Friday, October 30, 2009

Making the World a Better Place, One Chicken Wing at a Time

I could never work at Hooters. Not because of my hairy legs, or my just slightly too-small boobs, but because I couldn't bear to watch people eat all those chicken wings. It's not a problem with what they're eating, but rather how they're eating them.

Chicken wings come in two parts: the "drumette" and the "flat." There's only one way to eat the drumette part, and I have no issue with that, but it's watching people eat the flat part of the wing that makes me crazy.

People sort of gnaw around it, nibbling tiny pieces of meat off the two thin bones, and then trying to suck the remaining flesh from in between. It's not pretty. Not only do I find this esthetically unpleasant, but practically speaking, it's a terribly inefficient way to go.

This short video is from the end of a pastrami-rubbed chicken wings recipe I'm currently editing. I decided enough was enough, and that I needed to share my patented flat wing eating technique. This method ensures that 100% of the meat will be captured, and as you'll see, it looks really cool when you dip the perfectly boneless wings into the sauce.

Anyway, the new recipe will be up soon, and when it is I expect you to master this method no matter how many batches it takes! Enjoy.


40 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow I never knew I was eating chicken wings the wrong way before. That looks like a much more efficient method. I might have to make some chicken wings today just to test it out :D

PukaDog said...

Who says you can't teach an old PukaDog new tricks?

This is a good one I will enjoy practicing to perfection!

KrisD said...

Wow, can't wait for the recipe, those look tasty.

Do you think the wings would retain enough structural integrity to try putting a little stuffing (of some ilk--something piped in maybe) in there? Might be a fun passed appetizer.

Anonymous said...

The "perfect" hostess would debone each flat section before serving...

Chef John said...

never tried stuffing, but I've seen it done.

Yes, that would be the perfect hostess!

The Bewildered Brit said...

Wow! I had no idea that you could do this, none at all! I'll try this trick out asap.

I hope to have it perfected by the time I try your recipe!

milkshake said...

as a furriner I never figured out what the chicken wing obsession was all about (we used wings for chicken soup together with the neck and chicken offal). For me the best chicken part was always the hind quarter with drumstick.

Chargeorge said...

Bah I say. I like the ritual of gnawing around those bones, sucking out what meat I can, till I finally give up, eat the cartilage pieces holding it together, and clean each bone separately.

Wei Jun said...

I've always eaten chicken wings like that! =D I'm not another lonely soul!

Chase Saunders said...

Holy cow, you made BuzzFeed. Prepare for several hundred thousand new friends... BuzzFeed gets about 4 million unique visitors per month.

Congrats.

Denise said...

Neat trick!

Anonymous said...

genius! I feel like such an idiot. I have been digging around the 2 bones for years and wasting meat. Thank you!

Lucia said...

I will show off with this trick on my next chicken wing dinner. Thanks :P

Anonymous said...

My teeth are able to get all the meat off, easy, but I would LOVe to try that out. Still, i hate bones (In meat). STill, i am nervous abit in the ends.

Can you do that with Drum sticks? (:p

Chef John said...

You can in a way, but not necessary!

Alison said...

What a very good trick, and so neatly demonstrated on your video. Having only recently discovered your blog, I clicked on this with some trepidation, wondering if I was to be treated with views of teeth and other mouth parapernalia, but I know now that Chef John can be trusted to present with impecable class and aplomb!

Ryan said...

serious eats posted this
http://www.seriouseats.com/2009/11/video-how-to-eat-a-chicken-wing.html

Birder said...

This. Is. Genius.

I feel like such a caveman now for having been eating the bonehead (ha!) way for all these years.

Thanks!

Lenny said...

I wasn't sure where you were going with this, but this approach is rocking!! I can't wait to try it.

Asian Malaysian said...

omg. After watching your video, I cant believe how Ive been going about this so horribly wrong for decades without anyone bothering point it out to me. Please come up with more instructional videos like this. Id appreciate one on how to eat a crab at the table on a date.

Chef John said...

sure, but I suggest you watch some how to get a date videos first! ;-)

Alice said...

