Monday, 22 December 2008

Family Holiday Get Together

Back after a long holiday break . . . ok it wasn't so much a long break but a period of time without the internet in which to jazz up these photos and add them to the blog.

I am not a big fan of the holidays - and yes I say holidays and not X-mas, because there are several 'holidays' going on, you cultural imperialists. But the one great thing about this time period is lots of food. Sure, I don't really get much in the way of wings . . . but I do get some tasty treats:

TOP LEFT: Holiday M&M's - we always have this in our house. This year, however, they were mint and I did not enjoy that. But they looked pretty.
TOP RIGHT: Succulent ham on the 25th. My preference.
MIDDLE: The Big Meal: ham, stuffing, coleslaw, pickles, peas, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potato, turkey and cranberry.
BOTTOM LEFT: Turkey. Its been done before.
BOTTOM RIGHT: Family potluck - I got some ribs, wings, seafood dip, spicy deviled egg, pinwheels, and shrimp crackers.

Some funky coloured, whole wheat flour, holiday cookies with royal icing and gold balls. Oh ya. And don't forget the giant cookie on the bottom left. Go leftover dough!

Go to the WING BUCKET for more photos!

TOP LEFT: rainbow birthday cake from mix
TOP RIGHT: rainbow punch with coloured ice cube containers - it was tasty whatever it was.
MIDDLE: AJ and her cake - happy b-day!!!
BOTTOM LEFT: Bill's Pizza in T'burg. Its usually awesome, but not so much this night.
BOTTOM RIGHT: More cake and ice cream!

TOP: shrimp dip - poorly executed by me. I should have had a recipe and less sour cream.
MIDDLE: Egg Nog - my whole reason for tolerating jingle bells
BOTTOM: Shrimp Crackers - my family's tradition. Ritz, Cheeze Whiz, Cocktail sauce, and shrimp. It may not be high brow, but its awesome!


If there is a Canadian-born restaurant tradition here in the great white North, it has to be Swiss Chalet. It is an institution of rotisserie chicken. I still have the jingle from the 80's in my head
"Always so good for so little". But here's the kicker - my family never ate at Swiss Chalet.

Never. Ever. It was one of those places where I would hear other kids talk about their experiences, and the 'chalet sauce' was soo good. Then I went to one and I finally understood my parents: what was the big deal? The chicken is pretty plain, and the 'sauce' is just a gravy that I wasn't all that keen on. After that, the mystery of Swiss Chalet was over and I really didn't go back.

But about two years ago at a family gathering my cousin-in-law Nikki became interested in my chicken wing work and was like, "you have to have their wings." I took it with a great deal of scepticism. Swiss Chalet makes great wings? Hmmmmmmm, its possible.

Niki is a lot of fun. But don't mess with Nikki

Then a year ago, at another family gathering, she asked if I had gone again. I had not. I had to try it she said. Well, another year went by. Two weeks before our next family gathering, I was like, I better get down there before I get in trouble for a third year in a row.

Of course, I picked the holiday season to go, and the place was packed. I got there just before they opened. There was a line-up to go inside. And more people waiting in their cars for the doors to open. Once I was in, in about 15 minutes, there wasn't a seat available. And everyone was ordering the 'Festive Special' - a quarter chicken dinner with cranberry, stuffing, side (potato product) & five Lindor chocolates.

First off, I ordered a Mountain Dew. Not many establishments here in Ontario have MD on tap, and it makes me think of being a kid when MD barely existed in Ontario, and trips to the USA where I could get the green drink pretty easily. And free refills to boot!

I wanted something fresh and green, and the Greek salad spoke to me off the menu. The salad came dressing on the side with lots of lettuce, but a little skimpy on the feta cheese.

I enjoyed the salad, but it didn't take long for my main course to arrive. So . . . would they live up to Nikki's hype?

2008 THE SCORE 3.0: Swiss Chalet ~ Ottawa


dusted (Garlic Mesquite coated), deep fried


$9.49 for 8 wings


§ mild

§ medium

§ hot



a little bite in there


large to jumbo – very meaty but not mutant meaty like some places jumbo wings.



just enough sauce on them to be called wet



nice crunch biting into the wings



cayenne pepper sauce is tasty but not unique



veggies and a lot of blue cheese



napkins, bone plate and finger bowl (oooh fancy)






free refills on pop (ya Mountain Dew)


surprisingly good wings


My first thought: whoa, these are big wings. I couldn't believe that they were a jumbo wing.

