Fire Roasted Screwdriver Chicken – Fire Day Friday

I have your curiosity, right?

But not screwdriver as in Craftsman.  I’m talking about the screwdriver cocktail.

I used the classic cocktail as a base for a “mop” for chicken roasted on the grill.  A “mop” is kind of like a BBQ sauce but it is thinner and you baste it on several times during the cook instead of just the last few minutes.  It builds on layers of flavor with each baste.
Fire Roasted Screwdriver Chicken serves 4
  • 4 bone in, skin on chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

For the Screwdriver mop

  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp oregano, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp chipotle hot sauce
  • 1 Tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp red pepper flake
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt


  1. Preheat your grill to 325f  (medium) for an indirect heat cook.  That means you push your hot coals to one side of the grill and you’ll cook over the empty space.   I added a 4″ chunk of cherry wood for a little smoke flavor.
  2. Season the chicken breasts heavily but evenly on both sides.  Place chicken skin side up on the grill over the void (not the coals), close the lid and cook for 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile whisk the mop ingredients together.  After the first 30 minutes, “mop” the sauce onto the chicken.  Old time pitmasters would use an actual small mop tool to do this.  You can replicate that by dabbing the sauce onto the chicken with a basting brush.  Dabbing instead of brushing gets more of the solid herbs and spices onto the chicken.  Repeat every 15 minutes.
  4. Cook for another 45 minutes to 1 hour (total cook time 1 hr 15 min to 1 hr 30 min), until the breasts have an internal temperature of 160f.
  5. Remove from grill, allow to rest for 5 minutes.  Slice the rib bones from the meat and then slice into medallions for serving.

Sure, you could do this in your oven at the same temp but you won’t get the smoky flavor and don’t blame me if you get the sugary mop sauce on the bottom of your oven and it burns 🙂

Optional:  Brine the chicken for 4 hours.  It’s worth the time!


Waiting to mop until after 30 minutes lets a crispy skin start to form first.


The layers of mopping build texture and flavor.


Slice the bones off lengthwise first, then slice into medallions like this.


Martha (MM)

I always have the same issue with wine. I’m not a wine drinker but most of my friends are. Luckily wine is a lot easier to use up in recipes than vodka, but this chicken dish looks scrumptious! 🙂


Thanks Jenn, it was very good. It was inspired by the fact we had a house guest whose drink is vodka but once she left, the bottle has just been sitting there. So I figured I’d use it in food!


What a great idea! I would have never thought to slather chicken with a cocktail! And of course the finished product is a thing of beauty, Chris!