What I Do to Chicken Wings


I love chicken wings. When I cook them, they are baked, dry – no oil or butter – and I only add the sauce at the end.

In my old age, I have discovered that I adore crispy chicken skin. This is rather difficult to create when baking instead of deep-frying, and more time-intensive. The whole idea of eating fatty anything on purpose is hard for me – bordering on disgusting. But if it is crispy-crunchy-salty-hot? All good!

Since we don’t have dedicated wing restaurants here, the only time I get chicky wangs (yes, I call them that, fuck off, it makes iDJ happy when I talk southerin) is occasionally in the pub for a birthday/special event, or if I make them myself.

The pub ones are edible, but not crispy, so I end up leaving behind most of the wing as I can not eat greasy soft fat. Bleurgh. It makes me feel ill to even think about it – unless the soft fat is butter, which I could eat with a spoon. Mmm, butter.

Anyhoo. When we make wings at home, they come in a big package and need cleaned (feather removal) and cut into sections. This is where I probably diverge from most people who make wangs at home. You either don’t cut them up, or you do cut them up and then discard the wing-tip.

The wing-tip, if crunchy, is my absolute favourite part of a chicken. I would gladly take all those bits that restaurants in America toss out and feast until I turned into a chicken. You know that threat your momma always gave when you ate too much of one thing? Sort of like ‘If you make that face, it will stick’? I’m thinking of the one where she said, “You are going to turn into a _____!” (FYI – mine as a kid would be a black olive, a BBQ rib, cheese, or a ham sandwich.)

The thing with me is… I don’t just eat the meat and skin. Oh no.

I eat the bone.

Crunch crunch crunch!

If it gets chewy at all, I stop. If it stays crunchy? I eat the whole damn thing. For example:

Chicken wing-tip before I ate it…

Wing afterward. I have left the two joints, as they weren’t crunchy enough.

Nom! Devoured. I really enjoy eating the bones. It sure might be weird, but I’d like to think of it as eating all of the chicken except for the cluck.

Anyone else do this? Sled, you are exempt from the question, if you managed to read this far!

We use Frank’s Hot Wing Sauce, which luckily we can buy here. But what I do miss are teriyaki wings, and garlic butter wings, as I don’t know how to make the sauces with what I find in Ireland. I’d love some tips! Pun not intended.

18 responses »

  1. Not a wing fan, but cooks used to boil bones to get all the good stuff like marrow out – supposed to be really good for your health and sickness. Some beginning to rediscover that old stuff maybe wasn’t so primitive and dumb?

    • The parents used to make standing rib roasts, and I’d steal a rib and chew on it for ages to get the marrow. English folks in particular still serve marrow in fancy restaurants – I just love crunchy bones.

      • We used to have those roast, too. (Ribs are also a big thing here for BBQ…at least those are bigger than wings)
        shiver….remember that old BW movie of the “Night of the Living Dead”? More gruesome in BW. Since then, gnawing bones just bring back images…turned vegetarian…for about 30 seconds. (giggles)

        • Ha! It was more scary, the original! Set up the tension properly, let you put yourself into their position.

          Bones, yes – brains, kidneys, tongues, or what ever the hell sweetbreads are – no!

  2. For garlic butter wings:
    1. Finely mince garlic
    2. Fry garlic in butter

    You can strain out the pieces of garlic if you like, before pouring over your wings. On the other hand, straining the garlic , in essence, leaves you with garlic-infused butter, which is great for making garlic bread in the oven.

Thoughts? Gardening tips? Cocktail recipes? Don't just like and leave, please - I can talk for Ireland and would love to prove it!

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