The wings are dusted in their 'garlic mesquite' coating, which gives them an extra crunch. I couldn't get a great sense of the garlic or mesquite, but that's mainly because the wings are sauced well. But the chicken was not only jumbo, but meaty.

I got hot for my sauce (as hot is the highest they go). It was pretty mild, but it was a tasty cayenne based hot sauce. It's clearly for a generic audience because no one would be in pain. But I did like the sauce.

It also came with a giant side of blue cheese dressing. It was VERY creamy, and I think it was more mayo than blue cheese. The celery and carrot sticks were thick cut and made for easy dippin. Also a classy touch, a finger bowl and the end of the meal to rinse of my chicken wings off my hands.

FINAL SCORE: Well, I was pleasantly surprised. Jumbo wings. Nikki, you were right, they were more than worth checking out. 14/20

Swiss Chalet
2930 Carling Avenue, Ottawa (and other locations)

PC Louisiana-Style Spicy Chicken Wings

More chicken wings on sale!!!

This time, it was just Louisiana-style that was on sale, and well, that sounded pretty interesting. When I think of Louisiana-style, I think of cayenne hot sauce, gumbo, crayfish and a tasty but not hot spiced sauce. Can a frozen wing recreate that?

The box was seductive in its black background, and yellow lettering. And the picture of the wings made me think they were doused in Louisiana Gold Hot Sauce.

FWS ’09 -v 1.0: PC Louisiana-Style Spicy Chicken Wings


Louisiana Style


approx $12.99 (I got on sale for $9.99)

# of WINGS

1 kg (minimum 22 pieces) but there were only 20 wings in the box


tingle of heat, mild to medium






I knew there was sauce there, so I guess wet



nice and crispy, even the microwave cooking method



I guess it tastes Louisiana style . . . bbq & hot sauce is good, but not strong



website for the wings


All right, better as a party wing than a LOTW wing.


Well, the ingredients exposed these wings as BBQ/Hot sauced mixed, which suggests sweet and spicy.

The chicken was pretty big for a frozen, unbreaded wing. I can even faintly smell the sauces even in their frozen state.

They baked in the oven, and I could hardly wait to sample these suckers.

They came out pretty crispy. In fact, they even looked like they had been grilled, but honestly that was just the oven rack. The black marks were not burnt, just flavour.

The wings were not saucy at all. It was more of a baked in glaze. It wasn't spicy hot but spicy flavour. But I would want a lot more flavour for me.

My curiosity and my hunger was tweaked on the box where it said the wings could be ready in 4 minutes. What? Oh, if they were cooked in the microwave. Microwaved wings? It didn't sound very good, but I was starving and thought I could experiment with one. . .

And it turned out not half bad. It was actually kinda crispy too. But definitely more rubbery than the baked version. I suppose I might do it if I was starving and in a pinch, but baking is the way to go with these.


A different kind of wing (seems to be the theme these days). A nice spice/bbq mix going on. Not wings I would have all the time, but something I might turn to if they were a bit cheaper. 8.5/15

PC Louisiana-Style Spicy Chicken Wings

WK Tri-Wing Tasting Recipes & Review

Due to some skin irritation, the doctor forbid me from hot sauce until the wounds near my mouth healed. But I had chicken wings in the fridge! Fresh wings! What could I do? Well, maybe I could experiment with some non-spicy flavours . . .

  • soy sauce


  • wings
  • garlic
  • jalapeno
  • sirachi sauce


  1. Marinated wings in soya sauce overnight
  2. Next day, heat wok/fry pan to medium-high
  3. Add garlic and pepper, saute for maybe 1 minute
  4. Add wings & sirachi, discard leftover marinade.
  5. Cook until crispy - enjoy!

I felt like trying this dish after reading various Chinese inspired dishes. Above is the wings marinating in the soy sauce. And yes, they are in re-used milk bag. Excellent marinade bags.

Ooooh boy those wings hit the pan hot. The smell of the garlic, pepper and soya wings was good.

I know I know the doctor said no spicy food. But I couldn't resist!

I thought they looked good coming out. Well, they look like they are burnt, but I assure you that is the soya sauce, not black crispies.

When I bit into them, I kinda expected them to be overwhelmingly salty from all the soya sauce, but they weren't. They were an interesting change up from my usual wing routine.

What Would I Do Differently Next Time? I could have added more spices, and more heat, but over all I'm happy with what I made.

