Bacon-wrapped chicken legs are a treat to eat, either as lollipops or drumsticks. They’re crunchy outside and juicy inside, and they’re easy to eat with your fingers, for a lick-your-fingers satisfying appetizer.
»You might also like these Bacon-Wrapped Tater Tots.
How to Lollipop the Chicken Legs
When preparing these bacon-wrapped chicken legs as appetizers that you’ll serve at a party, it’s best to make them as easy (and clean) to eat as possible. Lollipopping them is a great way to do that, and it doesn’t take much extra prep time. Of course you can skip this step if you aren’t serving them in this way and don’t need or want the clean handle.
Use kitchen shears or a knife to remove the skin and connective tissue at the end of the drumstick, so the bone is exposed, then remove the skin. I remove the skin from the entire leg, not just around the bone. You can leave it on, but it makes for a much greasier final product and it doesn’t cook or brown as easily.
Use a sharp chef’s knife and cut through the bone right below the joint. You can then cut off all skin and cartilage to make a clean handle. You’ll want to wrap the bone ends in foil to prevent them from burning during baking.
How to Make Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Legs
Preheat the oven at 375 degrees F (190 C). You can also use an air fryer, if you have one. If I’m only making one batch of these, I prefer using the air fryer because there’s less mess, it’s easier to turn the legs for even cooking, and they get crispier and evenly browned better, in my opinion.
Place the drumsticks in a bowl. Drizzle on the olive oil and toss to coat. You can use your hands to make sure the olive oil gets spread evenly all over. Season with salt and pepper.
Wrap each drumstick tightly with a strip of bacon. Place the drumsticks on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper, with the end of the bacon strip facing down.
Bake for 20 minutes, then turn the drumsticks and cook for an additional 20 minutes. Check the internal temperature of the chicken. It should be 165 degrees F when done. At this point, you can baste with additional olive oil or any grease that’s run off onto the baking tray, and turn the drumsticks every 3 minutes to ensure they get browned all the way around.
The cook time might vary depending on the size of your chicken legs. I find it takes anywhere form 30 minutes for smaller pieces to 50 minutes for larger drumsticks. Keep your eye on them and use a meat thermometer to check for doneness.
What to Serve With Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Legs
We almost always serve these chicken legs as an appetizer, generally paired with beer or wine as a party food. Here are a few other great appetizers to serve at a party to go with them. I think they go particularly well with other finger foods like homemade soft pretzels or baked pizza dip.
You can also serve these as a main dish with just about any side dish. They make a great BBQ main dish. You can cook them directly on the grill if you’re having an outdoor party or barbecue. Serve them with coleslaw or a crisp broccoli salad. During the colder months, these go well with mashed potatoes or grilled brussels sprouts.
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Bacon-wrapped chicken legs are a treat to eat, either as lollipops or drumsticks. They're crunchy outside and juicy inside, and they're easy to eat with your fingers, for a lick-your-fingers satisfying appetizer.
- 8 chicken drumsticks
- 1 tbsp olive oil, plus more for basting
- Sprinkle of salt and ground black pepper
- 8 slices bacon
- Preheat the oven at 375 degrees F (190 C).
- Remove the skin from the drumsticks. Cut off the connective tissue from the ends of the drumsticks and cut off the joint, if desired.
- Place the drumsticks in a bowl. Drizzle over the olive oil and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.
- Wrap each drumstick tightly with a strip of bacon. Place the drumsticks on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper, with the end of the bacon strip facing down.
- Bake for 20 minutes, then turn the drumsticks and cook for an additional 20 minutes. Check the internal temperature of the chicken. It should be 165 degrees F when done. Baste with additional olive oil, turning the drumsticks every 3 minutes to ensure even browning.
You don’t have to lollipop the ends of the chicken. This is for visual appeal and ease of eating.
Baking time will vary depending on the size of chicken legs. Cook until 165 degrees internal temperature, or until the bacon is fully cooked and browned.
You can glaze the drumsticks with a honey butter sauce or bbq sauce, if you want to add extra flavor. Or serve with a dipping sauce.