Thursday, 30 July 2009

WK's Authentic Buffalo Wings

Apparently, not enough people read THIS. My guide to classifying chicken wings. In it I outlined what a Buffalo Wing Was. But people are still getting it wrong. Now I have to show how it's done.

Ever heard of KISS? No I'm not talking Detroit Rock City or Gene Simmons. I'm talking the principal of KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid. Buffalo Wings are simple, but are easily mucked up. People think any spicy chicken wing is a Buffalo Wing. WRONG.



  • Chicken Wings (split, tips discarded, washed, dry)
  • Margarine or Butter
  • Hot Sauce (Cayenne based, like Frank's)
  • Vinegar
  • Oil for Deep Frying


  1. Deep fry wings.
  2. Make Buffalo Wing Sauce (melt margarine/butter, hot sauce, & vinegar).
  3. Toss crispy hot wings in sauce.
  4. Enjoy.

Yes, that's it. Now Buffalo sauce is served at restaurants and pubs and bars generally in 3 levels of heat; mild, medium & hot. You achieve this based on the hot sauce/margarine ratio:

  • MILD - 2 parts margarine to 1 part hot sauce.
  • MEDIUM - Equal parts margarine to hot sauce.
  • HOT - 1 part margarine to 2 parts hot sauce.

To achieve a 'SUICIDAL' status, you must add spice, a hotter sauce or an additive. Contrary to some sources, you cannot just add more hot sauce. This does not increase the heat.

Buffalo Wings in all their glory. A good Buffalo Wing should be crispy and meaty. The sauce should be spicy, vinegary, with a rich and savoury undertone. And if your going to be really authentic, serve with Bleu Cheese & Celery.

What Would I Do Differently Next Time? There is nothing to do differently (well, technically, I should have used fresh oil, I used old oil. Bad). But to create an authentic Buffalo Wing, that is the recipe. Sure breading, dusting, sriracha, and so much more is good, but it's not a BUFFALO chicken wing.

Remember, tune in next time for another exciting episode of:


More Ribfest News

The London Free Press has an article about London Ribfest 2009.

Things that really stand out are the expansion from ribs to a whole food festival and this becoming a major major event.

I want to comment more, but it's late, and I'm busy getting things ready.

SO excited for the weekend!

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Ribfest Countdown . . .

London Ribfest 2009 starts tomorrow! I can't make it until the weekend . . . and on Sunday I'm a judge. This is all very exciting.

  • Road Trip with LJ
  • Hanging out with London Crew
  • Being a Judge
  • Lord of the Wing exposure
  • RIBS!!!


Wednesday, 22 July 2009

WK's Panko Breaded Buffalo Chicken Fingers ~ Recipe

I'm back home and visiting my parents. And I get to cook. Normally my father won't relinquish the kitchen or the grill, but this week he's out most days. The great part is access to lots of appliances/gadgets, a chest freezer, and a dishwasher.

I made Greek (kebabs, salad) one night, hommade pizza another, then I was told that there was a bunch of chicken breasts that needed to be made up and breaded chicken was requested. I changed it to chicken fingers, and instead of regular bread crumbs, Panko was going to shake things up.

I was surprised to see Panko crumbs in my parents pantry; I mean, Japanese breading materials? That's adventurous. Panko is a crispy, very light breading, so as a chicken finger I figured it would give a nice texture.

I'm not doing a full-on recipe here. Chicken fingers - you know what to do and what to get.

Ok, here's a little instruction.

While the best way to make these is deep fried (I don't know if there is anything that is deep fried that actually tastes better from the oven . . .). My parents have a big electric griddle, so big batches were much easier to cook.

It wasn't long before these stripes were turning golden brown. I didn't put anything down on the griddle first (like butter or cooking spray) and while this was ok for most strips, there were a few that stuck.

Of course you can't make a Buffalo Chicken Finger without Buffalo sauce. The only cayenne based hot sauce on hand was Compliments Essential Louisiana Hot Sauce. This store brand sauce actually has a bit of a kick, but it is mighty tangy/sour - causing a bit of a pucker.

