As our adventure on the grill continues, I thought I’d share a very creative way to do chicken lollipops. If you’re not familiar with chicken lollipops, it’s basically the way the drumette of the wing is shaped to give the appearance of our favorite kid candy, lollipops. With that in mind I decided to make a rub to marinate the chicken lollipops in, using ingredients we would normally use on a daily basis on the islands. The slight heat and smokiness from the paprika, combined with fresh herbs and the earthy goodness of good Caribbean curry powder will certainly make this a go-to dish as you spark up your grill and invite friends over.
1 tablespoon curry powder (madras)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon thyme
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoon rum
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
Note: Traditionally the drum part of the chicken wings are used to make the lollipop shape, but I used actual chicken drumsticks. More meat and much cheaper than purchasing chicken wings. I used a madras blend curry powder originating from the Caribbean.. just my preference.
The very first thing we need to do is to shape the lollipops (see the video below). Grab the thin end of the drumstick firmly, then carefully cut through the meat surrounding the bone, using a sawing motion and turning the thing around. Don’t try to force it, let the knife do the work. Once the skin is cut all around, use your knife to scrape down the meat from the bone. You may need to cut through a couple of sinews. Push the meat down to the other end. You should now have what looks like a handle with a ball of chicken meat at one end. * Be sure to look out for the tiny long bone which will be close to the main bone of the drumstick. It can prick you.. try to cut that out. In the pic below you’ll see 4 stages of me doing the lollipop thing. BTW, I removed the skin first.
With all my drumsticks now shaped into chicken lollipops, I washed it with lime juice (you can use lemon juice or vinegar as well) and rinse with cool water. Drain and set aside for marinating.
It’s now time to make the marinade… combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and give it a good whisk.
Pour the marinade over the trimmed and shaped chicken pieces and give it a good mix (get your hands in there). Now cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to marinate for at least 1 hour (try not to go beyond 3 hrs). Then bring back to room temperature while your grill heats up.
The next step is pretty straight forward, as you’ll just grill as you normally grill chicken. My grill was about 375 degrees and I pretty much cooked them for about 25-30 minutes. Rotating them every 4-5 minutes and basting with the leftover marinade in the bowl I marinated them in.
As they cook and the heat of the grill intensifies, you’ll start getting that lovely aroma of the marinade… especially the curry powder! Do keep an eye on them so they don’t overcook and dry out. But be sure to get some grill marks on them to really intensify the rich flavors we infused them with.
There’s no need for any BBQ sauce on these or you’ll destroy all the work you did to create that lovely exotic flavor from the curry powder, spices and herbs. However, the tamarind bbq sauce I shared with you a couple weeks back would make for an excellent dipping sauce for these chicken lollipops. Here’s a video on how simple it is to make that lovely tamarind bbq sauce…
Here’s the complete video from preparation to the completed curry chicken lollipops for you to follow along…