Grillmasters around the globe have gone bonkers for yardbird (Southern slang for chicken) ‘lollipops,’ a new twist on an old favorite. Here’s our take on this trendy way to launch chicken drumsticks off the grill.
Chicken is a favorite at Grillax, as we love to experiment with all sorts of ways to grill it up. From our Ultimate Thai Wings to Sweet, Savory Thighs, we love to jump into the test kitchen and get grilling.
We’ve seen the usual suspects in the grilling world give their rendition of drumstick lollipops, but we wanted to take them to another level. Into the pantry we went, grabbing up some sweet and spicy barbecue sauce, along with some savory FireDisc Cookers rub and went to work.
There is a little bit of prep time required to create these lollipops, and you’ll need to arm yourself with a very sharp knife and chef shears. Not only are you cutting away at the skin, but you’ll find chicken legs are full of tendons. The shears will be your next best friend after this one is over and done with.
Typical setup for Grillax Nation, as we utilize our Charcoal Halo for indirect grilling on our kettle. It wouldn’t hurt to grab some smoking blocks to add extra flavor to the chicken … we absolutely did.
This is absolutely an easy-level grill session, as most of the work is on the prep. But, we’re confident you can handle it. Let’s get started.
- Preheat your grill or smoker for indirect cooking at 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Prep your drumsticks by using a sharp knife to cut the skin up to the drumstick knuckle. Pull the skin and tendon up and over the knuckle, from the flat side to the grooved side of the knuckle.
- Press the chicken meat down firmly away from the bottom knuckle, cupping the meat in your hand like you’re holding a baseball, being careful to not dismember the top knuckle. (This will form the handle of your lollipop)
- Cut the bacon in half, then wrap each drumstick in bacon making sure the ends intersect, then secure with a toothpick. Some lollipops may need two pieces of bacon. Liberally add the Freakin A Fowl Rub to the chicken.
- OPTIONAL: Wrap the exposed bones tightly with aluminum foil to keep them from charring or discoloring from the smoke.
- Place the lollipops on the grill away from direct heat and and grill until they reach an internal temperature of 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Replace the lid and continue grilling until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush the lollipops on all sides of the meat with the Sweet Heat BBQ Sauce. Continue grilling another 5-10 minutes, or until internal temperatures measure 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove the lollipops and arrange on a platter with drumsticks straight up so everyone can enjoy.
- Serve with baked beans and purple cabbage slaw, and an Abita Andygator.