Roadside Chicken: Recipe & Method

Roadside Chicken is one of the most delicious ways to cook chicken over a wood fired grill. An oil based mop sauce is frequently brushed on the chicken while cooking over moderate heat and helps create the oft-coveted crispy chicken skin so many of us love. Roadside chicken is a variation of Cornell Chicken*, minus one egg. The oil in the sauce acts as a heat and flame attractor which helps render the chicken fat and skin more efficiently, giving it a crispy and savory texture.

Roadside Chicken Mop Sauce Recipe:

1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup veg or olive oil
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 TBS Sea or Kosher salt
1 TBS white sugar
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp celery seed

Cut up one whole fryer chicken (or as many as you plan on cooking), rinse with cold water, then dry thoroughly with paper towels and place chicken pieces on a baking rack placed over a suitable sized pan for about an hour. Then season chicken pieces with seasoning or sea salt and black pepper.

Cook chicken pieces over hot coals at a medium distance, turning and basting chicken frequently, usually about 5 minutes. Chicken is done when it reaches 165 degrees using a probe thermometer.


You can also use the Roadside Chicken mop sauce as a marinade which will lend a deeper flavor, though for safety reasons, discard marinade after chicken is cooking and use a fresh batch to baste the chicken.

Additional ingredients can be added to enhance the flavor of the mop sauce and/or marinade, and these can include paprika, fresh garlic, and rosemary.

*Cornell Chicken was developed by Dr. Robert Baker, a Cornell University food science professor.