Add sauce to butter and you have liquid gold. Red liquid gold.

The big meal. There was also some leftover Greek salad. And yes that is KD on the plate. I have yet to have a Macaroni and Cheese that I prefer over Kraft Dinner. That's right, you heard me.

We dipped the chicken rather than tossing it (although I drizzled . . . so many serving choices!). The panko was light and crispy, and the Buffalo sauce soaked in without making wings soggy.

Yes KD. And I found that if I drizzled the Buffalo sauce over top, it was even better! Buffalo KD!

What Would I Do Differently Next Time? Hmmmm. I would have cut the chicken strips thinner. Without deep frying, I would have had the griddle a little hotter starting out. The sauce was good (but kept at a medium for my mom). Everyone was happy. But panko isn't my breading of choice. But that doesn't mean I wouldn't experiment with wings.


RIP - Preston Pizza is NOW CLOSED

It's the end of the week. The fridge is empty because we're leaving for a week, so there's nothing to be had. Between packing, a business meeting, a colleagues funeral for a family member, and some last minute cleaning, there's no time to cook. That leaves take-out/delivery. Deciding to take a chance on another local pizza joint, we turned to a flyer from the mail and decide on Preston Pizza.

LJ made the phone call and experienced some comical reactions from the person taking orders. First, the buzzer to our apartment. Its a funny number, and for security reasons will not reveal here. Then, it turns out, someone in our building, on our floor, ordered the exact same pizza (only bigger) just a few minutes before. What a coincidence!

We were all over the place in what to order, but we went with a small pizza, the 6 Munchie Pack, and an order of wings.

The Pizza.

We ordered the "House Special" which was hot peppers, pineapple, and pepperoni.

It was Ottawa-style. We are not a huge fan of Ottawa-style. Basically the sauce and toppings are under a thick layer of cheese with a relatively thick crust. I mean there was nothing wrong with the pizza, but I would rather a thinner crust crust/sauce/cheese ratio. It is a heavy slice. But it was much better for breakfast and served cold the next day.

The 6 Munchie Pack.

There are 3 things that are common to many pizza places in Ottawa:
  1. They will serve Lebanese food.
  2. They will serve subs/burgers.
  3. They will have breaded/frozen snack pack combos.

Our snack pack combo consisted of breaded/fried zucchini, cheese sticks, chicken bits, egg rolls, shrimp and mushrooms. These combos come in variations of these above items as well as fries, wings, chicken fingers, onion rings in varying quantities.
Mmmmmm brown and golden yellow plainness. What can I say? It's nothing you couldn't get in any freezer isle. Our combo pack came with 2 dipping sauces: garlic sauce (ie Lebanese), and cocktail sauce.

LJ wanted to try the snack pack, I wanted to try the wings. Surprising, eh?

Wings come in at a pound an order, and I got 1o wings in that pound. I really want to know who measures these pounds because one place a pound is 9 tiny wings, another place a pound is 10 big wings. Something is not right in the restaurant world.

The wings were pretty crispy. Almost chewy due to the wait after delivery. But still good.

I was impressed with the size on the wings. They were large. I like that. They weren't particularly meaty, but they didn't skimp on the chicken either. They have a good supplier.

The wings were Buffalo style. I like that too. That means no breading, deep fried, then tossed in cayenne-based hot sauce. Nothing fancy. The smell took me back to my old days of wings from New York state. The heat was weak, and that was a little disappointing, but not unexpected.

They were tossed, but not super saucy. That meant every wings had sauce, but there wasn't any extra for dippin. So while I would prefer more sauce, less of the sauce meant the wings didn't get soggy.

FINAL SCORE: Wings were classic buffalo style, crispy, and not very hot. But I did like them. The pizza was ok, and the snack pack was alright. Nothing really stood out but that's ok. Nothing was done wrong either. Would I order from them again? Maybe, but I might try another place next time too.

