People Are Making Chicken Lollipops, and It’s Definitely a Trend Worth Trying

Take your barbecue game to the next level with these chicken lollipops! Trust us, grill masters.

For me, barbecue is easily one of the best ways to enjoy chicken breasts, thighs, wings and drumsticks. In fact, just throw the whole bird on the grill! For fans of chicken tikka masala and chicken Parmesan, I know how controversial that is, claiming that a basic summer cookout is the best way to cook chicken. But I love when spicy-sweet sauce and tender, grilled chicken come together. The magic of barbecue that follows is irresistible—and chicken lollipops are no exception.

What Are Chicken Lollipops?

They’re drumsticks marinated, grilled and glazed to perfection. The shape resembles a lollipop. To be totally transparent, these aren’t actually candied pieces of chicken. The layers of barbecue sauce that glaze the chicken do create a sort of candied, sweet heat flavor, though!

How to Make Chicken Lollipops

For home cooks like myself, I know how easy it can be to fall into the comfort of familiarity, especially with something like grilling. We cook the same recipes, the same way, using a method that we know works. But it’s time to step outside your comfort zone and try something fresh. To start your new favorite chicken recipe, assemble the following materials:

  • Bowl
  • Knife
  • Large zip-close bag

Ingredients

  • Pack of chicken drumsticks
  • Lemon
  • Garlic
  • Soy sauce
  • Honey
  • Sriracha
  • Vinegar
  • Oyster sauce

Directions

Step 1: Prepare the chicken lollipops

With clean hands, take each drumstick and use a sharp knife to make a cut around the bone, near the knuckle. Slide the meat as far as you can down to the opposite end, and then peel the leftover skin and fat over the knuckle and discard. You should have meat on one end, visible bone on the other.

Step 2: Make the brine

Combine soy sauce with the juice of one lemon and freshly grated garlic to make a brine for your chicken. Place your prepared drumsticks in a large zip-close bag and pour the brine over them. Seal, place in the fridge in a position where all the chicken pieces are evenly covered with brine and let sit for up to a few hours.

Step 3: Make the sauce

In a bowl—or something like a Mason jar—mix together splashes of soy sauce, honey, sriracha, vinegar and oyster sauce. If you have a barbecue sauce on hand that you swear by, feel free to use that. Just pour a good amount of it into the bowl and you’re set.

Step 4: Grill and baste

You’ll want to cook your chicken lollipops over indirect heat so that the fat renders properly, so set up your charcoal on only one side of the grill. Cook the chicken on the opposite side for about 45 minutes at 325°F, then carefully dunk each one into the bowl of sauce that you made earlier. Evenly coat the chicken lollipops with sauce, just like you’re making a candy apple!

Continue the dunking process every 15 minutes until the internal temperature of your drumsticks reaches 175°. By then, you’ll have a glistening, barbecue sauce glaze on your chicken lollipops. All that’s left to do is add some BBQ sides of your choice. Enjoy!

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Hannah Twietmeyer
Hannah is a writer and content creator based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with a passion for all things food, health, community and lifestyle. She is a journalism graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a previous dining and drink contributor for Madison Magazine.