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Quick Air Fryer Chicken Lollipops with Honey-Soy Garlic Sauce

by Lily
Published: Last Updated: 2,245 views
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5 from 3 votes

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Air-fried chicken lollipops are a healthier and fun way to serve as finger food appetizers, thanks to the exposed bone that acts as a handle. When you add homemade sweet honey, umami soy garlic sauce to these lollipops, they will please even the pickiest eater in your group! Ready in 30 minutes from start to finish!

Umm. Yum!!! That is all I could muster after taking a bite into the chicken “lollipop”. The crispy coating combined with the bold sauce and juicy meat created a party on my taste buds. These are finger-lickin’ good and swift to make. If you do not have an air fryer, you can pop these babies into the oven and get the same results. Don’t say I didn’t warn you! They are dangerously good!

*Good To Know*

  • I do not own an air fryer. Is there another method?
    Absolutely! You can oven-fry the chicken lollipops by using a baking sheet with a rack on it. The rack is essential to mimic air frying your chicken if you still want to cook them in a healthy way.
    Your second (less-healthy) option is to deep fry the lollipops in vegetable or canola oil.
  • How do you oven-fry chicken lollipops?
    Move your oven rack to the middle shelf. Preheat your oven to 400°F (or 375°F if you use a convection oven). After the chicken lollipops are coated with cornstarch and sprayed with cooking oil, place lollipops on an oven-friendly wire rack on a baking sheet. Oven-fry the lollipops for 12 to 15 minutes (flip halfway) until the chicken is golden brown or the internal temperature is 165°F (74°C). 

Ingredients you will need

For the lollipops

  • chicken drumsticks
  • kosher or sea salt
  • ground black pepper
  • garlic powder
  • vegetable oil
  • cornstarch

For the honey-soy garlic sauce

  • soy sauce
  • honey
  • fresh garlic 
  • rice or apple cider vinegar
  • vegetable oil
  • cornstarch + water

For the garnish

  • green onions or chives

How to cut chicken drumsticks into lollipops

Use a small sharp knife to cut around the circumference of the thin part of the bone (near where the gristle is). Then scrape the meat downward with your knife to separate it from the bone and push it to the bottom. Remove and cut off any excess strands of cartilage that may pop out while you cut.

Cut 3/4 along one side of the meat, starting near the bottom of the thick part (see images below for reference). Flip the meat inside out to create the ‘lollipop’ look. Now, the skin should be on the inside and meat on the outside. Be careful when you do this because there will be a small piece of bone known as the ‘fibula’ that will stick out, and it can easily poke you. Break off the fibula or cut it off with your kitchen shears.

Season, coat and air fry the chicken lollipops

Place the chicken lollipops into a large bowl and season with salt, ground black pepper, garlic powder, and vegetable oil. Preheat your air fryer to 400°F  (204°C).

If you do not have an air fryer, preheat your oven to 400°F. It is essential to use a baking sheet with a rack on it since this will help oven-fry your chicken by distributing the heat evenly over and underneath the chicken.

In a medium bowl with cornstarch, roll each chicken lollipop around in the starch to coat it thoroughly. You can coat the gristle too if you like. Place it on a tray lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Repeat this step until all of the drumsticks are coated with cornstarch. Spray the lollipops with cooking oil and place 3 or 4 chicken lollipops into your air fryer without crowding the basket. Air fry each batch for 10 to 12 minutes (flip halfway) until the chicken is golden brown or the internal temperature is 165°F (74°C).

Tip

  • Use the honey-soy garlic sauce as a separate side dip or combine it together with the chicken lollipops.
  • A food thermometer is your best friend in the kitchen for cooking and baking. I highly encourage you to invest in one since that will take out a lot of the guesswork for cooking your food.

Make the honey-soy garlic sauce

When the last batch of chicken is almost done cooking in the air fryer (or oven), it is a good time to get started on the sauce.

Heat one Tablespoon vegetable or canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add minced garlic and fry until it starts to turn light brown. Pour in soy sauce, honey, and rice vinegar. Stir to combine everything and turn the heat up to medium-high. In a separate bowl, create the slurry by combining cornstarch and water. Then, pour the cornstarch slurry into the honey-soy sauce and continue to stir until the sauce thickens. At this point, you can reserve the sauce for dipping on the side by removing it from the heat; or you can combine the chicken lollipops with the sauce.

Garnish with chopped green onions or chives and serve chicken lollipops immediately while still warm. Add a side of rice, roasted potatoes, salad, or any side you like, to make it a meal. 

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Quick Air Fryer Chicken Lollipops with Honey-Soy Garlic Sauce

Air-fried Chicken lollipops are a healthier and fun way to serve as finger food appetizers, thanks to the exposed bone that acts as a handle. When you add homemade sweet honey and umami soy garlic sauce to these lollipops, they will please even the pickiest eater in your group! You've been warned!
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yields: 10 Lollipops

Ingredients

For the chicken lollipops

  • 10 (757 g) chicken drumsticks
  • teaspoon (9 g) kosher or sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon (1 g) ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon (3 g) garlic powder
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable or canola oil
  • ½ cup (64 g) cornstarch

For the honey-soy garlic sauce

  • 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons (3 g) fresh minced garlic (3 cloves), or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ cup (118 ml) soy sauce (full sodium), add 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt IF using less sodium soy sauce
  • ½ cup (118 ml) pure honey
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) rice vinegar, or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon (8 g) cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) water

For the garnish

  • 2 Tablespoons (12 g) chopped green onions, or chives

INSTRUCTIONS 

Chicken Lollipops

  • With a small knife, cut around the circumference of the thin part of the bone (near the gristle/joint). Then scrape the meat downward with the knife to separate it from the bone and push it to the bottom. Cut off any excess strands of cartilage that may pop out while you cut.
  • Cut 3/4 along one side of the meat, starting near the bottom of the thick part. Flip the meat inside out to create the ‘lollipop’ look. Now, the skin should be on the inside and meat on the outside. Be careful when you do this because there will be a small piece of bone known as the ‘fibula’ that will stick out, and it can easily poke you. Break off the fibula or cut it off with your kitchen shears. Place chicken lollipops into a large mixing bowl.
  • Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (204°C). For the oven-fry method, see notes below.
  • Combine salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and vegetable oil into the chicken lollipops.
  • In a medium bowl with 1/2 cup cornstarch, roll each lollipop around in the starch to coat it. You can cover the gristle too if you like. Place it on a tray lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Repeat this step until all of the lollipops are coated with cornstarch.
  • Spray the lollipops with cooking oil (or brush oil on if you don't have a spray) and place 3 or 4 chicken lollipops into your air fryer without crowding the basket. Air fry each batch for 10 to 12 minutes (flip halfway) until the chicken is golden brown or the internal temperature is 165°F (74°C). Place cooked chicken on a cooling wire rack.
  • When the last batch of chicken is almost done cooking in the air fryer, it is a good time to get started on the sauce. Heat one Tablespoon vegetable or canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add minced garlic and fry until it starts to turn light brown. Pour in soy sauce, honey, and rice vinegar. Stir to combine everything and turn the heat up to medium-high until it starts to bubble. 
  • In a separate bowl, create the slurry by combining cornstarch and water. Then while stirring, pour the cornstarch slurry into the honey-soy sauce and continue to stir until the sauce thickens.
  • At this point, you can reserve the sauce for dipping on the side by removing it from the heat; or you can combine the chicken lollipops with the sauce. Sprinkle chopped green onion or chives on the lollipops and serve while warm. Enjoy!
Category: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: chicken, chicken drumsticks, garlic, honey-soy

Tips

I do not own an air fryer. Is there another method?
Absolutely! You can oven-fry the chicken lollipops by using a baking sheet with a rack on it. The rack is essential to mimic air frying your chicken if you still want to cook them in a healthy way.
Your second (less-healthy) option is to deep fry the lollipops in vegetable or canola oil.
How do you oven-fry chicken lollipops?
Move your oven rack to the middle shelf. Preheat your oven to 400°F (or 375°F if you use a convection oven). After the chicken lollipops are coated with cornstarch and sprayed with cooking oil, place lollipops on an oven-friendly wire rack on a baking sheet. Oven-fry the lollipops for 12 to 15 minutes (flip halfway) until the chicken is golden brown or the internal temperature is 165°F (74°C). 
Your Own Digital Notes
Nutrition Facts
Quick Air Fryer Chicken Lollipops with Honey-Soy Garlic Sauce
Serving Size
 
1 Lollipop
Amount per Serving
Calories
245
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
11
g
17
%
Saturated Fat
 
2
g
13
%
Trans Fat
 
1
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
4
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
4
g
Cholesterol
 
70
mg
23
%
Sodium
 
1078
mg
47
%
Potassium
 
211
mg
6
%
Carbohydrates
 
22
g
7
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
14
g
16
%
Protein
 
15
g
30
%
Vitamin A
 
47
IU
1
%
Vitamin C
 
1
mg
1
%
Calcium
 
13
mg
1
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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2 comments

Sharnel Duarte May 6, 2022 - 1:15 pm

5 stars
I made this last night. My family loved it ! All I could say is oh my YUM !

Lily May 6, 2022 - 1:45 pm

Hello Sharnel! It makes me very happy to hear that you and your family enjoyed this! Thank you for your comment. 🙂

Comments are closed.