Preston Pizza
125 Preston Street,

Go over to the Wing Bucket to see their take-out menu.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Chicken Wing Dreaming again . . . this time with Big Bang Theory

So I was dreaming about chicken wings again. Last night. Briefly, but clearly my obsession is getting worse.

In this dream, I was with the cast of "The Big Bang Theory". This is my favourite sitcom on TV right now (to be fair, I think it is the ONLY sitcom on TV. As in, making new episodes, not just reruns of classic sitcoms).
The premise is a bunch of University uber-nerds live next door to 'dumb' blond and hilarity ensues. And it does. What I love about the show is the attention to detail. When the nerds make nerdy statements about pop culture, science, or science fiction, its real. Most sitcoms make up sci-fi references and events, but The Big Bang Theory goes the extra distance:

Back to the dream.

In the dream, I'm running with Sheldon into their apartment to pull a prank on the others. That prank is to sit in the two main chairs (amazing prank). On the table is a big bucket full of different food. One of the items is chicken wings and Sheldon and I dig in. They are good. The others all come in (as well as other people I know in real life). They all start taking food one by one, and I find out that the food was brought by one of my friends older brothers. The chicken wings were from McDonald's.

Chicken wings from McDonald's do exist. In China. From Flickr

The wings are crispy, hot and delicious, but sauce-less. Not as breaded as the ones in the above photo. I want to do a review, so I get out my camera, but I feel awkward because none of these people know I do a wing blog. I go to get another wing, but that is all people are eating, and they are all gone. I can't do a review, and I don't think I can get these wings again.

That's all that I remember. I have a sickness, I'm sure of it now.

Buffalo Hot Wing Popcorn - Recipe Non Wing

The last time I was home with my parents, batches of popcorn were being made on various nights with their air popper that they have had at least since the 80's when I was a kid. Other than the movies (where for me, popcorn is basically mandatory), this is the only 'fresh' popped popcorn I've had in a long while.

But after being home, I was ruined on the microwave stuff for good. Fortunately, we picked up a little air popper on sale the other day. I was so excited. For different days it was simple margarine and salt. Then I broke out the dill seasoning. But then, I was craving something spicy, something familiar. It was only a matter of time until I made:

Popcorn is relatively healthy. What can we do to stop that? We can 'Buffaloize' it. No deep frying, but the flavour of hot wings is there. I mean margarine/butter & Frank's - I just don't add vinegar. BAM there you go.

I'm using an air popper, but you can do this with pot popped too. I suppose, if you have to, you could use microwaved popcorn, but most times it's already 'flavoured'. And Jiffy Pop . . . that's a whole other story.


  • Popcorn

  • Margarine (can use butter) - about a shot glass worth

  • Frank's Red Hot (or other hot sauce) - about 6-7 good shakes of the bottle

  • Cayenne pepper - hefty pinch

  • Salt - small pinch


3 main things to do and in less than 10 mins you have a spicy and exciting snack:


I cheaped out on the popcorn brand. It sucks on its own (very tough & rubbery), but adding liquid will help. Don't you cheap out.


I used margarine. Butter is better. I don't have butter. If you have butter, use it.

As for the hot sauce, I don't add very much because I find it 'weighs' down the popcorn. It can really saturate and make it soggy real quick.



This part is fun. Make sure you use a big bowl so when you toss, you don't spill popcorn. If you have a lid, shake it up. I'm using my hand to stir. Stir quickly before sauce soggs up only a few popped kernels.

There are always kernels left. This isn't necessarily because of the machine, but many defective kernels. Do not return them to the popper (especially if drenched in sauce as above).

I've transferred the popcorn to a new bowl, partly for presentation, but also because in the transfer I can weed out those errant kernels that refused to pop. This creates more dishes, which sucks. The advantage to not doing this is the first bowl is well coated in sauce and great for scraping up the last kernels. Although you can still do this with 2 bowls. You know what, just do what you want and enjoy it.

I was in hot wing heaven after just a few hand twists. Salty, savoury, spicy. Crunchy popcorn that nipped my tongue from the cayenne & Frank's. Touch, taste, smell, and, wait, what sense is euphoria? I just wished I had a good movie to watch.

