The Lollipop Technique To Make Chicken Wings Less Messy

There are few bad things anyone can say about chicken wings, except maybe for the fact that there is almost never enough to go around. No matter how they are cooked, every type of wing, from its tips to wingettes to drumettes, is fun to eat because they have completely different textures. 

The drumette looks like a smaller, more irregularly shaped chicken drumstick, with its meat more reminiscent of white meat than dark. The center section, known as the wingette, features dark meat and is completely covered in skin. The tip is pretty much all skin, bone, and cartilage, which may be challenging for those looking for some substance but are tasty to gnaw on, regardless.  

Chicken wings usually need to be served with plenty of napkins and wet wipes because they are messy. However, they can be prepped in a specific way, known as "Frenching,"  where you scrape the meat away from the tips of bones to make the cut more aesthetically pleasing. While the technique is usually used to prepare dishes like a rack of lamb, bone-in pork chops, and tomahawk steaks, it can also be used to prepare vegetables by turning them into long, thin strips. 

When chicken wings and drumsticks are frenched, their flesh is pushed toward the meatier side of the bone, making them look like flavorful, meaty lollipops. Making chicken lollipops can be a challenge at first, particularly if you're not used to working with chicken wings — but the more practice you get, the easier it becomes.

The lollipop technique gathers meat and skin on one end of the bone

To make chicken lollipops, first separate the chicken wing into drumettes, wingettes, and tips by cutting through the ligament, per YouTube. When you've separated the parts, first take the drumette (because this is easiest) and make an incision around its thinnest point or its "neck." Use the knife to make sure the skin and flesh are not tied down to the bone, then gently tug on the flesh so that it collects and forms a knob on the other side. Use your knife to loosen any tendons which might keep the flesh from sliding up. When you're done, the skin side will be on the inside of your lollipop.

Making lollipops out of a wingette is a bit more of a challenge. Make an incision where the smaller of the two bones is, and carefully pull the smaller bone out. Then, use that incision to coax the bigger bone through, and like the drumette, move the meat so it gathers onto the other end, creating a ball on the tip of the wingette. The skin will also be on the inside of your lollipop, making your bites much easier and cleaner in one go instead of biting from one end to the other. 

Once done, your chicken lollipops can be cooked the same way you might prepare other wings: buffalo style, simply fried, or crispy baked. But eating them will hopefully be a less saucy mess.