Chicken lollipops are drumsticks cut into the shape of a lollipop, baked to a tender golden crisp, and then tossed in a finger-licking good BBQ sauce. These saucy, mouthwatering baked chicken legs are the perfect appetizer or main course for dinner. Read on to get tips and tricks on the easiest way to make lollipop chicken legs! (This recipe is naturally gluten-free.)

Craving more barbecue chicken recipes? Drench your drumsticks in our Savory Homemade Barbecue Sauce. Try our Grilled Spatchcocked Barbecue Chicken and our popular Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Wings recipe next!

barbecue chicken lollipop drumsticks on a plate with a wedge of lemon

The best chicken lollipops are perfectly crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside. Seeing these served at a restaurant, you’d think they used some special chicken because the bone was exposed, the chicken was plump, and it tasted amazing.

It turns out that chicken lollipops are a unique spin on traditional chicken legs. However, the recipe doesn’t require any extra ingredients; just a simple technique known as “frenching.” Let’s learn how to make this one-of-a-kind dish with the best chicken lollipop recipe!

holding chicken lollipop drumstick close to camera with a plate of four lollipop drumsticks in the background and a small ramekin of barbecue sauce on the plate

Making lollipop chicken can be a bit laborious, but it is well worth the effort. Your guest will be surely impressed by the presentation and even more impressed by the taste!

Reasons This Chicken Lollipops Recipe Works

  • Stunning Presentation! Fun and creative, this is the ultimate party appetizer. Besides, it’s much easier to get the kids to eat dinner when it’s chicken in a lollipop shape!
  • Absolutely Delicious! Sweet and savory, with a bit of heat, these BBQ chicken lollipops are bound to become a favorite.
  • Easy to Eat! The frenching technique removes some skin and tendons, making the meat of the chicken leg easier to devour. (The tendons are everyone’s least favorite part of drumsticks, but the problem is solved when you make chicken lollipops!)
  • Totally Customizable! Season the chicken however you’d like and then drench it in your favorite sauce. The flavor is up to you and we provide some helpful tips along the way!
close up of frenched chicken drumsticks on a plate

What is a Chicken Lollipop?

Chicken lollipops are chicken legs or chicken wings with the skin and meat pushed down to reveal more of the bone. The technique used to accomplish this is known as frenching (commonly used for cutting a rack of lamb). Frenching chicken legs makes the drumsticks look more appetizing but it also has a practical use because it makes them easier to eat.

ingredients to make lollipop drumsticks shown is a large bowl of raw chicken drumsticks a small bowl of barbecue sauce small ramekins filled with various spices and a small ramekin of baking powder

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Chicken Legs: If using frozen chicken, defrost and pat dry first. You will need about 2 pounds of chicken, about 6-8 chicken drumsticks.
  • Seasoning: Season with smoked paprika, chili powder, herbs de Provence (or Italian Seasoning), garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt (to taste), and freshly ground pepper (to taste).
  • Baking Powder or cornstarch: Use this to absorb moisture for super crispy chicken lollipops. Do not mistake baking soda for baking powder. You will not get the best result.
  • Homemade BBQ Sauce: Try my easy homemade barbecue sauce or your favorite store-bought sauce. Start with 1 cup and use more if needed.
raw frenched chicken drumsticks on a wire rack lined baking dish
Frenched Chicken Drumsticks (Lollipop Chicken Legs)

How to Cut Chicken Lollipops

  1. About one inch from the top of the drumstick knuckle, using a sharp boning knife, cut in a circular motion around the bone.
  2. Then, cut the skin surrounding it, scrape the meat on the bone downward towards the knuckle, and pull it over the knuckle to remove it completely.
  3. Next, with your hands, push the meat to the opposite end to make it evenly compact (and in the shape of a lollipop).
  4. Use a sharp knife to remove any remaining bits of flesh in order to reveal the cleaned bone beneath it. Then, cut a small piece of the end of the top so that the chicken leg stands upright without falling.

