A fun appetizer or even main course, we love to make these chicken lollipops! Make just a few, or enough for a party, we’ll show you how to cut chicken drumsticks into perfect lollipops, then we’ll amp up the flavor with an easy BBQ marinade. The result? Crisp skin, tender chicken, and a sweet and savory treat everybody will love.
What is a chicken lollipop?
A piece of chicken- either the drumette or the drumstick- is cut, or ‘frenched’ into a lollipop shape by pushing and cutting the meat down the bone. The result is a lollipop shaped chicken treat, that is easy to eat!
How to Make Chicken Lollipops
- To start, prep your space, and gather your tools.
- A sharp kitchen knife, kitchen shears and a non-slippery cutting board. I also like to keep a few paper towels handy, as they can help pull the slippery skin off of the stick of the ‘lollipop’.
- You’ll also need your marinade, and a medium height casserole dish to marinate them in. I prefer not to submerge them in marinade in a plastic bag, as I like a clean bone to hold onto while eating these.
- Slice chicken drumsticks at the ‘neck’ of the bone (about 2 inches where the meat first starts to get thick). Pull upwards, and using a paper towel for a firmer grip, pull the chicken skin off, creating a clean bone which acts as the ‘lollipop’ stick.
- On the meaty drumstick side of the chicken, slice a portion of the bottom bone off, allowing the chicken to stand up on its own.
- Leaving the skin on, push the meat towards the end of the lollipop. They should stand up on their own!
- Not standing up on their own? Make sure the bone on the bottom of the drumstick is flat. At this point, you can also trim away any unnecessary tendons
I really recommend watching this video– it helped me quite in a bit in learning how to cut the chicken properly. Once you have cut 1, the rest are pretty easy.
The beauty of chicken lollipops is the lack of mess for the person enjoying them. For this reason, I recommend dipping them in the marinade, then placing them standing up in a casserole dish, versus marinating the entirety of the lollipop in a plastic bag.
For my marinade, I use a mixture you’ve seen us use on our BBQ Ribs, and on our Air Fryer BBQ Chicken. It is my Dad’s BBQ sauce and it is my absolute favorite! A simple mixture of BBQ sauce (Sweet Baby Rays to be specific!), honey and lime. Of course, you could use any marinade you like- Asian, Homemade BBQ sauce, Greek, etc.
After dipping the chicken in the marinade, place them standing in a casserole dish. At this point, I like to add foil to the stem- we do this for a couple reasons. 1) The foil protects the lollipop stem of the chicken from drying out so it holds up while you eat it, and 2) it saves a little bit of mess. I like to add the foil while its marinating so its easier to handle them when you transfer them to a baking sheet.
After marinating the chicken for a minimum of 2 hours, but not any longer than 24 hours, preheat the oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with foil sprayed with nonstick, and place the chicken standing upright. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until chicken reaches 165 degrees fahrenheit.
PRO TIP: If you want more flavor, set aside a little bit of the marinade & baste the chicken with extra sauce once it is done, or close to. Then, turn the broiler on low, and place the chicken in the oven for an additional 3-5 minutes, or until the exterior of the chicken reaches your desired level of doneness, and is 165 degrees internally.
If I’m serving these as appetizers, I’ll plate them with some chopped parsley or chives and a side of BBQ sauce or ranch to dip. If I’m serving them as an entree, I like them with rice and some steamed broccoli.
Do you love finding new unique ways to cook chicken? here’s a few recipes we think you’ll like!
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Enjoy! – Kathi and Rachel
- 12 chicken drumsticks
- 1.5 cups BBQ Sauce (we like Sweet Baby Rays)
- 2 tbsp lime juice (equivalent to about 1 lime)
- 1 tbsp lime zest (equivalent of about 1 lime)
- 2 tbsp honey
- Mix marinade ingredients. Reserve 1/4 cup & set aside for basting if desired.
- Cut chicken drumsticks into lollipop style. Slice chicken drumsticks at the 'neck' of the bone (about 2 inches where the meat first starts to get thick). Pull upwards, and using a paper towel for a firmer grip, pull the chicken skin off, creating a clean bone which acts as the 'lollipop' stick. On the meaty drumstick side of the chicken, slice a portion of the bottom bone off, allowing the chicken to stand up on its own.Leaving the skin on, push the meat towards the end of the lollipop. They should stand up on their own!Not standing up on their own? Make sure the bone on the bottom of the drumstick is flat. At this point, you can also trim away any unnecessary tendons.Make it easier by watching this video if you have questions, it is truly very helpful!
- Dip each lollipop into marinade, and place stick up into a casserole dish, covering each lollipop stick with foil about 1/2 way down. When finished, cover casserole dish with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for at least 3 hours, and up to 24 hours.
- When ready to cook lollipops, preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. Place lollipops stick up on a foil lined baking sheet spray with nonstick spray.
- Bake lollipops for about 20 minutes, or until they reach 165 degrees fahrenheit internally.