Saturday, 29 July 2006

No Name Hot Wings REVIEW

Every once in a while, a wing craving comes up. But you don't always want to go out, or spend a lot of money. As for preparing wings from scratch, very time consuming, a lot of work and a lot of dishes to clean afterwards. So what's a wing lover to do? Look to the frozen food section, that's what.

I was in Windsor visiting LJ, and she suggested picking up some frozen wings and make some potato wedges from scratch. Looking in the frozen food section of your big name grocery store can be daunting in choosing what kind of wings to get. Jane's, President's Choice, or what flavour to get? BBQ? Buffalo style? Mild medium or hot? There's a lot to choose from nowadays, and the prices vary just as much. But one frozen wing that I have been consistently happy with is also one of the cheaper types: No Name brand Hot and Spicy wings

I have a love hate relationship with No Name products. On the worst of days its a poor substitute for brand name food, low in quality and barely edible. On the best of days, its cheap and it out performs the big boys of the food industry.

For many a year I have turned to these frozen wings. While they aren't giant (but what frozen wings are?) they do have lots of flavour and the meat isn't grizzley or tough. There are about 22 in a package and they run from about $9-12 depending on the store you buy them.

You can microwave them if your looking for convenience, but I prefer the baking method. After 20-40 mins these are ready to serve (NOTE: I don't know why the picture on the box has them being served with what looked like some Thai sauce to be dipped - but why? WHY I ASK?)

Along with the wings, we toasted up some pitas served with a microwaved dip (can't remember the flavour). I also prepared some spiced potato wedges. I don't have a better name so I will call them Windsor Wedges
Windsor Wedges
  • 2 large baking potatoes
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic powder
  • red garlic powder
  1. wash potatoes, cut into wedges
  2. place wedges in ice water for 1 hour (or 30 mins minimum)
  3. in a bowl, mix all other ingredients making almost a paste
  4. when potatoes begin to float, pat dry, then mix in seasonings
  5. place on a baking sheet and cook approx 40 mins on 350

So how did it all turn out? The wings were crispy, juicy and flavourful. The Windsor Wedges were also crispy but soft on the outside and the red chili powder left quite an after-kick. The dip and pita wedges were ok, but mainly blaw and cooled down way too quickly.

So how did I rate the wings? Well, you can probably tell they did well. Hot & Spicy has more heat than other brands, but not the level I would like it to be. But as far as I can tell, these wings are the best you can get frozen at the grocery store. Prove me wrong other brands, prove me wrong.

So how many times can I say So to start a sentence? Well, 3 I guess. No Name Hot & Spicy Wings, 5 out of 5 wings in the category of Frozen Wings.

No Name Hot & Spicy Wings

Tuesday, 18 July 2006

PC Buffalo Wing Sauce REVIEW and Boneless Wings RECIPE

Rooting through the freezer, trying to determine what to eat, I see what I think is a ziplock bag of chicken thighs. I say to myself, "Self, I don't really like chicken thighs, but I do like chicken wings. However, I need to use of these thighs and I can make them LIKE wings" So I proceed to take them out and thaw them.

Wouldn't you know it, they weren't thighs at all, but de-boned chicken breasts. So now I can make Boneless Wings. How to do so? Well, I basically copied the method in THIS recipe, but then it came to, what kind of sauce? Last time I tried Devil's Tandoori. Before that, Frank's Red Hot and margarine. What about 3rd Degree? I've used a lot and had it frequently. Then I remembered buying a bottle of hotsauce a while ago and its been sitting in my bathtub (NOTE: I have 2 bathrooms in my don suite, and my second bathtub is used for storage, such as plastic bags, computer boxes, and canned goods).

President's Choice Buffalo Wing Sauce?

Can PC do a decent sauce?

Chicken in cornmeal dusting for that extra crunch

splashing the boneless wings in PC sauce

So, how did it turn out? Surprisingly well. I wasn't a fan of the chicken itself - I don't know how long it had been in the freezer or what, but it wasn't juicy, it had little flavour. But the coating made for a great crunch.

