Chicken in the air fryer is a staple in anyone’s home with a Ninja Foodi. In today’s recipe, I’ll show you how to use a gourmet BBQ favourite – Chicken Lollipops. Now, these can be seasoned in many ways but the real interesting thing is how they’re cut. They’re essentially chicken drumsticks with all of the meat pushed up to the end. It takes an economical cut of chicken and turns it into a really special appetizer or fun hand-held meal.

The Ingredients

Air fryer chicken recipes can take on a number of different sauces and seasonings. Maple Dijon is one of my favourites (I live in Canada, of course). Air fryer chicken legs are great, I love how these drumsticks can be turned into a really easy-to-eat sweet and salty meal. No knife or fork is needed here!

  • chicken drumsticks
  • bbq seasoning blend
  • olive oil
  • corn starch
  • grainy dijon mustard
  • maple
  • cilantro
  • green onions

Cutting the Drumsticks

Cutting these and pushing them up into the right shape requires a little fineness and a good sharp paring knife. Cut around the bottom knuckle bone all around the skin and using the back of the knife, push the skin up. It makes it a bit easier if you cut a straight line down through the meat all the way to the bone first. Then when you reach the end you flip up the meat. In this picture, I show you the different stages of the chicken.

image shows the meat pushed to the heavy end of the drum stick so that there is a spot to hold the chicken like a lollipop.

Season the Chicken

Oil and season the chicken with your desired seasoning blend. I like using pre-blended mixes, such as a BBQ spice blend that has salt included. You can use your own homemade spice blend, be sure it’s properly seasoned with salt before coating it in corn starch.

drumsticks have been rolled in seasoning and placed in a bowl ready to be air fried.

Air Crisp Using Your Ninja Foodi

Spray the Ninja Foodi Trivet after it’s been preheating for a few minutes, place the chicken drumsticks in making sure they aren’t overlapping. Be sure to spray the entire drumstick with oil to saturate the corn starch coating. This ensures a good crisp! Make your dipping sauce, I made mine a maple dijon sauce, and chop up some fresh herbs to garnish. Enjoy!

Chicken Lollipops in the Air Fryer

Eva Bee
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings


  • Air Fryer or Ninja Foodi
  • kitchen sheers
  • cooking oil spray


  • 750 g chicken drumsticks 7-8
  • 1 tbsp bbq seasoning blend one that contains salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup corn starch plus more if needed

Maple Mustard

  • 2 tbsp grainy mustard
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup


  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro optional
  • 2 tbsp chopped green onions optional


  • To form drumsticks into lollipops do the following:
  • Cut around the base of each drumstick.
  • Using the back of a knife, scrape the meat up the bone about 1". If you run into any cartilage, cut it off. If you run into a thin bone, carefully remove with kitchen sheers.
  • Make a 1/2" long incision through the meat near where you initial made the cut. This incision is along the length of the bone.
  • Flip the meat up and over itself to push the majority of the meat to the top of the drumstick.
  • In a large bowl combine bbq seasoning and olive oil. Coat the drumsticks evenly with the seasoning oil.
  • In another bowl, pour in the corn starch.
  • Preheat air fryer to 400F.
  • Roll the drumstick meat of each drumstick in the bowl of corn starch and set aside on a tray. Add more corn starch if needed to the bowl.
  • When all of the drumsticks are coated with corn starch, spray the meat with cooking oil spray on both sides making sure all of the corn starch is saturated with oil.
  • Spray the base of the air fryer with cooking oil spray. Place in drumsticks preventing overlapping.
  • Air fry for 14-16 min or until outside is crispy and golden brown and interior of the meat reaches 165F. Place in a warming oven and repeat cooking the remaining drumsticks if they didn't all fit in the air fryer.
  • While the drumsticks cook, mix together mustard and maple syrup.
  • Toss cooked drumsticks with maple mustard or set aside as a dip.
  • Garnish with cilantro and green onions.

graphic shows 5 pictures of plated recipes made for with the words discover delicious written in red. this image is used as a banner over a section of additional links that might interest you.

Looking for more beginner-friendly recipes? Click here!

More Chicken, Please!

Check out our Air Fryer Chicken Thighs – Smokey and Crispy or our Butter Chicken in The Instant Pot

Get fresh ideas delivered directly to you each week.

Sign up for our newsletter and be among the first to see our latest kitchen creations!

Prefer visual learning?

click here to subscribe to our youtube channel


Subscribe to the Home Pressure Cooking YouTube Channel and discover a wealth of great video content at your fingertips!

Share your thoughts!

Let us know what you think about this recipe by leaving us a rating and review below!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating