If you're bored and tired of the same old Chicken Leg, but you love their sale price, why not jazz your legs up to "Competition Level?"
You will need:
- Chicken Legs
- Dry Rub; equal parts of
- brown sugar
- chili powder
- THINly sliced bacon strips
- Your favorite BBQ sauce
- Apple Cider Vinegar
Knife safety = Good!
Bacterial contamination = Bad!
Some of you may struggle with touching or handling raw meat. This recipe is not for you! If you're on the fence about it, just take a deep breath, grow a pair, and dive right in!
Now, go to the sink and wash your hands, knife, pliers, board, and wipe down the area around your cutting board with some anti-bacterial wipes. Why wash now? Cross-contamination... that's why. You don't want to open your fridge, grab your bacon, or refill your beverage with chicken goo on your hands...
When things are clean, go get your pack of thin-cut bacon out of the fridge, and collect your dry rub. Liberally shake your dry rub all over the meat portion of your lollipops (try to keep the bones clean). Then wrap each one with one slice of bacon. Line them up in the pan, and wash your hands, prep station, etc, for the last time. Why "thin" bacon? Well, thin bacon is more malleable, and it's easier to work with. Also, it will add a hint of bacon flavor without overpowering the chicken.
Time to cook! Personally, I prefer to smoke them at about 275 degrees for two hours, or until the inside of each leg touches 165 degrees.
At 165, take out the pan and dip each lollipop into a mixture of 2 parts bbq sauce to 1 part cider vinegar. No need to brush or mop the sauce on, just dip each leg and set them gently back into the pan. Put the pan back into the smoker (or oven, grill, whatever you're using to cook) and bring the legs up to 175. This will "set" the sauce into a nice flavorful coating that won't run all over the place. Take the foil off of the bones while they rest for a few minutes, and serve.
Are these a lot of work? Yes. Is hard work generally rewarded? YES! I smoked these, using apple-wood. You could certainly use the indirect method of cooking on a charcoal grill, or a (*sigh*) propane grill, too. Just be sure to monitor the temperature of the legs.