What Would I Do Differently Next Time? OOooh, I think I would have had more margarine. And I would make that butter if I had it on hand. There was enough cayenne, but I might add a smidgen more Frank's next time too. Adjust based on your tolerance of heat. Some garlic powder might add another dimension of flavour too. And don't think I'm not planning on doing a dill/hot wing popcorn combo in the future too.

The next time you want a fun snack and it's not wing night, try these. Crunch/Spice/Fun - they are a great wing alternative.

Saturday, 11 July 2009


[PLEASE NOTE: The Mosaic Buffet in Kanata has entered the Dead Pool and is now closed. They still have a location in downtown Ottawa as of October '09]

When you mention the word 'buffet' two cultures come to mind. Chinese and Indian. Both well known, possibly the world over, for buffet restaurants. Now, what if you crossed those two concepts together? Would that create a super-buffet? One so powerful we would have to create some sort of counter-buffet-force to stop it?

Well Kanata built one. And it was huge. Parking for 150 cars. Seating for more. It was so big that other buildings could not be built near it. Mosaic Buffet they called it. Mosaic to reflect the many cultures of Canada (as opposed to the 'melting pot' of the US). On weekend nights, the buffet is $15.95, which isn't bad. $10.95 normally. $9.95 for lunch.

This is quite a place. Inside, it is dark, spacious, with murals of India and China across the walls. A diversity of food and a diversity of cultures. But no alcohol. That's right, no beer, no wine. Why? "As a family-oriented restaurant, Mosaic Buffet does not serve alcoholic beverages." That's right Italy and France and any other culture where the family partakes in alcohol, this is a family restaurant, so get some values. I find it a little offensive to be worded like that (yes, coming from someone who doesn't consume alcohol).

But I also understand the reason behind it: this is a halal buffet. Islam says no to alcohol and no to swine. So forget your Molson Canadian and your mu shu pork - it ain't here. But it doesn't need to be either. Well, I could have gone for some sweet and sour spare ribs, but they have sweet and sour fish instead.

This place is very family friendly. Too family friendly. Children run around the restaurant unsupervised and undisciplined. Literally running around. Everywhere. I did watch one mom yell at a rambunctious young girl in a nice dress who was running around with food in tongs scold her in French. The little girl laughed, turned around and dropped the food. She picked it back up with the tongs (from the buffet), was scolded by an 'aunt', but she laughed again and returned with everything to her table. A kid also left a half bitten desert behind in the bin. The ice cream station has a sign in bold stating for children to be supervised - but no one supervises them.

This is not the first time going to the buffet. LJ & I had gone to Mosaic some time last year. The first time, we were amazed by the choice of food. By the end of the meal, we weren't so amazed, but it seemed pretty decent. This visit things were really scaled back. At first there was only one staff manning the cash, the door, clearing tables etc. She looked tired and stressed. Eventually two more women joined in, but it was pretty hectic for everyone.

This time, tables were not cleared quickly, the buffet wasn't checked consistently, and also, there wasn't as much food choices. Sushi wasn't on the menu. The deserts were paired down. Canadian food was just french fries (not that I was there for North American).

Now, there is the salad/dessert bar, ice cream station, and two long tables spit into Chinese on one, and Indian on the other. Chinese had standard noodle dishes, chicken wings (oh yes), General Tao chicken, fried rice, spring rolls and a very unique egg roll. One thing that really disappointed me on this visit (aside from the lack of chopsticks this time) was the sloppy sauces. The vat of plum sauce looked like it had sat for a day or two with a film on top. Normally neon red sweet & sour sauce was extremely watery. This stuff should be thick, goupy, viscous.

The Indian side had standard Tandoori chicken, butter chicken, beef dishes, naan bread, garlic naan, curry, etc etc etc.

As for the salads and desserts I skipped them all. Even the ice cream. Usually I focus on meats at Indian and Chinese buffets. I know I know its not good, but nothing here looked appetizing veggie-wise.

