Thursday, January 2, 2014

Hot Wings - Not Just In Buffalo

According to Wikipedia, Buffalo wings were first prepared at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York by Terressa Bellissimo.  Regardless of where they were invented, restaurants and individuals around the world have come up with their own unique recipes for wings.  

I am a wing fanatic and must order them in every restaurant I patron when traveling for work.  Let me tell you, I am had some incredible wings across the country but I have also had wings that had absolutely no business being served to anyone.  If I can't finish a dozen wings in under 10 minutes you can rest assured that you will NEVER want to order them yourself.

Some of my favorite wings are Kookaburra wings from the Outback Steakhouse (see review below).  My affliction for Kookaburra wings doesn't mean I haven't had excellent wings at other restaurants.  I have tried wings in many different places ranging from seedy bars with suspect sanitation to high end establishments that bring you 3-4 wings instead of 6 (better yet 12!).  

Wing varieties range all over the entire world's cuisine but it is hotness and flavor that I look for.  It is VERY hard to get the combination right.  Most places just fry the wings and then soak them in the cheapest hot sauce they can get.  These places are quickly dismissed as total CRAP.  Places that truly understand wings typically try to make a signature hot sauce that cannot be duplicated outside of the establishment without some serious effort are high on my list of favorites. 

A quick wing review of the some of the wings from chain restaurants across the US:

Pizza Hut - What a fucking WASTE of money.  These wings can hardly qualify as wings.  The batter is soggy, the hot sauce is of very poor quality, and to make matters worse, Pizza Hut has some of the smallest wings out there.  They are just gross and the boneless wings they offer are even worse.

Pizza Hut Wings
Buffalo Wild Wings - BWW is the self-proclaimed wing king in the US but trust me they really are NOT that good.  As a place that only serves wings, they do have a large variety of hot sauces (although I must say even their hottest sauce, Blazin', is not hot enough to make you sweat - see celery below).  The wing size is moderate and the service usually sucks but they do have a lot of televisions to watch your favorite sporting event and they serve cheap beer.  A middle of the road choice for wings.

Buffalo Wild Wings
Hooters - This boob chain started in Tampa, Florida over 30 years ago. This scantily dressed chain now extends across the US and has grown internationally.  Their motto, "delightfully tacky yet unrefined", really doesn't make much sense but I think that is the point.  The boobs are typically better than the wings but this is another place you can get small to medium sized wings, a cheap hot sauce, and plenty of beer.  I have a Hooter's story that I must blog about soon.  It will be among your top favorite blog posts if I can write it as it happened.

There are wings and beer in this photo?

Outback Steakhouse - It is hard to believe that the Australian themed Outback Steakhouse has some of the best wings available for a chain restaurant.  I might be biased because I worked at Outback during grad school.  The proprietor and manager really liked me and my work ethic so I was rewarded many nights with an order of wings and a tall Foster's (maybe that is why I gained so much weight why in grad school).  Outback is very consistent with their wing flavoring and if you ask for them well done they are outstanding.  I am a huge fan of undercooked meats but when wings are undercooked, they just don't fall off the bone.  The Outback wings are not coated with sauce at the end of the frying process which makes them ideal for keeping you hands clean.  Outback batters their wings prior to frying with a mixture of butter, hot sauce, powdered italian dressing, and powered taco seasoning.  This makes an excellent wing.  Remember to order your wings well done to ensure a dining experience well worth your money (the Outback has some of the largest wings available).

Kookaburra wings

How to make your very own hot wings that will "wow" your guests every time (if you are me that is):

Well, all this wing talk has made me very hungry.  I am going to take you through my process for making hot wings as I make them to feed my hunger.  I hope you can follow along and make some wings for yourself soon.

Step 1:  Go to the store and buy ingredients.  At a minimum, you will need chicken wings, hot sauce, and a dressing (ranch or blue cheese preferably).

Everyday savings chicken wings
Any hot sauce will do

Step 2:  Get a beer.  A light beer is a good option because you will likely have many from start to finish of the whole wing making process.  I prefer Corona or Corona Light for wing making but you are welcome to choose your own beer and long as you HAVE a beer.  This may be the most important step because it will loosen your creative mind for Steps 4 and 6 below.

Out of limes so I had to use a lemon
Step 3:  Cut your wings into three pieces (drummette, wingette, nub) and throw the nubs away.  Be sure to complete this step shortly after completing Step 2 as we want to finish the wing process with all of our fingers.

