Thursday, 20 May 2010

AYCE (All You Can Eat)

A while ago I was out for some All-You-Can-Eat wings. And all I ate I did. And drank. Now you too can experience the glory of me conquering plate after plate of hot wings.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

WWWWWW #20 ~ The BBQ Pit Boys

Yes, World Wide Web Wacky Wing Wednesday. WWWWWW. This is where I will surf the Web, and find other people talking about chicken wings. The world is full of chicken wing stories, wacky and otherwise. Recipes, restaurant reviews, eating contests or whatever. Today's Blog relating to wings in some shape or form:

"Put your Barbecue Shoes on because we're cooking up some delicious, and real easy to do Old-Time Bar-B-Que and Grilling recipes."

I've been following these guys for a long time. Their Youtube channel has grown a cult following. You can tell they have fun and love food. Their videos and recipes are simple, and there is not a lick of pretentiousness to them. Their cooking videos are simple and to the point: an individual (face always covered by hat and sunglasses) cooks, someone videotapes, all with a gruff but friendly voice narrates the instructions.

Their cooking is 'down-to-earth' and the recipes range from ribs, roasts, briskets - they were also the first to introduce me to BBQ'd bologna! But what brings me to them today are their wings. Here is their 'Buffalo Wings' done on the grill:

Ok I have problems calling this 'Buffalo Wings' (a Buffalo Wing is deep fried and tossed in butter/cayenne sauce/vinegar) and these wings aren't tossed at all, and you can't grill them - but they say that it adds a "country flavour." Wings still look good though. Dang!

These guys are creative if anything. The food is not good for the heart, but good for the soul. Case in point, here is an interesting recipe for 'Bacon Cheddar Cheese Wings':

Wow - what a recipe. Bacon-covered chicken, mixed with cheese, then hot sauce. Those are some big wings too! I have to admit though that I don't know about cheese and chicken . . .

The only thing that scares me about these guys is certain sanitary elements. I mean, they have raw chicken on that cutting board and I never see it getting washed. But hey, they are still alive and making great food!

Friday, 14 May 2010

London Ribfest News for 2010

It's official:

The Lord of the Wings has been invited back to be a judge at Festival Ontario's 2010 London Ribfest. Last year I had a great time judging ribs and judging wings. Can't wait to see what happens July 29th-August 22nd!

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Kiplinger's "Chicken Wings: An Economic Timeline"

Kiplinger, the economic journal you may remember who interviewed me a few weeks ago, has been focusing a lot on chicken wings lately. They recently created "Chicken Wings: An Economic Timeline;" a large chart that documents the growth of wings as an industry.

(go to the link to see a better sized chart)
It is an interesting timeline, but it really doesn't go in depth into chicken wing history or even wing restaurants. But I'm sure the data is more than hard to track back in the day about wing consumption across the US of A. Overall, worth checking out.

President Obama eats wings at Duff's Famous Wings

US President Barak Obama was in Buffalo New York talking about econmy, politics, plane crash victims blah blah blah - and he ate chicken wings. Buffalo wings. Duff's wings to be exact. And he was totally hit on too. But most importantly he ate wings according to the New York Daily News:

"Obama paid $10.82 for 10 wings - five regular, five extra crispy - plus french fries and onion rings. "This is the wing capital," the president tried to argue."

In short, awesome. Hot wings? Yes we can.

The HotWing Craving ~ Chicken Licken Commercial

"Hotwings from Chicken Licken are so unbelievably morish, when the craving's got you, it's got you. "

Chicken Licken's is a South African based fried chicken chain. And sent this out on Twitter the other day. I love it.

That's how I feel sometimes - a giant chicken wing monkey on my back. Actually, I haven't seen him in a while . . .

Wednesday, 12 May 2010


It had been a busy weekend. It was late and I did not feel like cooking. LJ was feeling Greek. I wasn't. I was feeling wings. LJ wasn't. One place that niether one of us had tried before just might have been able to deliver both:

This little pizzariea is on a a small strip on the North stretch of Merivale ave, with only a handfull of other businesses and a lot of apartments and housing. I almost drove right by the place. Inside was a counter of huge slices of pizza, all of which were loaded with cheese. Very thick. Looked like 'Ottawa style' which I don't dig, but if you do, they are very generous with the top style cheese.

There is diner-style booths to sit at, but there isn't much of a decore or atmosphere to the place. Some teenagers/University aged kids came in and sat in the booths for a while, but took their orders and sat on the curb outside to enjoy their food.

The pizza chef for the evening (possibly the owner, an older gentleman) look tired and ready to close up shop. I don't blame him, it's not an easy job. I saw him start with the wings, and I was excited because . . . I saw fresh chicken wings. Fresh, not frozen. That was a good sign.

Before long I had our orders packed in a paper bag with menu stapled on and out the door. As I mentioned above, LJ went with Greek food. She ordered the soulvaki chicken wrap platter.

