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The Tradition of the NY Chicken BBQ

Chicken BBQ at Dedricks Farm Market, Green House and Plant Nursery

The south has it’s pork, the west it’s beef, but in the Finger Lakes, it’s all about the Chicken!

If you’re not native to Central New York, you’re probably not aware of the summer phenomenon the Chicken BBQ! In other parts of America popular fund raising events might be car washes or bake sales, here around Ithaca, it’s all about the Chicken BBQ. Once winter shows any sign of releasing it’s grip on the Finger Lakes, the grill masters of Finger Lakes emerge, all armed with their own take on a recipe that’s been around for a very long time and all because of Dr. Robert Baker.

Haven’t heard of Dr. Baker?

Dr. Robert Baker, a New York native, was a member of the Cornell University faculty. During that time his mission was to support poultry farmers by developing innovative ways to market poultry and it was during this time that his recipe—one that resonates in Ithaca and the surrounding area today—became known as Cornell Chicken BBQ Sauce.

Cornell Chicken BBQ recipe

The reason for it’s popularity lies largely with its simplicity and adaptability AND, when you click on the image above, you’ll see that Dr. Baker didn’t just publish a recipe. In 1950 he—through the Cornell Cooperative Extension Office— published a very detailed “how-to” BBQ DIY! Everything you needed to know about how to put on a BBQ from how to build the pits (which you’ll see all over Ithaca and the surrounding area today) to the quantities of chickens and sides needed to provide BBQ for as few as five or as many as two-hundred people! You can also find this publication still offered as a free download at Cornell’s website.

Kody Hatch owner of Dedrick's Farm Market Green House Plant Nursery New York

Of course, Kody from Dedrick’s has his own spin on the traditional Cornell Sauce, uses the highest quality locally supplied chicken and temperature checks every single chicken, so you know your BBQ chicken not only delicious it’s is perfectly cooked! And he doesn't pull it off all by himself, it's truly a family effort with multiple generations working together to make it all happen.

Chicken BBQ at Dedricks Farm Market Dryden New York

Want more than great chicken? With Dedrick’s BBQ Chicken Meal, you get not only chicken, but homemade roll and choice of two sides! On offer this weekend, your choice of Baked Beans, Salt Potatoes, Mac and Cheese or Mac Salad!

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