My first plate: chicken wings, tandoori chicken, General Tao chicken, egg roll, fried rice

The last time they had two types of chicken wings. I think. I'm pretty sure they had a spicy type not just dry salted. The wings; not worthy of a review. My first plate of them were cold and chewy. A fresh batch was much crispier, juicy. But oh so plain.

The tandoori chicken was dry and frankly, flavourless. General Tao didn't taste like any other GT I've had, being neither sweet or spicy. Fried rice and egg roll (which was also unique) were decent. Garlic naan bread was delicious. Everything else was a pass for me.

Final Thoughts: The concept is great, but things really seem to have gone down hill in a few months. Maybe it was an off night - they were clearly understaffed. But I just didn't want to eat anything more.

Our hostess/cashier/waitress rushed to ring our bill up, and was flustered to get fortune cookies, which they were out of. She had 4 Interac/Credit machines and I jested about them getting busy. She said lunch is crazy busy with the tech industry people, so lots of machines to avoid lines, separate cheques, and the elderly at their tables.

Things were very different from when we were here last, and all I could think of was the saying "time heals all wounds." Well, some wounds shouldn't heal. We didn't enjoy our meal, but the throngs of families, many of which who cannot get halal at normal buffets (especially Chinese) seem to enjoy themselves. The service was friendly, and if you have kids and want a place they can roam free, this is the place to go. Not for me again. Plus the wings weren't great, so there.

Mosaic Buffet

Wendy's Boneless Wings: Bold Buffalo ~ NWR

I likes me a good burger. And not just a high quality, thick, homemade burger. I can appreciate fast food burgers too. I love a good Wendy's Bacon Classic. Square patty's? Hell ya. And back in June when I heard about Wendy's adding Boneless Wings to their menu, well, I was curious to try.

I'm seeing the advertisements on constantly for these chicken bites. "Tastefully done! Enjoy 100% tender, juicy, chicken breast with a choice of 3 signature sauces" they declared. The 3 flavours to choose from are Buffalo Bold, Honey BBQ, and the one I see in all the commercials and print is the Sweet & Spicy Asian Chicken. They go for about $4.99 for an order, or $6.99 for a combo.

Going through the drive-thru, the girl at the window dropped my bag before handing it too me. With cat-like reflexes, she caught it, and handed it to me with a smile. When I got it out of the bag, well, the container was a little dented. But the chicken was unharmed.

I opened the container and took a whiff: it sort of smelled like Buffalo sauce, but way sweeter. Or waaaaaay sweeter as Wendy might say.

I was a little thrown off because I expected boneless wings. Instead, I got chicken bites. I consider a chicken strip a boneless wing; something that at least looks like a wing, not tiny chicken morsels. Some pieces are as big as a chicken nugget, but others are little bits. Very inconsistent in shape, but I believe that is to give the impression of 'authentic' and 'premium' as the commercials keep suggesting or the tag 'tastefully done.'

The meat is very tender. The 'breading' is very light, with no real crisp. It has a nice texture, but doesn't add much to the whole piece.

The sauce was another story. Buffalo Bold. That sounds spicy and exciting to me. It wasn't. In fact, they need to rescind the term "Buffalo" for false advertising. These are sickly sweet. There is no heat, and no butter or cayenne sauce flavour to them. Did I mention they were sickly sweet? Like some red dye added to high-fructose corn syrup. Normally I like HFCS, I think it gets an unfair rap. But this was not right. I don't know how it passed focus groups and taste testers. I hate the general public for making the food industry dumb down the heat.

Final Thoughts: I got them down, but I wouldn't try again. The sauce was just soo sweet it was gross. I can only imagine how sweet Honey BBQ and Sweet Asian sauces are. The chicken meat itself was really nice, like when a Brit says 'really nice', not the North American 'nice'. Follow? Oh well. if you have to try them for yourself, order it sauce on the side, if you can. I thought they included a wetnap to clean up, but it turned out to be 2 salt packs attached together. Another disappointment. Next time, I stick with the burgers. They are waaaaaaaay better.