As for PC's attempt at making an 'Authentic Buffalo Wing Sauce' I definitely give a slow clap (NOTE - slow claps are performed when a feat is surprisingly good causing amazement of discovery in the clapper, see Dude for explanation). When I bought it, it was on sale and it was the same orange-ish colour other similar sauces had. But I was very happy with the turn out. The flavour was the same as many of these orange sauces, but this one had a kick. I had numbing of the mouth (it was fleeting, but I felt it). This my friends, is a quality sauce.

I give the sauce 4 out of 5 flappers.
The Bone-less wings overall, 2.5 out of 5 flappers.

President's Choice Authentic Buffalo Wing Sauce

Saturday, 15 July 2006

The Brasserie

"What What What? A non-Chicken wing review? What's going on?"

This is a quick review of something other than a chicken wing (Yes I do eat other things than wings). How can this be? Well, if you look back to the very first entry (of the relaunch of the blog) , the mission statement said we would occasionally be looking at other foods.

A few weeks ago on a very rainy day, Nee met with me for lunch and told me about an amazing burger at The Brasserie. And a perfect accompaniment to wings are burger right? And Yes, The Brasserie did have wings, but Nee's praise of the burger was enough to keep me from my regular poultry fix.

This burger was huge - note that above the burger is nearly the size of Nee's head. Mine had bacon and cheese, but this burger would have been delicious without the extras. Juicy, cooked to your liking, this was one of the best burgers I've ever had.

It also comes with fresh cut fries (not frozen, also with the skins, which I love). The best part is the garlic dipping sauce on the side, which also is great on the burger itself.

Did I mention how big this burger is? And at $10.50, this bacon and cheese monster is a filler for a long time after dinner. Dangerous Dan's has a big burger, but the Brasserie's behemoth is what a real burger should taste like.

The atmosphere was nice, the free coke refills were good and the service was just right. So if your looking for something a little different than a wing meal, I guess, this is a burger to try.

I may never get to try the wings at this joint.

The Brasserie
133 John Street Toronto

Monday, 10 July 2006

RECIPE - The Devil's Tandoori Wings

Wow - so many reviews in such a short time! To be honest, 3 have been put off for about a week. This review is straight from dinner itself.

As dinner time approached, I decided to use some of the wings I have frozen. But what kind of flavour? I had Buffalo style not long ago and I wasn't feeling the BBQ. Thinking of all my spicies, I came across my Tandoori powder. But I was going to need to kick it up a notch.


  • Tandoori powder
  • 3rd Degree sauce
  • oil
  • chicken wings


  1. mix first 3 ingredients together into a paste
  2. add wings and and paste until wings are well coated (should be very reddish in colour)
  3. preheat oven to 350 degrees
  4. bake wings for approx 20 mins each side or until crispy

You can also marinate the wings ahead of time to infuse the flavour. Add more or less hot sauce to increase burning heat. Also, the juice of the wings will drain out causing the wings to float. To make for a crispier wing, drain then continue to bake.

The ingredients for the paste
The wings coated in the paste - note the dark red colour

The wings looked good even before I cook them

The Final Result - with Frothy drink in the back

Frothy Grape Punch

1 can of pears
1 can McCain Grape Punch
ice to fill blender

mix in a blender and enjoy!

These were definetly a hit with me. They were tasty, crispy (but got soggy quick because of all the liquid). And why did I call it Devil's Tandoori? The 3rd Degree sauce really made a difference. Having the Frothy Grape Punch acted as a soother to the heat.

After the drink and wings, I truly did have sympathy for the devil. So try my The Devil's Tandoori Wings.


Above are the Asian Persuasion wings. They baked pretty black in the pan. In retrospect, the marinade should have been in a bag for the flavour to soak in. As seen, parts of the chicken the sauce just flowed off and into the dish.

Above are the Red Hot'n Ready wings. Again, the pre-marinade would have made a big difference, but they turned out not too badly.

Finally, the Club House Cajun Wings. The rub stuck on very well, but it was very salty in flavour. Although it seemed like a good idea at the time, the liberal amounts of rub were a bit much.

B-Rad enjoying some wings, caught unprepared.

Me, worrying someone was going to sneak up and take my wing. I don't trust Assface (aka Landon) at all . . .

