If people were to hand out smoked chicken lollipops at Halloween I'd be the first one to put on a costume and start bangin' on some doors!
There's no reason to wait on the neighbors to come to there senses, though, as National Barbecue Association (NBBQA) member, pitmaster of Killer Hogs BBQ, and the man behind HowtoBBQright.com, Malcom Reed, has put together this simple "how to"!
The chicken lollipop is a “frenched” chicken leg. The meat is cut loose from the small end and pushed down creating a “lollipop” look. The leg bone is left clean and creates the “stick.”
To turn regular chicken legs into lollipops, you’ll need a sharp knife and a pair of kitchen shears. Make a cut completely around the lower part of the leg just below the knuckle cutting through the skin and tendons.
Push the meat down to the large end and pull the remaining skin and cartilage off the knuckle. It helps to use a dish towel for extra grip.
There’s a tiny bone right against the leg that needs to be removed. It can be sharp, so be careful. Remove this bone with your fingers or the shears and trim away the tendons sticking out the top.
You can remove the skin, but the taste and appearance are appealing to many.
To season the lollipops, start with a dusting of my All Purpose seasoning. It’s a combination of 1 part salt, ½ part granulated garlic and ¼ part black pepper. Nextlayer on your favorite BBQ dry rub for color and flavor.
Last, cover exposed bones with a small piece of aluminum foil. This will prevent the bones from turning black during cooking.
Let the chicken sit for 30 minutes at room temperature while the smoker is coming up to temperature.
Chicken needs to cook at a higher temp for the skin to be bite-through, so set smoker to 300. While the cooker is heating, place a stick of butter in a ½ size aluminum pan. Go ahead and set the pan inside the cooker, so it has time to melt. The butter adds flavor and moisture to the cooking process, but it doesn’t need to cover the chicken.
Once the smoker is up to temp, place the lollipops in the pan with the bones sticking up straight. Close the lid and let cook for 2 hours.
After 2 hours, the internal temperature should be in the 165-170 range. Dark meat is done at 175 and that’s just enough time to glaze the lollipops.
For the glaze, use your favorite BBQ sauce. Warm a small pot of sauce just until it starts to thin. Then remove the aluminum foil and dip the entire lollipop in the warm sauce.
Continue cooking the lollipops for 30 minutes until the glaze is set. You’ll want to keep an eye on it to prevent the glaze from burning.
The final temperature should be 175 when you pull the legs off the pit.
The final product should look amazing. The sauce should be caramelized and the skin should be bite-through.
If you’re looking for a different way to smoke chicken legs give this method a try. It’s different and perfect to pick-up and eat while you’re tailgating.