Great. Just what America needs, a way to stuff food in faster. What's wrong with taking your time, getting a bit messy and having a good time?

Gigi said...

Whoa! I am doing a KFC Challenge show next month for http://GirlsTalkTV.com in the Fairfax studios. I would love to have you show the world how we should be eating our chicken!

Chef John said...

I'm down. When and where is the show happening?

Mr Paul said...

There is actually an even better way to eat wings. The wings must be juicy like the ones from Hooters (a waitress taught me this).

Hold the joint with the cartledge between your thumb and index finger tightly across the joint. Stick the wing into your mouth up to where you're holding the bones.

Bite just to the bone and pull out of your mouth. Use your teeth to kinda start the meet moving along the bone.

Sometimes there is a little piece of meet between the bones that is very easily pulled out with your fingers.

Anonymous said...

Hey CJ,

This is of course great; and who could have demonstrated it better than you, ever the food iconoclast!

HOWEVER...you forget the primal satisfaction of gnawing flesh off a bone that makes chicken wings fun in the first place. it's an excuse to be a caveman! So everything that makes is less primal is probably not as much fun.

HOWEVER, CJ, thanks for this - I'm sure I will impress quite a lot of, aherm, chicks (getit?) with it!

All the best,
LC

Anonymous said...

HERE IS WHAT I FIND POSSIBLY A GREAT VARIATION?

JUST PULL OUT THE SMALL BONE
WHO NEEDS SMALL BONES

and THEN you can hold on to the bigger bone part and still have the satisfaction of gnawing meat off off a bone - ALL the meat this time!

LC

Anonymous said...

HERE IS WHAT I FIND POSSIBLY A GREAT VARIATION?

JUST PULL OUT THE SMALL BONE
WHO NEEDS SMALL BONES

and THEN you can hold on to the bigger bone part and still have the satisfaction of gnawing meat off off a bone - ALL the meat this time!

LC

Anonymous said...

BTW, where's the recipe? I WANT IT. NOW...looks incredibly tasty!

chase said...

haha that is how I eat chicken wings and everyone makes fun of me! I'm directing them here from now on to prove my case :)

Anya said...

Where is the video? Cant see :(

rosemary said...

Thanks Chef John, I will debone the wings for my 3 and 7 year old sons when we have them.

scallywag said...

Wow that's nuts, i just saw this video posted on yahoo's front page, congrats!

Anonymous said...

Hate to burst your bubble chef john, but i have been doing that since I can remember eating my second chicken wing, in other words, since I was about 10. Too Little, Too Late. -hazard53150@yahoo.com -Brandon

manolo rae said...

like the last guy said, i've been eattin my chicken like like for years...didnt think i was the only one though, now i see...dang i coulda been on the front page

Snobahr said...

I saw this video on my friend's livejournal page. I couldn't help but post it to my own as well - it's very useful for folks who HAVEN'T known about this method. Thank you SO MUCH for making this video!
http://baking-bahr.livejournal.com

Lauronga said...

So cool! Just the other day my boyfriend (who is a huge fan of yours) taught me this trick you shared with everyone. Pretty neat :D

Anonymous said...

Dear Chef John,

You and your recipes are absolutely fabulous.

My food wish: If you are ever in Chicago, try Pierre's Bakery's Tres Leches Cake at 3241 S. Halsted Street Chicago, IL 60608. (312) 225-4973

This cake is beyond compare, simply the very best desert on the entire planet (probably the entire Milky Way Galaxy/pun included)

Pierre's Tres Leches Cake is Unbelievable, exquisitely scrumptious. Expensive but worth every penny.

Could you, would you after trying a piece of Pierre's Tres Leches Cake, give us a recipe that is close to this divine creation?

Pretty please with strawberries on top! :o)

Anonymous said...

The first step is as good as half over.

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Lou said...

I've had the flat with that small bone removed and all the edible pushed up making an imitation drumette. Then it was cooked that way making 6 wings into 12 drumettes. There was a big piece of gristle in the end I remember.

This was done in the kitchen, so at the table it was simple.