Back to BRAMANDA's - More Wing Recipes

Making wings at BRAMANDA's seems to be in order now when I go to visit. Brad and I prepared 3 different types.

First we split the wings into 3 different recipticles, lined with cooking spray to prevent sticking.


  • Honey Garlic Ginger Sauce
  • Tangy Thai Sauce
  • Szechuan Sauce


  • Frank's Red Hot
  • Dante's Spicy


  • Club House Cajun rub

with the Cajun wings, we just rubbed the wings.

Once the sauces were applied, they marinated for a short period, then baked in the oven at about 350 degrees.


RIP - The Honest Lawyer is now CLOSED

Oy ye Oy ye, the court is now in session

Spending some time with LJ ment taking advantage of all the wing joints that Windsor has to offer. One might ask, "Windsor has something to offer?" but Windsor does have some things going on for it.

There's the casino (with a great buffet), the border, some hard working people, and a lot of bars. Because of the large student population, the many many many bars compete with each other - which is good for the consumer. This competition has also brought about at least one wing night a week - everyday of the week. Having done my research and influencing LJ enough, we were off to the Honest Lawyer.

Ironically enough, the Honest Lawyer is a popular hang out for law students at UW. Sitting below a movie theatre in the heart of Windsor's barland, this pub has a small outdoor/but underground patio. Inside, there are big tv screens, pool tables, punching bag games, a small bowling lane and other electronic games to keep the crowd entertained.
With it being summer, the crowd was at a minimum. Unfortunately, almost everyone that was at the bar were on the patio, leaving us without service for quite some time.

Now we came on a Monday night for a particular reason - wings. But why here and not elsewhere for wings? Because it was all you can eat wing night.
SIZE of WINGS: medium to large
HEAT: 5/10 for hot
PRICE: $5.93 for 6 wings, $9.72 for 12 wings & fries, $16.87 for 24


SAUCE CHOICE: 1st Degree/2nd Degree/3rd Degree/Sweet Baby Jay BBQ/jerk/Cajun
SIDES: veggies and ranch dip
WETNAP: 2 and napkins
DEEP FRIED, GRILLED, BATTERED: dusted then deep fried
WING NIGHT: Monday nights, $9.99 all-you-can-eat with drink purchase
OTHER: free refills on pop!

After waiting for a long time for the wings to arrive, it was well worth the wait. Crispy, saucy and juicy inside, these were good wings. And the fact that they just kept coming made me very happy. Why doesn't Toronto have this?
I ordered 2 different types of wings. My first batch was 3 Degree, my old friend. Although it seemed to be altered slightly (not as hot as I usually find it) it was still tasty. (See pic above)

My second batch were the Sweet Baby Jay BBQ sauce wings. They were not without their charm, but not amazing. There wasn't enough tang or bbq flavour and all I could think about was ordering the 3rd Degree again. If I ever get a chance to come back, I think I would try the cajun, and also see if they have anything hotter than 3rd Degree.
After 3 orders, or 36 wings later, I was done. I suppose I could have gone the distance had I not had a larger lunch, but I think 36 was enough. LJ ordered a flatbread dish that was tasty, and we got an order of fries to share (see 2nd pic in the blog). The fries came in a neat cone and were crispy and still had the skins on them. There was also a flavoured mayo dip with them that was really good as well.

On a final note, it has been suggested that I give an actual rating for the wings, and I agree. However I started to think about it and realized this is somewhat difficult for several reasons. There are different types of wings, and while I trumpet traditional Buffalo style hot wing, a crispy bbq wing or even a Chinese style wing may still be good. Also, how does one go about rating them exatly: a point base system? 2 wings up? the good the bad and the ugly? For now I'm going to go with a 1-5 wing rating and see how this works. 1 being a terrible wing and 5 being excellent. A 3 will be good, but not great. And because I hate pinning things down, your odd .5 might show up as well.
So how did the Honest Lawyer shape up? Well, average size wings, good sauce but not hot enough, nice coating and all you can eat, I don't need a jury to judge these wings a 4 out of 5.

The Honest Lawyer
300 Ouellette Ave, Windsor On (and other locations)