My first baby’s first recipe… A flashback.

Here’s another Record-Eagle column from days of yore.


Foodie with the Family

Father influences son’s grilled-chicken recipe


With this beautiful weather comes the beginning of grilling season.


For my family, this means many chickens will go to the great hen house in the sky in order to feed the bottomless barbecue pits that are my boys. When I moved to western New York years ago, I happily discovered the standard summer barbecue fare here: Cornell Sauce Barbecue Chicken and Salt Potatoes.


Even those who swear by their tomato-based barbecue sauces are surprised to find the flavor this sauce packs.


As for the salt potatoes, don’t panic when you see the quantity of salt that goes into the water as most of it stays in the water. Yes, there is a lot but it is worth it! However, if health concerns dictate a lower sodium diet you can cut the salt by half or add another quart of water to the pot. If you have any leftover potatoes, they make the ultimate home fries the next morning.


As if the taste isn’t enough to recommend it, the ease of preparation will amaze you. Just thinking of this meal makes my stomach growl. I’ll be making this meal most weekends this summer. I’d be willing to bet that if you try this it’ll become a regular in your household, too.


After having this meal one evening, I saw my 8-year-old, Liam, laboring over a piece of paper at the school table. When I asked him what he was up to he replied, “I’m just writing a recipe.”


Oh, the joy! My baby was becoming a foodie. With pride he handed over his recipe and I’d like to present it to you along with my version of the recipe.


Liam’s Barbecue Chicken


You take your coals and start your grill. You back up and swing your golf club a few times. Then you put the golf club down and go spread your coals out and put the chicken on the grill. Then you swing the golf club some more. Then you throw the golf club and run to the grill because you’re burning it. Then you turn the chicken. Then you swing the golf club some more and then you throw it and get mad and run and get the chicken and take it in and tell Mommy that it’s done. She should have the salt potatoes done by then. The end.


Cornell Sauce Barbecue Chicken


  • 1 egg
  • 1 c. cooking oil
  • 1 pint cider vinegar
  • 2 T. Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 T. salt
  • 1 T. poultry seasoning


Whisk egg, then add oil, then add cider vinegar and remaining ingredients. Blend thoroughly. Store in jar. Makes enough for 10 chicken halves. Marinate chicken from 30 minutes to 2 hours but not more, as the vinegar can make the chicken tough after that time.


Grill over high heat, turning every five to 10 minutes and brushing with fresh sauce each turn, until done to an internal temperature of 170° for breast meat and 180° for thigh and leg meat.


Salt Potatoes

  • 4 lbs 1½- 2-inch new potatoes, scrubbed clean with skins intact
  • 1 c. salt
  • 2 quarts fresh water
  • 4 T. butter, cut into pieces, optional


In a large, non-reactive stockpot, bring the water and salt to a full rolling boil over high heat. Carefully add all the potatoes to avoid splashing.


After water reaches a boil again, lower heat slightly to maintain a low boil for 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander and allow them to air dry slightly. Top the potatoes with pieces of butter when you put them in your serving dish.

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