- bay traveler Apr 10, 2003 06:26 PM
I'm researching the barbecued chicken of the Eastern Shore of Maryland, the kind where the primary sauce ingredients are vinegar and pepper. I'm especially interested in hearing about any church groups or firemen's associations who do this barbecue by the roadside, selling it passing motorists. Anyone have any info? Thanks.
I've been on a minor hunt for this type of chicken for years. The recipe originated at Cornell University's school of agriculture and was developed by professor Robert Baker as a way to sell more poultry. Half chickens are based with a sauce made from oil vinegar, poultry seasoning and eggs.
The best place I've found,one highly acclaimed by locals is the fireman's chicken barbecue (it is never called "barbecue chicken" -always, always "chicken barbecue")in Greenwood, Delaware, at the intersection of routes 16 and 13. It is the best of many I've had, and they will sell you a gallon of the sauce. But I think they don't open until memorial day.
Not surprisingly, chicken barbecue is also found along the southern tier in upstate New York, roughly from Binghamton to Ithaca, home of Cornell. In fact, dr. Robert Baker's family operates a stand at the NY State fare selling chicken barbecue. (see link).
Good luck and let everyone know what you find.
re: Mark DiBlasi
Thanks so much for your scholarly reply to my post on barbecued chicken/chicken barbecue. I was pretty sure this method came from England, due to the heavy use of vinegar. Oddly, it also has an resemblance to the barbecue sauces of North Carolina. I've always felt as if the cooking of the Chesapeake region was very similar to that of North Carolina except that the Bay region had the Chesapeake itself to draw on for ingredients, giving it its own right to call itself a distinct regional cuisine. Thanks again
re: bay traveler
One other obvious point that links Ithaca and the Delmarva peninsula: The Delmarva is where (alot of) the chickens are raised. The Cornell recipe obviously found its way there based on a school/industry link.
It's always romantic to imagine that there are pockets of Cornwall that exist around the Chesapeake, but the reality usually turns out to be much more mundane.