Above shows the platter. Rice; hinted with seasonings, but rough and not really enjoyable. Possibly had been sitting all day as this was the later evening. The potato . . . didn't even look like potato. I thought it was skewered meat. These too I think had been sitting most of the evening. Blah. The Greek salad was thickly chopped (several centimetres thick of cucumber) and the feta was also a bit blah. The dressing tasted fresh and homemade, as did the tzatziki. That was a nice touch.

The chicken wrap was pita filled with marinated chicken, tomato, onions and more tzatziki. The marinated chicken wasn't anything special and the wrap was easily passable. Not bad, just nothing that got the taste buds popping.

The whole ride home I was excited and nervous to see how the wings would turn out. They smelled fantastic, and I saw that they had been fresh. But I have been let down so many times before . . .

The wings come in orders of what they describe as "5 + 5 free = $6.50" which is a little sneaky in terms of advertising. I mean really, its 10 wings.

Cheese Lovers wings came out Buffalo style - deep fried naked and tossed in Buffalo sauce. The wings were still hot when I opened up the styrophome container. The cayenne sauce climbed up my nose and my senses went wild.

Except for one sense: sight. While they smelled good, felt good and (eventually tasted good), these were pathetically small wings. Pigeon wings.

I mean really, look at that picture above. What is that? No really? There were a few medium sized wings that were decent, but too many very small wings.

Anyways, the skin on these wings were very crisp, even after the drive home. And saucy. These were some wet wings with lots of sauce. I had ordered Suicide, but the heat level was much more of a Hot. There was a good tingle coming off the sauce. But the buttery/cayenne flavour matched with the hot, crispy skin was just heaven. So good. I was really left wanting more after they were gone.

FINAL SCORE: Greek food was a pass. The wings were, flavour wise, awesome. Cheers for sure. The size of the wings were definetely jeers. So small. But fresh. What can you do? Cheese Lovers Pizza & Greek says "Our customers claim we're the best" - well, I don't know about that. If the wings were just a bit bigger the score would have been awesome. But I admit, I'd rather have fresh small wings than jumbo frozen. 5/9

Cheese Lovers Pizza & Greek

1009 Merivale Road, Ottawa ON

WWWWWW #19 - The Traveling Hungryboy

Yes, World Wide Web Wacky Wing Wednesday. WWWWWW. This is where I will surf the Web, and find other people talking about chicken wings. The world is full of chicken wing stories, wacky and otherwise. Recipes, restaurant reviews, eating contests or whatever. Today's Blog relating to wings in some shape or form:

"A Cameraphone-driven moblog of (mostly) gastronomic adventures & epicurean musings from a United 1k global traveller who thinks that Anthony Bourdain has the coolest job in the world." Well it sounds like this "Californian now based overseas in Singapore" blogger has a pretty cool job too where he can travel the world and sample food on the way. He samples and takes photos of a lot of interesting, tasty-looking dishes from pho, airplane snacks to hot dogs.

But what attracted me to this blog were the wings. He samples all sorts of wings, globally, which is just plain awesome in my book.

Like here in at the in Singapore where the wings are on crazy racks. They weren't very good apparently, but they look cool.

Or these ladies in Phrabaramee selling fried chicken. Thailand fried chicken stands look like they rock.

Or the National Buffalo Wing Festival wings. What exotic locals and these strange 'Buffalo Wings'! Of course I'm kidding, but this guy is everywhere eating wings.

Or just relaxing and having some simple wings and a beer. And a pizza. Good time good time.

So if you aren't going anywhere soon and you feel like living vicariously by going around the world and eating wings (and other foods), check out the Traveling Hungryboy. I know I have.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Sweet Baby Ray's Honey BBQ Sauce

A few weeks ago, the sun came out, the clouds went away, and Spring was declared (where is that Spring now?). This meant out building patio opened up and I could finally get some grilling done. I wasn't the first to the grill, but I was the last in the fall.

It was also time to do some spring cleaning. In the freezer were boneless chicken thighs, chicken wings, Brussels sprouts. We had some prosciutto and jalapeno peppers. There was lots to make up a little feast. I also had a special bottle of BBQ sauce sitting on the shelf, burning a whole in my taste buds for quite a while.

It was a bottle of Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce, which isn't common round these parts (Canada), and it was 'reduced' by 50% - what a steal! I've heard a lot of good things about Baby Ray's sauce, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to try it out.

What I didn't realize was that the sauce was SBR's Honey BBQ sauce, which wasn't a problem by any means, but due to poor sale labeling, I didn't fully understand what I was getting. So I added to the above photo what the bottle should look like.

"It all began back in 1985 when a local Chicago boy named Chef Larry perfected his family’s recipe for a sweet and tangy BBQ sauce and entered it into the country’s largest rib cook-off, the Mike Royko Rib-off. Chef Larry called his sauce Sweet Baby Ray’s after his little brother David, who got the nickname shootin’ hoops on the west side of Chicago. On the day of the rib-off, Sweet Baby Ray’s beat nearly 700 entrants to come in second - an amazing feat for an unknown. The rest, as they say, is history. " (Source)

The ingredients weren't terribly special. HFCS big time. This was not going to be a spicy/heat sauce at all. I expected sweet going in. The ingredients that stood out from the label that caught my attention were pineapple juice, natural smoke flavour and tamarind. But honey was 4th on the list, which was a little disconcerting.

