Fried Chicken Lollipops, Southern Style

When I posted a recipe for Southern fried chicken in November last year, there was a suggestion in the comment thread to dip the chicken in milk before the final coating. In the entry itself, I pointed to some links to the various ways of cooking Southern fried chicken, including one that requires precooking the chicken in buttermilk before frying. My curiosity finally got the better of me and I cooked some fried chicken yesterday with a modified technique on how to incorporate the milk in the recipe.

Fried chicken lollipops, Southern-style

I marinated the chicken lollipops in a mixture of salt, freshly ground pepper, and evaporated-filled milk. It was unbelievable what the milk did to the chicken meat. With pieces as small as chicken lollipops, cooking at a very high temperature can dry the meat fast. But after an hour of soaking in milk, the chicken lollipops were wonderfully crisp outside, juicy, and moist inside. But what are chicken lollipops? Oh, you know, that part of the wing that resembles a drumstick.

Unseasoned chicken lollipops can be bought in pre-packed and pre-weighed trays in many supermarkets. I bought mine from Landmark. You can prepare the chicken lollipops yourself, there’s nothing complicated about the process, but it does entail quite a lot of work. Next time, I’ll post step-by-step photos of how to prepare chicken lollipops. Right now, I’m much too excited about this recipe.

Place the chicken lollipops in a large shallow baking pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour in the milk. Cover with cling film and allow to marinate in the fridge for at least an hour. In a wide shallow bowl, whisk together the flour and cornmeal. You may add a little salt and some pepper. Heat the cooking oil to an almost smoking point. Dredge each chicken lollipop in the flour-cornmeal mixture and fry. Do this in batches to make sure that the temperature of the oil does not drop too much. If the temperature of the oil is just right, the chicken lollipops should be done in three to four minutes.

You may change the proportion of the flour and cornmeal. I prefer more flour to cornmeal but I’ve tried a 1:1 ratio in the past and it works too. Chicken lollipops are traditionally hors d’œuvre but it is also very popular in children’s party menus. I serve the chicken lollipops with linguine in white sauce. This recipe is meant to be child-friendly, uncomplicated, and straightforward, but there are so many other ways to cook chicken lollipops. Next time, I’ll do it in Asian style.