We're packin' a punch with this BBQ staple. Traeger smoked chicken lollipops are dunked into a sweet and tangy champagne BBQ sauce, paired with perfectly cooked baby backs and finished with a sweet glaze.
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For the Champagne BBQ Sauce: Add champagne and BBQ sauce to a sauce pan and mix to combine. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and simmer until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
For the Chicken Lollipops: To turn regular chicken legs into lollipops, you'll need a sharp knife and a pair of kitchen shears. Start by making a cut all of the way around the leg just below the knuckle, cutting through the skins and tendons using either a sharp knife or a pair of kitchen shears. Push the meat down to the large end and pull/cut the remaining skin and cartilage off the knuckle. You might want to also remove the tiny bone right against the leg. Remove this bone with your fingers or the shears, and trim away the tendons sticking out the top.
Season the chicken lollipops with Traeger Chicken Rub. Wrap the bones of the drumsticks with a small piece of aluminum foil to keep them from getting too dark.
Let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for an hour.
When ready to cook, set the grill temperature to 180℉ and preheat, lid closed for 15 minutes.
Place the chicken lollipops on the grill grate and let them smoke for 30 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the grill and increase the temperature to 350℉ and preheat.
Place the stick of butter in a baking pan or aluminum pan. Arrange the lollipops in the pan with the butter and with the bones sticking up straight. Let the chicken cook for 40 minutes or until the internal temperature registers 165℉ on an instant-read thermometer.
While lollipops are cooking, warm up the barbecue sauce in a small saucepan on the stove over low heat. Once it starts to thin, turn down the heat to just keep it warm. If the sauce needs to be thinned, pour in a little bit of the butter used in the pan until it reaches a thickness that is thick enough to adhere to the drumsticks. Dip the lollipops into the barbecue sauce so that it is completely covered.
When chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165℉, remove the chicken from the grill and increase the grill temperature to High. Preheat grill with the lid closed.
Place the chicken directly on the grill grate and continue to cook until the internal temperature registers 175℉, about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on the lollipops to make sure that the glaze doesn't burn.
Remove from grill and serve immediately with 3-2-1 Baby Back Ribs. Enjoy!
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