An Appreciation of the Humble Chicken Wing.
By Karl Klockars in Food on Feb 3, 2008 6:40PM
We love buffalo wings. And with the recent 2nd place finish for wing-demolishing competetive eater Patrick Bertoletti at Wing Bowl, Chicago's upcoming Wingfest, a TOC article from Mike Nagrant (also featuring Bertoletti) about local wingeries, the press orgy about Melnick's uberhot wings and the general gluttony of chicken parts that will be kicking off in a few hours (there's a game on, too? who knew!), we thought it might be a good time to pay tribute to the under appreciated wing.
For anything that only runs a dime per piece on many Mondays at bars around Chicago, it's easy to overlook how awesome wings can be, and how easy they are to ruin. Is it breaded? Strike one. Are they measly, little baby drumettes and flats from birds that have never even used their flappers? Strike two. No celery, or using ranch dressing instead of bleu cheese? Strike three, and bad goddamn form to boot.
Some of us are still reeling from the closing of the "Frantastic Wings" in St. Charles, which was worth every single hour-long trip from the city to gorge onesself on huge, blisteringly hot wings of yore. Seriously, if you ever wanted a blissful capsacin high from too much spice and fried meat, it was the place to be. RIP, FW. Thankfully we all still have a wide variety of wingeries to choose from.
The hallowed halls of Buffalo Joe's are still around, and BW3's (please, for the love of all things holy, don't call it "B-Dub's") have become the industry standard (despite their non-canon breading). But we still have any number of wing-centric spots like House of Wing, the remaining Yak-zies on Clark, Wings Around The World (which, with their maple-tasting wings, fills a portion of the hole in our heart we have for Chicken n' Waffles), and the South Loop's Cactus, which grills their wings rather than frying them, but we've learned to let that slide. Oh, and don't forget Hooters. Okay, forget Hooters.
Not only that, they're easier than hell to make, even if you don't choose to cover your kitchen with a thin film of grease whilst frying the little suckers up. Bake for about 45 minutes at 350, melt some butter into a saucepan with Franks Red Hot or the hot sauce of your choice, coat, serve. Done. We've thought too much about wings for one day and we haven't even started cooking (or drinking) - where are your wings of choice?