Out on the terrace I opened the bottle. I was going to be brushing this on the chicken, but I want to sample a little of the sauce first.

There wasn't anything special in the appearance of SBR. It looked like commercial grade sauce. Thick, reddish brown and smelling pretty sweet. The raw taste was . . . pretty simple BBQ sauce. Sweet, and that was about it. I decided to wait to see after grilling to make my judgement.

I split the wings (but kept the tips on). I had both wings and thighs and I had them soak in a brine for a while. After draining the wings, I rubbed them in a bit of olive oil and 'Cajun' seasoning. Then onto the grill.

The heat was high, using lump charcoal, on a grill that sits in a brick U, with no lid and no where near my home base for reinforcements. I had to make room for all the other food I was cooking. Like some high-falutin' jalapenos.

Using up leftovers, these jalapenos were filled with cheddar cheese, laughing cow cheese, some more Cajun seasoning, then wrapped with the prosciutto. They cooked up in no time and were easier to deal with than regular bacon-wrapped jalapenos.

I took them off and put on some Brussels sprouts (tossed in oil and salt and pepper). These were frozen from a bag, but after a bit of a thaw they cooked well near the back with more indirect heat.
After the wings and chicken were pretty much cooked, I started brushing on the sauce. Maybe the secret to the sauce would be some charcoal heat.

It did not want to stick to the chicken. The sauce just kept oozing right off. Perhaps I could have tossed the wings and thighs then returned it to the grill. But this is a Kansas City style sauce, so its not so much about getting into the meat as coating the outside.

So how did it all turn out? Let me talk about the sides first.

I try to like vegetables, really I do. I try hard to like Brussels sprouts, but no deal. I ate 2 or three and things were all right, but the same problem that always happens; gag reflex. My body is telling me what my mind always knew, Brussels sprouts are gross. Prosciutto poppers? Also not for me. I'm not a huge fan of prosciutto, and while the jalapeno and cheese worked well, I will stick to traditional bacon next time.

Lesson learned? I don't like foods I don't like, even if I try them different ways. I know, it's not rocket science. But I least I tried.

What about the wings and thighs? Well the chicken turned out well enough. The thighs would go on to make a BBQ chicken salad for a few days to come. The wings were a little different.

I wasn't crazy about the sauce. It wasn't any better than Kraft or other generic sauce. I found it didn't really compliment the wings. With the leftover wings (and that should say something) I ended up re-heating them and then tossing in a hot sauce mixture which was more enjoyable.

FINAL SCORE: If you are looking for thick, sweet sauce, this is for you. The sauce didn't strike me as unique or special. I admit that after a few days sitting in the refrigerator I appreciated it more, but I wouldn't bother with it again. 50% off or not. 1.5/3

Sweet Baby Rays Gourmet Sauces

"Nightmare on Wingstreet" - Wingstreet Commercial

Wingstreet (Pizza Hut's wing offspring) has a new commercial out, and I like it.

I call it, "Nightmare on Wingstreet" because I don't know what it's actually called. I ripped this from commerciallydazzling on Youtube, (thanks for posting it)

I like how the guys are really nerdy. They look like little boys, covered in sauce, so happy to have wings. But I don't buy these guys getting wings at the pub normally.

Also, two 9" pizzas, 10 wings and a 2l Pepsi for $19.99 isn't a great deal. Not for 3 guys; that's like 4 tiny slices and 3.3 wings per person. What the heck is .3 of a wing? I hate 'meal deals' that have 10 or less wings, because if you have more than 3 people, its not enough wings.

Anyways, I like the feel of the commercial. Delivery wings will never be as good as fresh at the pub, but they do make them look appetizing.

WWWWWW #18 ~ Buffalo Wing Wear

Yes, World Wide Web Wacky Wing Wednesday. WWWWWW. This is where I will surf the Web, and find other people talking about chicken wings. The world is full of chicken wing stories, wacky and otherwise. Recipes, restaurant reviews, eating contests or whatever. Today's Blog relating to wings in some shape or form:

Do you love Buffalo Wings? Do you like to tell everyone everywhere you go? Well now you can do that by wearing buffalo wing clothing! "Buffalo Wing Wear, LLC started in 2009 as way to provide quality apparel that features the beloved Buffalo Chicken Wing. We are based in the home of where the Buffalo Chicken Wing was invented: Buffalo, NY. "

Baseball Hat! For the everyday sporting event or wing eating competition.

Tie! For all your wing business meetings.

Safari Hat! For all your chicken safaris?

Yes, chicken wings are everywhere and on everything. I need to make LOTW swag one day. For now, you can order a Buffalo Wing Wear headband.

I want to go on a chicken wing safari now . . .