Learn how to make lip-smacking restaurant-style chicken lollipops at home. Coated in a sweet and tangy spice mix and fried to perfection.
Need a fun and creative way to enjoy chicken? This chicken lollipop recipe is your answer.
I’ve been making them for my family as a delicious and unique alternative to baked chicken wings or air fryer chicken drumsticks. Not only do they take minutes to make, but they are seriously moreish.
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What are chicken lollipops?
Chicken lollipops are easy-to-eat, French-cut whole chicken wings. Essentially, they are chicken wings that have been cut to resemble a lollipop (but they don’t taste like candy, ha!). They are perfectly seasoned and make a fabulous appetizer.
Here are some reasons why I love this recipe:
- Perfect texture and flavor. The texture of the chicken is crispy on the outside yet juicy and moist in the middle. It’s savory, spicy, and tangy all at once.
- Easy to make. No fuss of marination and no double frying. Just dredge the chicken in a spicy coating and fry them away.
- It is the ultimate crowd-pleaser. If I’m hosting friends for a BBQ or game day, this is what I make. Served with a plethora of sauces, it NEVER lasts long.
- 4 cooking options. The classic way is deep frying, but I’ve also tested this recipe using the oven, the grill, and my handy dandy smoker.
This recipe is so easy; besides eggs and seasonings, there isn’t much else needed to make. Here is what you’ll need:
- Chicken wings. I like to get my wings from the butcher because I can specify the whole chicken wing instead of the pre-separated ones (usually into wings and drumettes). If you can’t find whole wings, use drumettes.
- Crushed garlic. I love the flavor of crushed garlic, but you can also use garlic powder.
- Ketchup. For the sweet and tang flavors. Opt for a ketchup with the least amount of added sugar.
- Soy sauce. For the ultimate umami hit.
- Vinegar. It is the essential acidic component. I typically use white vinegar, but apple cider vinegar works well.
- Kosher salt and black pepper. To taste.
- Spices. We use a mix of paprika, ginger powder, and chili powder. This dynamic trio is equal parts spicy and smoky.
- Egg, flour, and cornstarch. To make up the crispy batter.
- Oil. I like using avocado oil, but any oil with a high smoke point works.
Find the printable recipe with measurements below.
How to make chicken lollipops
Step 1- make the spice mix. Whisk dry spice and chili powders, paprika, vinegar, soy sauce, ketchup, garlic paste, and salt in a small bowl.
Step 2- Prep the chicken. Scrape the meat from the thinner side of the drumettes (wings removed) to make a lollipop. To “French” chicken wings, cut at the base of the chicken wing using a sharp knife. Clean the bone, remove the white tendons, and push to collect the meat at the other end to create the lollipop appearance.
Step 3- Coat the chicken. Make the batter using cornstarch, flour, and egg in a bowl. Dip the chicken with the spice seasoning and coat it with the batter.
Step 4- Fry and serve hot. Heat oil in a deep pot and add chicken lollipops. Deep fry for 3-4 minutes, drip the oil on tissue paper, and serve hot with a sauce of your liking!
Alternative cooking methods
If I’m making this chicken recipe for my family and don’t want to deep fry them, I like to bake, grill, or smoke them instead. These three methods are a little more time-consuming but will still yield crispy and juicy chicken.
To bake: Place the prepared chicken onto a foil-rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 200C/400F for 25 minutes, flipping halfway through.
To grill: Place the prepared lollipops on a hot grill brushed with olive oil. Grill on each side for 2-3 minutes, adding a little extra grease as needed.
To smoke: Prep the chicken as instructed. Once coated in batter, place the chicken in a preheated smoker and smoke at 225-250F for 2-3 hours.
Regardless of which cooking method you choose, remember that the best way to check if the chicken is fully cooked is to use a meat thermometer. Fully cooked chicken should have an internal temperature of 165F.
Recipe tips and variations
- My #1 tip. Ensure the frying oil is 350F for a perfectly cooked, crispy chicken. If the oil is too cold, you’ll be left with greasy chicken.
- Fry the chicken in batches. Too many chicken lollipops will bring down the temperature of the oil and will cook your chicken slowly (see above). I’ve noticed this will also result in soggy and not crispy exteriors.
- I’ve tested this recipe using chicken drumsticks and chicken legs, and they work just as well. The only change I’d suggest is to cook them a little longer to compensate for the extra weight. Please do not use chicken breasts or thighs because they will not cook correctly with this seasoning mix.
- You can change up the seasonings or douse the chicken in a fun sauce, like BBQ sauce or buffalo sauce.
To store. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for 3-5 days.
To freeze. Place the chicken on a tray, and once frozen, transfer them to ziplock bags for three months.
To reheat. Warm the chicken in the oven at 375°F for 10-12 minutes to reheat them.
Frequently asked questions
The cut used to make this recipe involves chicken wings separated from the drumette (the meaty portion).
Use garam flour or rice flour instead of wheat flour. Also, remember to use a gluten-free soy sauce or tamari for the umami flavor.
More delicious ways to enjoy chicken
- Smoked chicken wings– My favorite set-and-forget way to cook flavorful wings.
- Air fryer chicken wings– Fast, crispy, and juicy all at once.
- Baked chicken legs– My family LOVES the marinade I use for this chicken.
- Grilled chicken tenders– Perfect for the warmer weather or when you want something healthy and fast.
- Popcorn chicken– Better than KFC, I promise.
- Chicken livers– Grilled or pan-fried, these are surprisingly delicious.
Chicken Lollipop Recipe
- Whisk together the garlic, ketchup, soy sauce, vinegar, salt, paprika, ginger, pepper, and chili powder in a bowl. In another small bowl, combine together flour, cornstarch, and beaten egg.
- Prepare the wings by cutting the meat towards the other end and forming the chicken lollipop.
- Toss the chicken lollipops in the spice mixture and coat evenly.
- Pour the mixture onto the chicken and mix well until it coats the meat well.
- Heat oil in a medium pot and cook the chicken in batches. Fry them for 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown.
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