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Chicken Lollipop

Chicken LollipopOur chicken lollipop recipe combines crispy-skinned drumsticks rosted and dressed in a sticky, sweet sauce. It’s the perfect dish for any occasion; serve them as a tasty appetizer or feature them as a main dish alongside lo mein noodles or Easy Vegetable Fried Rice

Chicken lollipops on a serving dish with cilantro chutney.

WHAT IS A CHICKEN LOLLIPOP?

Chicken lollipop is a popular Indo-Chinese appetizer, often served in Indian restaurants. As the name implies, chicken drumsticks or drumettes are stripped bare to the bone or ‘frenched,’ and the meat is pushed to the other end, resulting in chicken drumsticks shaped like lollipops; they are a fun, mess-free way of eating drumsticks, especially if you have little ones.

WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE

  • Chicken: I use drumsticks for this recipe, but you can also use drumettes from the wings if you prefer- although they are more challenging to cut and turn into lollipops. 
  • Garlic: I suggest using four cloves for the chicken and the sauce, but don’t let my recipe tell you how much garlic to use- measure with your heart.
  • Spices: Season with Kashmiri Chili Powder, salt, black pepper, garam masala, and Kasuri methi.
  • Sweet and Spicy Sauce: Saute onions, garlic, and fresh ginger in a pan to draw out the flavor, and season the sauce with dark soy sauce, vinegar, honey, and warm spices. This combination of ingredients builds a sweet heat that coats and caramelizes the lollipops as they bake.

HOW TO PREPARE CHICKEN LOLLIPOPS

Prepare the chicken by cutting off the top of the drumstick to make it flat. Then, cut in a circle using a sharp knife or kitchen shears just below the thickest part of a drumstick.

Cutting just below the wide part of the drumstick.

Use a paper towel to pull off the bottom half of the drumstick, exposing the bone. Then, pull the chicken toward the top to look like a lollipop.

Pull the ends off using a paper towel.

Blue Flame Kitchen does a great job demonstrating how to prepare the chicken lollipops in this video.

HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN LOLLIPOPS 

The full recipe with measurements is in the recipe card below.

Adjust the oven rack to the upper-middle position and preheat the oven to 450° F (232)° C. Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Add garlic, ginger, Kashmiri Chili Powder, salt, black pepper, and garam masala to a mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add the lollipops one by one to evenly distribute the mixture.

Lollipops in a mixing bowl with seasoning.

Line the drumsticks onto a baking sheet top side down and roast them for 15 minutes.

Chicken lollipops lined onto a baking sheet.

Meanwhile, warm the oil in a saute pan and add the onions, garlic, and ginger. Cook until the onions start to caramelize, for about 15 minutes.

Oil, onions, garlic, and soy sauce sautéing in a pan.

Then stir in the soy sauce, vinegar, water, honey chili powder, Kasuri methi, and salt. Simmer for 5 minutes and pour into a mug or glass bowl.

Sauces added to the onion, garlic, and ginger.

Remove the lollipops from the oven and swirl them in the cup with the reserved sauce. Return them to the oven and continue cooking for 10-15 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165° F (73° C).

A drumstick inside the cup of sauce.

Let the drumsticks rest for about 5 minutes before serving, and garnish them with fresh cilantro.

Chicken lollipops lined onto a baking sheet.

COOKING TIPS

  • When preparing the drumsticks, I prefer using kitchen shears to cut through the skin and a paper towel to drag the meat into place and expose the bone.
  • Insert your food thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken drumstick. The safe cooking temperature for chicken is 165° F (73° C).

SEARCHING FOR MORE LIKE THIS? 

If you love this recipe, try one of these chicken-centered favorites!  

Chicken lollipops on a serving dish with cilantro chutney.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS 

WHAT TO DO WITH THE LEFTOVERS 

  • TO STORE – The best way to store the leftovers is in an airtight container; they will keep for 3-4 days.
  • TO FREEZE – Allow the chicken lollipops to cool, then add them to a freezer-safe container or bag. They will keep for six months.
  • TO REHEAT – Warm leftovers in the oven for 15 minutes at 350° F (176° C).
  • TO REPURPOSE – Remove the chicken from the bone. Then, use it as a topping for salad or filling for a sandwich or pita.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 

What is the point of chicken lollipop?

Chicken lollipop is an easy appetizer popularized in Indian and Chinese restaurants. However, I love that it allows home cooks to serve mess-free drumsticks. And that’s a good thing because once the chicken is dipped in the sweet sauce, eating them would result in sticky fingers otherwise.

What is the difference between chicken drumsticks and lollipop?

Like our Oven Baked Drumsticks with Peruvian Spices, chicken drumsticks bake or roast in the oven. However, called a chicken lollipop for a reason, the drumstick or drumette is cut and trimmed, so the exposed bone makes it look like a lollipop. 

Are chicken lollipops healthy?

The answer varies based on your health goals. Chicken is lean, high in protein, and flavored with warm spices. The ingredients for the sauce can be a cause for concern to some if you’re trying to cut out sugar or limit sodium. In this case, I recommend using sugar-free maple syrup rather than honey and coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.

What part of chicken is chicken lollipop?

Chicken lollipop recipes call for drumsticks or drumettes cut or frenched into a lollipop shape, making them easier to eat.

YOU SHOULD ALSO TRY: 

Chicken lollipops on a serving dish with cilantro chutney.

Chicken Lollipop

Tressa Jamil
Our tasty chicken lollipop recipe is combines crispy-skinned drumsticks roasted and dressed in a sticky, sweet sauce-they're perfect for any occasion.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Appetizer, Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Servings 8 Servings
Calories 383 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the Chicken:

  • 3 Pounds Chicken Drumsticks, bone-in, bottom half removed to expose the bone
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ -inch ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Kashmiri Chili Powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, coarse ground
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

For the Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ small white onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ -inch ginger, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon Kashmiri chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kasuri methi
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Instructions
 

  • Prepare the chicken by cutting off the top of the drumstick to make it flat. Then, cut in a circle using a sharp knife or kitchen shears just below the thickest part of a drumstick.
  • Use a paper towel to pull off the bottom half of the drumstick, exposing the bone. Then, pull the chicken toward the top to look like a lollipop. Dry the drumsticks thoroughly with a cloth, and set them aside.
  • Adjust the oven rack to the upper-middle position and preheat the oven to 450° F (232)° C. Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Add garlic, ginger, Kashmiri Chili Powder, salt, black pepper, and garam masala to a mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add the lollipops one by one to evenly distribute the mixture.
  • Line the drumsticks onto a baking sheet top side down and roast them for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, warm the oil in a saute pan and add the onions, garlic, and ginger. Cook until the onions start to caramelize, for about 15 minutes. Then stir in the soy sauce, vinegar, water, honey chili powder, Kasuri methi, and salt. Simmer for 5 minutes and pour into a mug or glass bowl.
  • Remove the lollipops from the oven and swirl them in the cup with the reserved sauce. Return them to the oven and continue cooking for 10-15 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165° F (73° C).
  • Let the drumsticks rest for about 5 minutes before serving, and garnish them with fresh cilantro.

Video

Notes

Cooking Tips:
  • When preparing the drumsticks, I prefer using kitchen shears to cut through the skin and a paper towel to drag the meat into place and expose the bone.
  • Insert your food thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken drumstick. The safe cooking temperature for chicken is 165° F (73° C).
 
Nutrition Disclosure:
  • The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.

Nutrition

Serving: 2 DrumsticksCalories: 383kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 38gFat: 24gSodium: 843mgSugar: 3g
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and follow @thejamilghar or tag #thejamilghar on Instagram!
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