These Jalapeño Chicken Drumstick Poppers are the perfect jalapeño popper and chicken drumstick mashup. They’re made with juicy chicken drumsticks that are coated in a spicy potato cream cheese filling, breaded, then fried until golden and crispy.
Looking for more mouthwatering drumstick recipes? Check out my Grilled Butterflied Chicken Drumsticks with Alabama White Sauce, Butterflied Peruvian Chicken Drumsticks with Green Sauce, or Beer Marinated BBQ Chicken Drumsticks Recipe.
Season and Sear for Your Jalapeño Chicken Drumstick
First thing’s first, preheat your grill to 400ºF for direct cooking. Now, for this recipe, I used the new Breeo Y Series Smokeless fire pit. It’s portable, super easy to use, and cooks these drumsticks perfectly.
Next, let’s season our chicken, because all chicken needs a great flavor base…and these Jalapeño Chicken Drumstick Poppers are loaded with flavor every step of the way.
Lather the chicken drumsticks generously in canola oil, then season them all over with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
Add the now seasoned chicken onto the hot grill and let the drumsticks cook for a couple of minutes. The goal is to give them a nice crust on the outside. That crispy texture is exactly what Jalapeño Chicken Drumstick Poppers need.
Pull the chicken off of the grill, then get ready to braise.
Braise it Up
Next, add a dutch oven onto the grill. Place the chicken drumsticks into the dutch oven, then pour in chicken broth and the your favorite light beer.
Cover the dutch oven, then let the chicken cook for 1-1.5 hours. When it’s done, it should be literally falling off the bone. That tender texture is too good!
Remove the chicken, set it aside, and clean out your dutch oven.
Make the Filling for Your Jalapeño Chicken Drumstick Poppers
Okay, next up, let’s prep the potato cream cheese filling!
First, get the oil ready for frying, so it’s nice and hot when you’re ready to go. Add the clean dutch oven back onto the grill, pour in some frying oil so that it’s about 3-4″ deep, then let the oil heat to 350ºF.
In a bowl, mix together shredded chicken, boiled potatoes, cream cheese, half of the shredded cheese, and diced jalapeños. Stir everything up until it’s fully combined, then grab your chicken drumsticks.
Add the Filling
To fill your drumstick poppers, grab one of the drumsticks and a small handful of the cream cheese mixture. Add the filling to one half of the bone as if it’s a full chicken drumstick. Add a little bit of cheddar cheese to the center, then grab more filling and cover the other half of the drumstick.
Repeat this process with all of your drumsticks, then place the Jalapeño Chicken Drumstick Poppers onto a plate and stick them in the freezer for 15 minutes. This step is the key to making sure your poppers don’t fall apart.
Bread and Fry Your Jalapeño Chicken Drumstick Poppers
With the drumsticks firmed up and the oil hot, it’s time to bread and fry!
So, working one by one, add a chicken drumstick to a bowl of flour. Coat the outside, then transfer it to a bowl of whipped eggs.
Lastly, place each drumstick into a bowl filled with Panko breadcrumbs. Cover the outside completely, then transfer the Jalapeño Chicken Drumstick Poppers to the dutch oven filled with hot oil. Now, my tip here is to fry in batches! The key to super crispy drumstick poppers is hot oil. Adding too many drumsticks into the oil will cause the oil temperature to drop.
So, let the drumsticks cook for 3.5-4 minutes, rotating frequently, until the outside is golden and crispy, then pull them out of the oil and let them cool for a couple of minutes.
Serve your Jalapeño Chicken Drumstick Poppers up with a side of Ranch or any of your favorite dipping sauces!
Jalapeño Chicken Drumstick Poppers
These Jalapeño Chicken Drumstick Poppers are made with chicken drumsticks coated in potato cream cheese filling, breaded, then fried.
- 6-8 Chicken Drumsticks skin off
- 48 oz Chicken Broth
- 12 oz Light Beer
- 1.5 tbsp Kosher Salt
- 1.5 tbsp Black Pepper
- 1.5 tbsp Garlic Powder
- Canola Oil as needed
- 2.5 cups Boiled Potatoes skin off but not mashed
- 1 cup Plain Cream Cheese
- ¾ cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- 3 tbsp Diced Jalapeños
- 2 cups All Purpose Flour
- 2 cups Panko Crumbs
- 4 Eggs whipped
- Frying Oil as needed
Preheat your grill to 400F for direct cooking.
Lather your chicken in oil then generously season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Once seasoned, add your chicken to the grill to cook for 2-3 minutes to develop a nice crust on the outside. Once that crust is developed, pull the chicken off and add a large dutch oven to the grill. Add your chicken to the dutch oven along with the chicken broth and beer. Cover and let the chicken braise until it is falling off the bone and tender (about 1-1.5 hours). When tender, pull the chicken meat off the drumstick bone and shred apart. Finally, clean off your drumstick bones thoroughly and set to the side.
Clean out your dutch oven and add back to the grill. Add some frying oil to the dutch oven (about 3-4” deep) and preheat to 350F.
As the oil preheats, add your shredded chicken to a bowl along with the boiled potatoes, cream cheese, ½ of the shredded cheese and the diced jalapenos. Mix together thoroughly. Next, take a drumstick bone and a small handful of the mixture and add it to one half of the bone like it’s one half of a full chicken drumstick. Add a little bit of cheddar cheese to the center then cover up the other half with more of the chicken potato mixture. Repeat this for all the drumsticks making sure the mixture is firmly on the bone. Place all the drumstick poppers on a plate and set in the freezer for 15 minutes to firm.
Once firmed and the oil is ready, add one of the chicken drumstick poppers to a bowl of flour and cover it. Then, add the drumstick to a bowl with the whipped eggs and cover it in whipped eggs. Finally, add to a bowl with the panko crumbs and cover. Once fully covered, add the to frying oil and cook for about 3.5-4 minutes in total making sure to rotate if the drumstick is not fully submerged. Follow the dredging process for each drumstick popper and cook in batches. Once the drumstick poppers are done, pull off and let cool for 2-3 minutes.
Serve the Jalapeno Chicken Drumstick Poppers with some ranch or your favorite dipping sauce and enjoy!
Derek is the driving force behind Over the Fire Cooking. He started cooking with live fire in 2016 and decided to start a social media page so his friends and family could follow the journey. Fast forward to today and Over the Fire Cooking has spread across multiple platforms with millions now following Derek’s fire cooking journey. He’s a southern fellow who enjoys everything from classic BBQ to Central and South American inspired dishes. Whatever he’s cooking up, it’s guaranteed to be so freakin’ delicious!