Grilled Lollipop Chicken Legs

Grilled Lollipop Chicken Legs with Hoisin Sauce

This recipe is a guest blog post from the wonderful food blogger, Heidi Larsen, of Foodie Crush. My husband’s always been a leg man. Wait. Did I say that? I mean, he’s always been a CHICKEN leg man. Of all the parts of the chicken that make their way to the hot grates of the […]

This recipe is a guest blog post from the wonderful food blogger, Heidi Larsen, of Foodie Crush.

My husband’s always been a leg man. Wait. Did I say that? I mean, he’s always been a CHICKEN leg man.

Of all the parts of the chicken that make their way to the hot grates of the grill, the humble chicken leg is often the piece(s) that are too often neglected.

Chicken legs are readily consumed straight out of that Colonel guy’s bucket after being fried, and when baked, they too often have to share duty with the rest of the bird. So why not give these leggy poultry parts their due, to be celebrated in the way they deserve as a grilled chicken leg? Let’s let the leg be the star of the show and serve these Lollipop Chicken Legs hot off the grill and straight into a delicious Asian dipping sauce.

Food and football. They go hand in hand. They’re both national past times and meant to be enjoyed together. In fact, I think they should rename the sport foodball, but that’s another story for another time.

During football season, my husband’s weekend highlight is watching his favorite San Francisco 49ers. If he has a few guys over to rub in the wins (he hopes) all the better. And nothing tastes better than savoring a win and some good eats.

Hoison-Lollipop-Chicken-Legs

One of the appetizers we love to surprise our friends with are chicken legs cooked on the grill. Most guys crave chicken wings for a game day bite, but my husband discovered years ago that you can get a lot more flavor, and a lot more meat, when you use the whole leg instead.

The legs get a special treatment too. They’re trimmed, skinned and have all of the meat pushed into a pretty little package at the end of the bone. That’s why they’re called lollipops. And of course, because they’re finger licking good.

The look a little fancy even, but don’t let the guys know they’re eating what could be considered high brow eats. We want them to be leg men too.

makes 10 legs

Ingredients

  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 yellow onion, quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, smashed and roughly chopped
  • 10 star anise
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tablespoon cloves
  • 10 chicken legs, skinned and trimmed with tendons removed to expose the leg bone
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic chili sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, chopped plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon 5 spice powder
  • Black and white sesame seeds for garnish
  • 1 red jalapeño, sliced thinly for garnish

Directions

  • Bring all ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cook until the salt has dissolved about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and add 4 cups of ice to cool.
  • Rinse the chicken legs and pat dry with paper towels. Remove the skin and trim the bottom 1/3 of the leg bone of skin and tendon. Repeat with the remaining chicken legs. Place in a gallon size freezer bag and cover with the Asian brine, seal and refrigerate for 4 hours up to overnight.
  • Preheat two sides of the Saber grill on medium high for 10 minutes.
  • Prepare the grill with a light coating of walnut oil on the grates. Remove the chicken legs from the brine, rinse with water and pat dry with a paper towel. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and place on the two hot sides of the grill and cover. Cook for 5 minutes then turn the chicken legs, continuing to cook and turn for a total of about 25 minutes or until chicken legs are cooked through.
  • Meanwhile, mix the hoisin sauce, garlic chile sauce, garlic, chopped cilantro, rice wine vinegar, honey and 5 spice powder in a small bowl.
  • Baste the chicken legs with the hoisin sauce mixture and cook for another 2 minutes or so then remove from the grill. Sprinkle with black and white sesame seeds and garnish with more cilantro leaves and thinly sliced red jalapeño. Serve hot or at room temperature with the hoisin dipping sauce.

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