Your wings should like this after you cut them into 3 parts

Step 4:  Make a flour coating.  This is the first place you can get creative with your wings (just look at what the Australians have done at the Outback).  Use a flour or corn meal base and add whatever you want to it.  Okay - I can hear you now bitching at me for not disclosing exactly what I use but folks, this is your chance to shine.  Put together something that really excites you - no recipe, just your feelings.  If any of you have watched me cook before, you will know that I improvise every dish I cook.  Yes, I use recipes for ideas but they are NEVER right.  I modify the meal based on my mood, feelings, or company coming over.  For example, today's wing coating contained flour, Lawry's Seasoning Salt, salt, and paprika (please buy quality paprika if you plan to use it).  Sometimes, I might stick to a basic flour/cayenne/salt mix but other days, I will combine the entire spice cabinet to see what I can create.

Never use a measuring spoon unless baking
Step 5:  Dredge the chicken pieces in your flour mixture.  Set aside.

Make sure you dredge them well
Step 6:  This is where the fun begins - making your own wing sauce.  Most people just pick a hot sauce and coat their wings after they fry, bake, or grill them - BORING!  Step 6 is a step up from Step 4 - you can get as creative as you want - seriously anything goes here.  A good beginning would be to buy a base hot sauce (Frank's Hot Sauce - I put that shit on everything) and one or two speciality hot sauces (Step 1).  Mix these with butter and garlic and you have instantly created a mouth watering sauce (seriously - my mouth is watering right now just thinking about it) that will get rave reviews from your guests.  That is not what I am doing for my wings today though.  I am making a sauce that eliminates the need for a dip or dressing.  Yes - all in one wings.

Ingredients for a simple but EXCELLENT wing sauce
Star Wars plate is optional
This sauce is simple if you can cook without measuring any ingredients (many people find this difficult if you can believe it).  I just grab the sour cream, a bottle of Frank's Hot Sauce (I put that shit on everything), and blue cheese crumbles.  Simply mix these over medium-low heat until the cheese melts and BAM, you have a sauce that will knock your guests out.  Change the "heat" of your sauce by adding more Frank's or even better use different hotter sauce to really turn up the temperature.

Approximate portions that make a good wing sauce
Step 7:  It is best to use peanut oil for deep frying as it can handle the high temperatures needed without burning.  Fill your pot with 3-4 inches of oil to ensure your chicken wings are completely covered while frying.  Heat your oil to 350 degrees.

Peanut oil and pot
Heat to 350 degrees

Step 8:  Fry your wings.  I do not fry by time but instead I use feel.  Wings are done when they are a golden brown and begin to float in the oil.  Drain your wings on paper towels.

Wings are ready to come out of the oil
Perfectly fried wings
Step 9:  It is time to combine your perfectly cooked wings with your creative and perfect hot sauce.  If you just chose to use hot sauce on your wings, now is the time to use it.  Place your hot wings in a bowl and toss to coat completely with your sauce.  Once your wings are completely coated, plate them with celery and your choice of dressing (blue cheese or ranch).

Toss wings in sauce
Celery - Celery is an amazing food.  Most people think that celery is just a filler and really doesn't add much value to your diet.  NOT TRUE IF YOU ARE A MAN!  Celery can improve erections and provide important chemicals for maintaining a healthy seminal fluid volume.  Celery is also sexual attractant for women.  Yes, this is true.  Celery can increase the production of the steroid androstenone that, when released in perspiration, is a pheromone for attracting women.  Eat your celery before you go out to the bar though to give it time to start its process.  Make sure you sweat a little at the bar but not enough to be noticed by anyone (that is gross at the bar) - hot wings are a good way to work up the pheromone transmitting sweat.  Here is a link to an article explaining the benefits celery can provide your sex life: Benefits of Celery.  If you need more information, GTS (Google That Shit).

Plate wings with celery

Step 10:  Serve and eat your wings.  Be prepared to accept compliments from everyone who is lucky enough to enjoy your homemade wings.  If you ate celery with your wings, be prepared to beat off the women as you exude androstenone in your sweat caused by your perfect wings.  

Enjoying my wings in my Star Wars apron

Cameron, 40th Year, Wings - What does all this mean?

I don't really know - I just don't.  I mean I absolutely love wings.  I VERY rarely make them though and when I do, I mix a marinade, soak the wings for 24 hours, and then grill them slowly with charcoal over medium heat.  This makes a moderately healthy snack without the mess of flour, sauce, oil, and drips/splatters everywhere.  So why wings?

I think wings could be my metaphor for happiness this year.  Maybe it is my code word for when I am happy.  Wings mean I am in a happy place.  When I am drinking a beer and eating good wings, I am most definitely happy.  That could really be it - "WINGS" is my code word for happy in 2014.  I like that.

