These chicken lollipops are the ultimate appetizer for any occasion! Everyone will love these saucy, super flavorful and delicious lollipops with a kick! Serve them as an appetizer or a Side with some Chinese noodles or Fried rice. These spicy Chicken lollipops are perfect for any occasion – parties, family dinner or game day Snacking.
My recipe will teach you how to make great tasting chicken lollipops that are crispy on the outside and juicy & tender inside. I also cover the steps to make that finger-licking good hot and sweet Schezwan sauce into which the lollipops are drenched.
Chicken lollipop is a popular Indo-Chinese appetizer where a frenched chicken drumette is marinated and then batter fried or baked until crisp. These are then either seasoned and tossed in a sweet and spicy sauce or simply served with a favorite sauce or dip.
Indo-Chinese fusion foods are hugely popular in the Indian-Chinese Restaurants. Chicken lollipops are one of the most ordered in these places. My family, especially my kids love Chinese foods served in the restaurants.
But these restaurant foods are not free from additives – food colors, MSG and preservatives are added to most of these. So we try to limit eating Chinese in restaurants.
After perfecting this Chicken lollipop recipe, we have never eaten them out because the homemade these lollipops are the best and better than the restaurant served. I can say these are a real thing! No additives, you have full control over the ingredients used like oil and refined flour.
You will find a few variations of the sauce served in restaurants. The recipe shared here will help you make a schezwan sauce which is slightly spicy, hot, sweet and tangy with bursting flavors.
To make kids’ friendly chicken lollipops, just cut down the chilli powder and increase the sweetness. Alternately you may use any other sweet and sour sauce.
How to French chicken drumette or winglet
For this recipe you can use store bought chicken lollipops that are pre-frenched and shaped. If they are not available easily, you can french the whole chicken wings yourself. A lot of people use both chicken drumettes and winglets to French and shape to a lollipop. But in my opinion only the drumettes are best.
However if you have both and want to use up, feel free to use both. If you are a beginner and has not handled meat before I suggest you try with drumettes. These are the first portion of the whole chicken wings and are fairly easy to french.
How To Make Chicken Lollipop (Stepwise photos)
1. I always prefer to brine / soak the chicken in buttermilk for at least an hour. If using larger wings or drummettes then I suggest soaking for 4 to 6 hours in refrigerator. I would not recommend skipping this step as it really helps to yield soft and tender chicken when fried or grilled.
To make buttermilk, add 3 to 4 tbsp Indian curd or yogurt to a large bowl. Whisk it well with a fork. Add 1 ¼ cup water and ¼ tsp salt. Then add chicken to the butter milk.
Always cover the chicken container and wrap with a few disposable plastic bags. Place the bowl in a separate compartment in the fridge which is not used for fruits, veggies and nuts.
2. Remove skin and fats before going ahead. Hold the thinner side of the drummettes. Next with the help of a knife, bring down the meat towards the other end. You can look at the picture.
3. Drain off the buttermilk completely if any. Add chili powder or paprika, spice powder, Ginger garlic and pepper powder as well. Toss gently to coat.
Fry or Bake Chicken Lollipop
4. Mix cornflour with salt. Next add it to the bowl. Mix well. If you do not like to use corn flour, use unbleached and unbromated flour. You can make these without flour or can use only 2 tbsp rice flour as well.
5. Next shape them to balls on one side and place them all on a plate.
6. You can grill or fry the chicken. Grill in a preheated oven at 240 C for 20 to 22 minutes depending on the size. OR Heat oil in a pan. When the oil is hot enough, deep fry them on medium high until cooked.
Do not fry on very high flame as it may brown the chicken outside without cooking inside. Next frying on a very low flame, will make the chicken hard. I haven’t tried shallow frying or pan frying, since I am not sure if they get cooked well.
7. Drain them on a kitchen towel. I fried in 3 batches.
8. Transfer the oil to a bowl. After that keep 1.5 tsp oil in the pan. Add ginger garlic and fry until fragrant.
9. Next add onions and fry until transparent. While the onions fry, make red chili paste. Mix ¾ tbsp chili powder with 1.5 tbsp water. You can also use ready made chili paste.
10. Mix 1 tsp vinegar with only 1 tsp naturally brewed soya sauce for half kg chicken. Pour it to the pan.
11. Add sugar and red chili paste or sauce. Saute everything together without burning.
12. Then pour ½ cup water and Stir.
13. Allow the sauce to cook until it thickens.
14. Add the chicken and toss. I set aside a few for the kids as the sauce is spicy.
Finally garnish chicken lollipop with spring onions or celery. Wrap the lollypops with foil towards the bone. Serve as an appetizer or a side to a Chinese meal.
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- ½ kg chicken drummettes (or 1 lb)
- oil as needed for frying
- 1 ¼ tablespoon Ginger garlic paste or mince or ½ tsp each of powder
- ¼ to ½ red chili powder or paprika (adjust) or red chili sauce
- ½ teaspoon any spice powder or garam masala
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoon cornstarch (white corn flour) or (2 tbsp rice flour)
seasoning for chicken lollipop
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- ¾ tablespoon ginger minced
- ¾ tablespoon garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon soya sauce
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- 1 tablespoon red chili sauce or red chilli paste or any hot sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup water
- 2 tablespoon chopped celery or spring onions
- This section is optional but will tenderize the chicken & keeps it juicy.
- Add 3 to 4 tbsp yogurt to a bowl, whisk it.
- Then pour 1 ¼ cup water and salt.
- Transfer the chicken and brine for 1 hour to overnight to tenderize the chicken.
Frying or grilling chicken
- Drain off the buttermilk and add chili powder, ginger garlic, spice powder & salt.
- Rub these well and then sprinkle corn flour. Coat the chicken well.
- Heat oil until hot enough.
- Then fry the chicken on a medium heat until crisp and golden.
- Remove to kitchen tissues.
- Alternately you can grill then in a preheated oven at 220 C for 20 to 22 mins until cooked through.
How to make chicken lollipop
- Add 1½ tsp oil to a pan for seasoning and heat it.
- Saute ginger garlic until aromatic. Add onions & fry until transparent.
- Stir in red chili sauce, sugar, vinegar and soya sauce.
- When the sauce begins to bubble pour water and stir.
- Taste and check the salt, sweet, sour & spice.
- Add more if needed. Cook until the sauce thickens.
- Add the fried chicken. Toss them well to coat the sauce.
- Garnish chicken lollipop with spring onions or celery.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
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I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills.
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