Servings4
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time45 minutes
Skill Leveleasy

If you’re looking for a fun chicken recipe for the big game or party, these chicken lollipops are going to be a crowd favorite. Learn how to transform ordinary chicken into flavorful, fun-to-eat lollipops that everyone will love.

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What is a chicken lollipop?

Chicken lollipops are a popular appetizer or snack made from chicken drumsticks, where part of the meat is removed while the remaining is pushed down to create a "lollipop" shape. It's typically seasoned and then dipped in BBQ sauce to finish.

How do you prepare chicken lollipops?

To make chicken lollipops, you'll need to separate the meat from the bone end of chicken drumsticks, season them in your choice of BBQ rub, and then grill until they reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit internal and the skin is crispy.

Can I prepare chicken lollipops in advance for a party?

Yes, you can prepare chicken lollipops in advance by trimming and shaping the chicken, and the coating them in the BBQ rub. However, it's best to grill or smoke them just before serving to ensure they remain crispy and delicious. Preparing them partially in advance can save you time when hosting a party.

Can I bake chicken lollipops instead of grilling or smoking them?

Yes, you can bake chicken lollipops in the oven. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and bake for about 45 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked. You'll want to use a chicken hanging rack (see ingredients) or baking sheet to avoid a huge mess.

Ingredients

Chicken Lollipops

BBQ Tools

Steps

  1. Air dry the chicken drumsticks

    If you have the time, place chicken drumsticks on a wire rack, season with kosher salt, and refrigerate uncovered for 4 hours to remove any excess water from the skin. This will help the skin get crispy when grilling the chicken lollipops.

  2. Preheat the grill or smoker

    Preheat the grill or smoker to 375°F. I recommend using indirect heat to avoid burning the skin.

  3. Trim the drumsticks into lollipops

    Using a sharp knife or kitchen shears, cut through the skin and flesh down to the bone about 1/3 from the bottom. Peel the flesh and skin back over the bottom joint and discard. Use the knife or shears to remove anything that didn't come off cleanly. 

    Trim drumsticks into chicken lollipops
    Chicken lollipops after skin and flesh have been removed
  4. Season the chicken lollipops

    Hold the chicken lollipop on the bone end and coat heavily with the BBQ seasoning on all sides - under and over the skin.

    Season the chicken lollipops
  5. Grill the chicken lollipops

    If using the optional chicken hanging rack, insert the lollipops bone side up into the rack and place the rack directly on the grill. Otherwise, place the chicken lollipops on grill bone side up. Cook for 45 minutes or until the internal temperature registers 165°F and the skin is crispy.

    Grill the chicken lollipops before applying the sauce
  6. Apply BBQ sauce to the chicken lollipops

    Optionally, warm the BBQ slightly and add it to a vertical container wide enough to fit the lollipops. Dip the chicken lollipops into the BBQ sauce and return to the grill. Let the chicken lollipops cook for an additional 10-15 minutes to set the sauce. 

    Chicken lollipops on the grill after applying the BBQ sauce
  7. Serve the chicken lollipops

    Let the chicken lollipops rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

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