Transform Drumsticks Into Dippable Chicken Lollipops

bbq chicken lollipops on plate
bbq chicken lollipops on plate - Catherine Brookes/Mashed

For centuries, food presentation has played a significant role in the art of eating. And in the age of TikTok and Instagram, preparing and sharing food that is as much a treat for the eyes as it is for the taste buds has become an exercise in care and creativity. But when social media has turned everyone you know into an amateur food critic, it can feel like a lot of pressure to come up with a dinner party dish that is both tasty and visually appealing. Luckily, Mashed recipe developer Catherine Brookes came up with the perfectly presentable, sharable treat for your next get-together: BBQ chicken lollipops.

Turning regular old drumsticks into chic, dippable lollipops takes more than just a change in perspective –- it requires a bit of knife work, too. Using a paring knife, cut the meat and tendons at the end of the tibia in a circular motion. Once loosened, Brookes recommends using the knife to slide the meat down the bone, toward the base of the drumstick. Because the bone will act as the lollipop stick, it should be clear of meat and debris. A pair of kitchen scissors can be used to snip away any bits left on the bone before wrapping it in tin foil. "Wrapping the ends in foil makes the lollipops easier to pick up and eat without getting your fingers dirty," Brookes notes.

Read more: The Most Useless Cooking Utensils, According To Chefs

Marinate Your Chicken Lollipops In BBQ Glaze

dipping bbq chicken lollipops
dipping bbq chicken lollipops - Catherine Brookes/Mashed

Once your drumsticks have gotten the lollipop treatment, the hard part is over and it's time to gussy them up. Whipping up a BBQ glaze that Mashed recipe developer Catherine Brookes calls, "sweet, smoky, [and] tangy," requires only five ingredients: barbecue sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, honey, and fresh lime juice. After marinating in the mixture for anywhere between 2-24 hours, the drumsticks can be baked at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

Because the chicken lollipops are the star of the show, plating is simple once the chicken is done. "I'd say this is more of an appetizer or starter," Brookes points out, which is why she recommends serving the lollipops with just a few fresh lime wedges and a bowl of barbecue sauce for dipping. To transform the chicken lollipops into a proper meal, Brookes recommends complementing them with a side salad and rice. For a southern spin, pair them with baked beans, cornbread, and coleslaw. "And don't forget a tall glass of sweet tea," Brookes adds.

Read the original article on Mashed.