**Refer to the video for a step-by-step walk-through

Tips To Make Cutting The Chicken Lollipops Easier

  • USE A VERY SHARP KNIFE: It is best to use a boning knife, which is a long thin, semi-flexible bladed knife that is used to remove meat from the bone. You can also use a pairing knife, which is like a mini-chef knife with a super sharp blade and is great for precision cutting.
  • USE KITCHEN SCISSORS: Removing the tendons takes a lot of work if using a knife. It is MUCH easier to remove the tendons with kitchen shears. Trust me, it will save you a ton of time.
  • USE GLOVES: The process of frenching drumsticks is very involved. It is best to use gloves during the process so that you can manually remove meat and skin when needed.
steps to show how to make oven baked barbecue chicken lollipop drumsticks

How to Make Chicken Lollipops

  1. CUT THE CHICKEN INTO A “LOLLIPOP” SHAPE. Cut the meat around the base of the chicken drumstick and pull it towards the top so it’s shaped like a lollipop. Push the meat down off the long bone as much as possible. (Refer to the video and steps above for exact directions)
  2. SEASON. Add the baking powder to a medium-sized bowl and add the spices to a separate medium-sized bowl. Dip the chicken legs into the baking powder and then coat in the spices. If the spices aren’t sticking to the chicken, spray the legs with a bit of cooking oil spray then coat in the spices. Repeat until all the wings are fully coated.
  3. WRAP THE BONES IN FOIL. Wrap the bone part with aluminum foil so it is easier to hold, the overall presentation looks good, and the bones do not burn.
  4. BAKE CHICKEN. Preheat oven to 400°F degrees. Lay nonstick foil on a baking sheet or wire-rack lined tray and set aside. Bake for 30 minutes.
  5. GLAZE WITH BBQ SAUCE THEN CONTINUE TO BAKE. Then, brush with BBQ sauce and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F degrees when inserted into the thickest part.
  6. SERVE. Garnish with parsley or spring onions. Serve them hot, with the remaining BBQ sauce on top.
four chicken lollipop drumsticks fully cooked on a wire rack lined baking dish
Fully Cooked Oven Baked Barbecue Chicken Lollipops Fresh Out Of The Oven

Variations + Substitutions

  • Chicken: Use this recipe for chicken leg drummettes, wingettes, and chicken wings. Just be mindful that cooking time will be shorter for smaller cuts of chicken so adjust accordingly.
  • Sauces: Instead of BBQ sauce, you could try Jerk Sauce, buffalo sauce, or an Asian-inspired sauce (honey, ginger, soy sauce).
  • Cooking Method: Prep chicken lollipops then you can roast, grill, deep fry, or smoke them. You can even air fry them! Use the frenching technique to make lollipop chicken, then cook them using my Air Fryer Chicken Legs recipe.
barbecue chicken lollipop drumsticks on a plate with a wedge of lemon

Frequently Asked Questions

Why cover the chicken lollipop leg with foil?

Covering the leg bone prevents the chicken from drying out and the stem from charring as it cooks. It also makes the chicken easier to handle with less mess.

How long does it take to cook chicken lollipops in the oven?

Chicken lollipops take approximately 45 minutes to cook at 400 degrees F. However, the time may vary depending on the size and thickness of the meat. The best way to determine that chicken is done is to check the internal temperature using a meat thermometer. When the temperature reaches 165 degrees F at the thickest part, the chicken is ready.

What is the difference between a chicken lollipop and a drumstick?

Chicken lollipops are drumsticks with skin at the bottom removed to reveal the bare bone. They are chicken legs that have been cut to resemble a lollipop.

holding chicken lollipop drumstick close to camera with a plate of six lollipop drumsticks in the background

I Hope You Enjoy This Baked Chicken Lollipops Recipe!

If you try the recipe, don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know what you think in the comments. Leave a quick review & star rating ★ below! Take pictures, tag #goodfoodbaddie, and share them with me on InstagramFacebook, and Pinterest! I love seeing my recipes come to life in your kitchen.