Ok the next one is kind of a cop out. This batch was made with Shake'n Bake BBQ Glazed. I felt a little shame using this for some reason.

It's pretty straight forward. Toss the wings in a little plastic bag with the seasoned mix. Place in the oven and bake and bam-o - you have tasty wings. Or chicken.

Here are the coated wings before baking.

And here is the after shot. The sauce was a sweet bbq that made for a nice glaze.

They were certainly sticky and sweet. But good.

What Would I Do Differently Next Time? I think the only way I personally would improve on this is add some cayenne pepper or chili flakes to up the heat. But this is a wing that I think just about anyone would like.

  • ketchup
  • soy sauce
  • brown sugar
  • s&p
  • vinegar

  • PC Smokin' Stampede Beer & Chipotle Barbecue Sauce
  • Sirachi


  1. Marinate wings overnight with first 5 ingredients
  2. Next day, bake wings (discarding marinade) for approx 20 mins on high
  3. Remove wings from oven and add to wok already set on medium-high heat
  4. Stirfry wings and add BBQ sauce and sirachi until sauce is cooked in.

Post marinaded, pre-stir fried wings. Not lookin too hot in my opinion.

And they didn't taste good. The marinade didn't didn't make an impact. That's when I took the baked wings and stir fried them in bbq sauce.

Now they were goopy good.

What Would I Do Differently Next Time? The marinade was pretty much useless. The next time I would either A) slow cook them in the marinade adding coke, Worcestershire sauce and more spice which would lead to a fall off the bone wing or B) go straight for the stir fry in a bbq sauce and get to keep the wing crispiness.

Overall I was happy with my Tri-Wing tasting. Sure I snuck some spice in, but I could have gon for a lot more. But its always good to change things up once and a while.
Oh and on a side note, I'm all healed up and back to the spice! Thanks Doc.

Frank's RH Buffalo Sauce - SR

Over the last little while, I've had a number of people ask me what I thought of Frank's Red Hot Buffalo sauce. Is it good? Is it authentic? Do you use it on your wings?

Well, I used it in a review a WHILE BACK, when doing 'Buffalo Chicken Fingers', but it wasn't properly done. So I decided I had a bottle on the shelf, it was time to break it out and do some re-tasting.

The point of this sauce is to recreate an 'authentic' restaurant Buffalo wing sauce. As the history of the Buffalo wing goes, the Anchor bar used the classic Frank's hot sauce in their mix with butter/margarine and possibly vinegar.

Since then hundreds if not thousands of bars and restaurants have been using this as the base of their sauce. Frank's wanted to cut out the extra work on your part and add in butter flavouring.

2008 SAUCE SCORE v1.0: Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce



cayenne based hot sauce


$4 approx for 354 ml


§ Original

§ Chili ‘n Lime

§ Xtra Hot


distilled vinegar, aged cayenne red peppers, water, salt, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, paprika, xanthan gum, oleoresin paprika, sodium benzoate (preservative), flavour (contains milk & soybean ingredients), mon0-, di-and triglycerides, guar gum, polysorbate 60, garlic powder, ground habanero peppers, tocopherol (vitamin e), ascorbyl palitate and citric acid.


“authentic restaurant taste”

“the secret to the original wings”




red/orange, runny sauce


buttery cayenne


buttery cayenne sauce



  • Tingle – not that hot, but this sauce is more about the flavour



Beginning Burn

Middle Burn

After Burn







It’s a decent sauce. It doesn’t replace making making Buffalo sauce yourself, but it will do in a pinch.

The look of this sauce is a slightly more orange that the traditional red sauce. The bottle and the cap are even orange.

I tossed the sauce on my PC Crispy & Crunchy wings which really needed a boost. They were pretty plain so there was little contamination in my analysis.

The smell of the sauce is cayenne and butter, but clearly there is no butter in the sauce because it would go bad after a while. The flavour comes across as Frank's with butter, but its just not authentic in my humble opinion. Its more artificial tasting, but not to the point where the sauce is gross.

The spice in the sauce is not strong. It's pretty mild even for Frank's. I think the butter flavour dumbs it down a bit. There's no initial heat, it rises and sinks in its bite, then is gone from the mouth. Really, you want a hot sauce to hurt you at least a little bit.

With this sauce, I believe Frank's is just capitalizing on their history with the Anchor Bar. It is not an authentic restaurant taste, but its not a bad sauce. It will do in a pinch, but I wouldn't rely on it to sauce my wings properly. 3/6

Frank's Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce