much not), but Pumpkin Spice – I’m just not that into you.
Last week we went to the beach. While at the beach we ate like KINGS. There was this place called I Got Your Crabs (seriously) that had THE BEST crabs I have ever had the privilege of slicing my hands open on sharp-ass crab shells for. Yes, even better than Maryland crabs. Crabs so big that it took ONLY ONE to fill me up and a full 45 minutes to pick.
These things were serious business. We ate crabs no less than 4 times that week. After a particularly delicious run-in with the massive crustaceans and a metric ton of melted butter, I finally came to the realization (or was no longer able to deny) that I may be *gasp* lactose intolerant.
You guys. This is NOT OKAY. This body runs on 95% cheese. I’m utterly (udderly) beside myself here. I’ve been trying to be dairy-free the past few days, but cow’s milk is so freakin’ ingrained in my psyche that I just instinctively still ate dairy at every single meal even though I was expending active brain energy on not eating dairy. Bah. Feh. The road ahead is bleak, friends.
The above has zero bearing on the point of today’s post. Forgive me! It’s been awhile since we last chatted so I have all these rant-y observational humor-y thoughts floating around my noggin that I must get out into the ether before I start yelling at strangers in public (WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH AIRLINE PEANUTS?). So, anyway. On one of the days that we weren’t rolling around in piles of crabs like Scrooge McDuck in his mountain of gold, I made my take on Cornell BBQ Chicken. My family made the original Cornell recipe at every bbq when I was growing up and there’s nothing else out there like it.
I’ve modified the recipe a bit to cut back on salt and oil. In the original recipe, it was easy to end up with overly salty chicken if you marinated for too long or basted too much. With this version, the amount of salt is just right to complement the chicken without overwhelming and you no longer have to play this should I or shouldn’t I basting game – baste to your hearts content and this is pretty much guaranteed to never come out over-salted. Also, with the original recipe measurements, the amount of oil called for usually caused my grill to mercilessly flame up, often burning the crap out of the skin, both mine and the chicken’s (it still tasted good anyway). By reducing the amount of oil, I’ve made this version several times over with nary an errant flame!
While I absolutely love fall, I am a little sad to see summer go. You can bet I’ll be grilling as often as possible while we still have some warmth!
- 1 Tbsp poultry seasoning
- 2 tbsp salt
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup sunflower oil
- 1 egg
- 1 chicken, split into quarters
- Combine all ingredients except chicken in blender, and blend until mixture is emulsified (it'll turn white when ready). This step is important! The marinade MUST be blended to ensure emulsification.
- Place chicken parts in a large ziploc bag and pour marinade over chicken. Seal the bag, squeezing any air out to ensure marinade is touching all parts of the chicken.
- Marinade for at least one hour, and not longer than 3. The longer you marinate, the saltier your chicken will be.
- When finished marinating, reserve some of the liquid to baste the chicken while grilling. If you worry about cross contamination, feel free to boil the liquid before using it to baste, but beware your house will smell like hot vinegar, which is never a good thing.
- Fire up your grill and make sure you arrange coals/your burners so that you have a hot side and a cooler side.
- Grill chicken over hot coals, and move to cooler side if flare-ups occur. Turn chicken frequently and baste often with the marinating liquid. Refrain from basting in the last few minutes of cooking to avoid raw chicken cross-contamination.
- Your chicken is done when skin is brown and crispy and internal temperature reaches 165 or above.