Does this all mean I need to buy some Happy Wing Toilet Seat Handles?  Absolutely not and I am really not sure how these help with sanitation.  Honestly, anything attached to the toilet seat is just as dirty as the toilet seat.  Get proficient with lifting the toilet seat with your foot and be happy.

The wing making process described above is a process of joy. You start with basic ingredients and end up making something special - this is just like life.  In summary here are the steps and how each of them make me feel:

Step 1:  Buy the supplies.  This step gets me out of the house.  I am happiest anywhere outside regardless of the weather.  My social anxiety climbs high while at the grocery store but if I can focus on the meal ahead, how I am going to make it special, and the work of love it will become, I can override any anxiety.  I am happy.

Step 2:  Open a beer - Enough said.

Great beer makes for a happy life
Step 3:  Cut the wings into 3 parts.  This makes me happy because I like high quality knives.  Ever since I bought my first Gerber I was hooked.  Gerber knives are not the top of the line but they are quality knives regardless.  I also really like how my kitchen knives make quick work of the chicken wings.  Really knives?  That is all you have for Step 3 - knives?

Okay, okay - Step 3 is about getting rid of the things in my life that are taking up emotional and physical space.  It is about trimming the nub and throwing it away.  It is about finding those pieces that just don't fit anymore.  Step 3 cleans up my mind and world so I can prepare for Steps 4 and 6 where my creativity thrives.

Step 4:  Make a flour mix.  This one is easy.  I get to be creative and try new flavors.  Improvising in the kitchen is something that I am very good at and I really enjoy it.  This makes me happy.  Improvising in life and enjoying the outcome is what Step 4 is all about.

Step 5:  Dredge the chicken.  This step is about getting through the work.  It is not sexy.  It is not glamorous.  Your hands get really dirty.  You make it through this step just to make sure you can get to Step 6.  But this is another side to this step for me.  This step means that we are getting close to our gaol.  This is the step when you have caught the snake but it still needs to be processed. The thrill of the day's first capture is gone and the data need to be collected.

Rattlesnake in a tube being measured
Step 6:  See Step 4 inspiring creativity.

Step 7:  Things are heating up.  This is a great analogy for my life right now.  Things really are heating up for me.  Work, play, and fitness are all heating up.  I am in the midst of marathon training as well as managing a large project at work.  I am in the midst of feeding the fire in new relationships and reassessing the coals in old relationships.  There are other parts of my life that are also beginning to heat up if you catch my drift.  Like a snake, I am happiest when things heat up and I get to sweat (see celery above - whatever).  

Step 8:  As J.R.R. Tolkien titled chapter 6 in The Hobbit, Step 8 brings us "out of the frying pan and into the fire".  This is the critical step of the wing process.  Lots of things can go wrong.  Your oil can burn, your wings could be undercooked, your wings could be overcooked.  Just like in my life, this is where I need to take the most care to get things right.  I need to watch the temperature of my relationships, judge when to end things, and judge when to pull the wings out of the oil when perfectly cooked.  This is in love, life, work, play, and fitness.  Run too much and I will get hurt; run too little and I won't be ready for the race - this example of Step 8 can be modified for anything in my life.

The little dog and me on a run
Step 9:  The icing.  All the work has been done and I am about to enjoy my creation.  I mix the final ingredients together to complete the masterpiece.  This is making the final trip to catch the rainbow snake (see Rainbow Snake).  This is buying a new pair of socks (see Yes - I have a sock fetish but so does Queen Kate).  This is the sunrise on Monday morning (see Monday Sunrise).  This is the Southern Fried Chicken.  Step 9 is about putting it all together.

Step 9 has been missing in my life.  This is something that I actually do not know how to do in my life.  It is completing a task to the best of my ability and being happy with the outcome.  My past experience is to get all the way up through Step 8, just to fail at Step 9.  In cooking, it is easy.  In life, it is not.  Step 9 is about doing the work and seeing everything come together.  I look forward to tackling Step 9 in 2014.

Step 10:  The climax.  The orgasm.  The finale.  Everything is done except to savor the moment.  Pure happiness.  Smiles all around.  Step 10 is the night of flirting, the light touches, the soft kisses, the foreplay, and then the dirty talk and hard fucking.  Step 10 is what we have worked for.  Step 10 is my ultimate prize.  For me  - this is happiness.

This video contains explicit and graphic language - you have been warned.


  1. I like this blog - not sure why, but Iike it. BTW - you are more "normal" than you think - at least by my standards :)

    1. Thanks Sharon - I think it is because we all like wings! LOL!