Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Chestnut Tree Wing Night

Have I mentioned the cafeteria in the building I work is the best ever? That's because we have amazing kitchen staff like the ones in the photo above: Jenny, Malcolm, Nathan and Rahman. It's also because this awesome crew were bringing us Wing Night.

Coming into the dinning hall in the main dinner section, you take a plate of wings and then you have your choice of sauce: Hot, Honey Garlic and BBQ.

Of course, Nathan prepared a special sauce for people like me who need heat. Above is the giant pot of his "Scotch Bonnet Hot Pepper Sauce" - which looked like a delicious vat of heart burning lava.

When Nathan saw me coming, he made sure to have an extra big plate of wings for me, as well as a side of curly fries.

I love curly fries. They are fun - I think that basically sums them up. A little crispy, a little soft. I really love spiced curly fries, but these natural style were good for dipping in all the wing sauces I had on my tray.

When I worked here several years ago, the wings were really good. But clearly things have just gotten better. The chicken was marinated, then dusted in flour and spices and finally deep fried. Handed out dry, they remained crispy and you could add as much or little or combo your sauces.

The wings themselves were a 'large-medium' sized wing. The wing was juicy, fairly meaty with a nice crispy skin. Plus the flour dusting made them even more crispy.

The chicken was tasty to eat just on it's own. But I'll be honest, I was here for the sauces on the wings. I took a sampling of all the sauces. Some of you visual keeners will notice that there was a 'honey garlic' written on a container, but I don't consider Honey Garlic a valid wing flavour.

I should also mention something about my utensil improvisation. A tray only holds so much, and I didn't want to ladle all my wings together in a variety of sauces, so I looked to have them kept separate. But bowls take up way too much room, so I used drinking cups to keep the sauce, and an extra one as a water bowl for cleaning my hands.

Most of the sauces are commercial sauces. Without naming names, this Hot sauce was a classic sauce used universally in making Buffalo wings. Vinegary and cayenne based, this was a tasty little bit of heat.

The BBQ was a brand readily available in Ontario grocery stores and many restaurants. I go back and forth on this brand as sometimes I really enjoy one of their sauces and others I don't care for. This was a bit too sweet for my liking.

Finally, this suicide sauce was made from scratch and full of love. Nathan started by sweating an onion in oil with 3 cups of crushed red chili flakes, and 12 small scotch bonnet peppers (whole peppers chopped up), and at the last adding 1 cup of chopped garlic. He then adds 5 litres of hot sauce, 4 cups of cayenne pepper, 1 cup of white vinegar and 4 cups of water. That is simmered for 30-45 minutes, then adds a large immersion blender to puree the mix. Now keep in mind that is for a huge batch to feed a lot of people.

This was a great sauce because it was full of so many layers. I was first hit with some smokiness, then the savoriness. The spices each came alive as did the garlic. And don't forget the kick. A nice warm heat - it didn't burn my lips, but it did build up in the mouth and throat. It was a really great tasting sauce that was thick and really coated the crispy wings well.

Oh, I guess there was some other sauce that some people put on their wings. I don't know why they would go this route when there was suicide sauce, but whatever. I just have to accept some people don't like heat.

Wing Night is probably one of the most popular nights in the Caf. I was lucky to have several people joining me for wings . . . even if I disagree with their choice of sauce.

Above left is Kat, my partner in fighting crime at work. She was enjoying her HG wings! Above right is                Maansi, a vegetarian. So no wings for her. But that didn't stop her from sampling the suicide sauce!

Top left, Melanie had to wait a while to get some wings (big line up). She got them, but they didn't last long! Top right is Jemy, who tore her wings apart. I'm not hyperbolizing, she individually pulled apart the wings bone by bone and dipped the chicken in her sauces.

Finally, Nishant went for a mixing of sauces for his wings - HG and hot sauce together. Doesn't he look like he enjoyed his meal? I know I sure did.

Almost everyone avoided the suicide sauce, but Maansi really enjoyed it. So Nathan was super generous and brought both her and I a jar each! And the best part is the heat seems to be growing each time I sample it. Recently I made homemade tortilla chips and used this a dip and as a dip boy does it pack a wallop.

Wing Night in the caf with good friends a good food. Can it get any better? I just hate waiting for the next wing night to come around in the rotation . . .


Teena in Toronto said...

I'll check 'em out when I'm downtown.

Chris said...

Damn, you have the best cafeteria crew ever. I knew you'd like that scotch bonnet sauce.

Lord of the Wings said...

@Teena - sorry, it's a private dinning hall. I guess I'm just being a tease with the food here!

@Chris - Yes, yes I do. To both comments.