More Delicious Chicken Recipes To Try!

holding chicken lollipop drumstick close to camera with a plate of four lollipop drumsticks in the background and a small ramekin of barbecue sauce on the plate

Best Chicken Lollipops Recipe

Chicken lollipops are drumsticks cut into the shape of a lollipop, baked to a tender golden crisp then tossed in a finger-licking good BBQ sauce. These saucy, mouthwatering baked chicken legs are the perfect appetizer or main course for dinner. (This recipe is gluten-free.)
4.98 from 44 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner, Main Course, Meal Prep
Cuisine: American, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 433kcal
Author: Capri Lilly

Ingredients

  • 6-8 Chicken Legs defrosted if frozen (about 2 pounds)
  • 2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 2 tsp Chili Powder
  • 2 tsp Herbs De Provence or Italian Seasoning
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • ½ tsp Sea Salt or to taste
  • ¼ tsp Freshly Ground Pepper or to taste
  • 4 tsp Baking Powder or cornstarch, optional not baking soda
  • 1 cup Homemade BBQ Sauce or your favorite store-bought sauce plus more if needed

Instructions

How to Cut Chicken Lollipops

  • About one inch from the top of the drumstick knuckle, using a sharp boning knife, cut in a circular motion around the bone.
  • Then, cut the skin surrounding it, scrape the meat on the bone downward towards the knuckle, and pull it over the knuckle to remove it completely.
  • Next, with your hands, push the meat to the opposite end to make it evenly compact (and in the shape of a lollipop). For the best presentation, try to pull the skin down to cover all the meat.
  • Use a sharp knife to remove any remaining bits of flesh in order to reveal the cleaned bone beneath it. Then, cut a small piece of the end of the top so that the chicken leg stands upright without falling.

How to Make Chicken Lollipops

  • CUT THE CHICKEN INTO A "LOLLIPOP" SHAPE. Cut the meat around the base of the chicken drumstick and pull it towards the top so it’s shaped like a lollipop. Push the meat down off the long bone as much as possible. (Refer to the video and steps above for exact directions)
  • SEASON. Add the baking powder to a medium-sized bowl and add the spices to a separate medium-sized bowl. Dip the chicken legs into the baking powder and then coat in the spices. If the spices aren't sticking to the chicken, spray the legs with a bit of cooking oil spray then coat in the spices. Repeat until all the wings are fully coated.
  • WRAP THE BONES IN FOIL. Wrap the bone part with aluminum foil so it is easier to hold, the overall presentation looks good, and the bones do not burn.
  • BAKE CHICKEN. Preheat oven to 400°F degrees. Lay nonstick foil on a baking sheet or wire-rack lined tray and set aside. Bake for 30 minutes.
  • GLAZE WITH BBQ SAUCE THEN CONTINUE TO BAKE. Then, brush with BBQ sauce and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F degrees when inserted into the thickest part.
  • SERVE. Garnish with parsley or spring onions. Serve them hot, with the remaining BBQ sauce on top.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

Tips To Make Cutting The Chicken Lollipops Easier

  • USE A VERY SHARP KNIFE: It is best to use a boning knife, which is a long thin, semi-flexible bladed knife that is used to remove meat from the bone. You can also use a pairing knife, which is like a mini-chef knife with a super sharp blade and is great for precision cutting.
  • USE KITCHEN SCISSORS: Removing the tendons takes a lot of work if using a knife. It is MUCH easier to remove the tendons with kitchen shears. Trust me, it will save you a ton of time.
  • USE GLOVES: The process of frenching drumsticks is very involved. It is best to use gloves during the process so that you can manually remove meat and skin when needed.
goodfoodbaddie.com offers nutritional information for recipes contained on this site. This information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients you used to make the recipe. For more information read our Nutritional Disclaimer.

Nutrition

Serving: 2drumsticks | Calories: 433kcal | Carbohydrates: 36.5g | Protein: 44.4g | Fat: 11.7g | Saturated Fat: 3.1g | Cholesterol: 135mg | Sodium: 1382mg | Potassium: 1280mg | Fiber: 1.6g | Sugar: 22.6g | Calcium: 336mg | Iron: 3mg

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13 Comments

  1. This sounds like a lovely recipe to make for a party. Have shared it with a friend who is looking for a good recipe.

  2. 5 stars
    These were fun and tasted great. We’re thinking they will be a great appetizer at out Halloween party!

  3. 5 stars
    I absolutely adore this Chicken Lollipops recipe! They were a hit at our party, and we served them with a tangy dipping sauce. Thanks a million for sharing this finger-licking good recipe—it’s a crowd-pleaser for sure! 🍗🎉👌😋

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