clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

The Hirshon Cornell Chicken


Units Scale
  • Brine:
  • 3 c. hot tap water
  • 1c. salt, preferably kosher
  • 12 c. cold tap water
  • 1 c. cider vinegar
  • 2 chickens, no more than 3 1/2 lbs. each, cut in half
  • Basting sauce:
  • 1/4 c. oil
  • 1/2 c. cider vinegar
  • 1/21 tsp. black pepper to taste
  • 1 T. Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 T. finely minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 1/2 T. finely minced fresh sage leaves
  • 1 T. finely minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 T. finely minced fresh chervil leaves (TFD preference) or parsley


  1. In a non-reactive pot big enough to hold both the chicken halves and the brine, stir the salt and hot water until it’s completely dissolved. Stir in the cold water and the cider vinegar.
  2. Add the chicken halves to the brine and refrigerate for at least four hours and up to eight hours or overnight.
  3. Remove the chicken from the brine, pat it dry thoroughly with paper towels, and place it on a rack. Let air-dry for 30-60 minutes (if you can put it under a ceiling fan or in front of a stand fan, so much the better).
  4. Brush each side with the basting sauce, and let stand (again underneath or in front of a fan) for another 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, start a medium-low fire in the grill.
  6. Baste each side again, then grill, skin side UP for 20 minutes. Baste the chicken again on both sides, then turn over, skin side down, and grill for another 20 minutes, or until the skin is golden brown and crisp and the chicken is cooked through.
  7. If you’re using charcoal, the fire should have burned down enough to keep the skin from burning, but if it’s too hot, move the chicken, skin side down, to the cooler part of the grill. If the chicken isn’t cooked through after 20 minutes (skin side down), turn and continue to cook, cut side down so that the skin won’t burn, until the chicken is cooked through.