**Post written by The BBQ Brothers. For all meat prep, grill set up, temperature and humidity control, recommended tools, and techniques for The BBQ Brothers recipes, check out The BBQ Brothers Beginner’s Guide To Grilling first, then get to cookin!
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When it comes to BBQ chicken I have always made chicken thighs as I find them to be the best at maintaining moisture during the smoking process. However, I have discovered a new and very interesting way to BBQ chicken legs.
*Warning* Please do not attempt without a very sharp knife and some good shears!
For this round of lollipops we used 12 chicken legs. The first part is quite challenging but at least you can get the hard part out of the way. We want to take a chicken leg and and make a cut completely around the lower part of the leg, just below the knuckle, cutting through the skin and tendons. I found it easier to actually take a sharp knife and cut off the knuckle which allowed me to pull the meat off a lot easier. Once you have done that you will want to pull that meat off the bottom of the leg and remove it. This process will take all of the tendons out which leaves us with a big ball of meat at the top. You will also want to remove the second bone in the leg with your shears, but be careful, as this bone may be very sharp. Finally, we want to push the meat towards the top to make a round ball to make it look more like a lollipop. This was my first time doing this and it took me about 45 min to go through 12 legs so try not to get too frustrated, as it can be challenging.
Next, we want to take a two-step rub process on our chicken. I put Montreal chicken seasoning on first and then our all-purpose BBQ rub on second. This process will give your chicken a dynamic flavor as they will contrast with each other. You may see some recipes on the internet that say cover up the exposed bone with foil so they don’t blacken during cooking, but I chose not to as I was cooking for friends and not a BBQ competition so the presentation didn’t need to be spot on. The last step of our prep is easy as we want the legs to rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, which gives us time to get the grill going.We want to get our grill/smoker at 275-300 degrees and place the legs in for about 2 hours on indirect heat with some apple wood chips. At 2 hours my legs were at an internal temp of 169; dark meat chicken is done at 175 so sauce the legs up and put them in for about another 30 min. (We used Sticky Fingers Sweet Southern Heat BBQ sauce.) This will allow that BBQ sauce to glaze on the legs which should be at about 177 by then so take them off and enjoy!
I have to be honest when I first took these off I told Caitlin that I am never doing this again as the trimming of the legs took a while. But when our friends came over for a little get-together these were a hit! As people kept asking “What are those?” and “How did you do that?” which made it all worth the extra effort. If you set them out on a table for people to snack on I can promise they will be intrigued to try them and they won’t be disappointed!
BBQ ESSENTIALS (Chicken Lollipops Edition)
Meat Used: 12 chicken legs
Seasoning: Montreal Chicken Seasoning and The BBQ Brothers All-purpose BBQ rub
Wood Used: Apple
Grill Temperature: 275-300 degrees
Meat Temperature: 175 degrees
Smoke Time: 2 hours then 30 minutes post saucing, all indirect heat
- Using a sharp knife/kitchen shears, make a cut completely around the lower part of the leg, just below the knuckle, cutting through the skin and tendons.
- Remove the second bone in the leg with your shears.
- Push the meat towards the top to make a round ball to make it look more like a lollipop.
- Let rest at room temp for 30 minutes after seasoning.
- Sauce the legs at about 2 hours in, or about 169 degrees F, then add back to the grill for another 30 minutes.
So let us know what you think….did this recipe smoke the competition or go up in flames?