Wednesday, 28 September 2011

WWWWWW #50 - Merrick Petcare

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:

WWWWWW# 50 and today we are talking about wings and pet food. Yes you heard that right. Merrick makes pet food. But not just any pet food. We are talking 'gourmet'. I think this is a bit crazy, but I mean, they have dog food chicken wings.

From their website:
"Our mission statement is “Comfort for the Soul,” and we do that by offering you simple, nutritious and healthy products. You want to be a good pet guardian and our products give you comfort to know that you are giving your pet a healthy meal and treat. We feel the same way because we are pet guardians just like you. In fact, we don’t have just dogs and cats, we currently have llamas, ducks, chickens, emus, zonkeys (that’s right a cross between a donkey and a zebra), goats, koi and longhorns. When my father started our treat company, he put the following scripture from the Bible on our boxes, and we still display this Proverb today; “A good man is concerned for the welfare of his animals.” I don’t know many people who could argue with that, and we feel the same way. Knowing we are committed to this verse is “Comfort for the Soul”.


"Once upon a time there was a magical place called Wingaling and it had the best tasting chicken in the world. Nutty brown rice simmered in savory gravy that naturally marinates these delicious chicken wings on the bone to add flavor. The Merrick's would like to welcome your dog into this wonderland of flavor that is chicken paradise.

A NOTE FROM THE CHEF: please read before feeding. Our slow cooked whole chicken wings offer marinated tender chicken cooked on a softened bone. THIS SPECIAL COOKING PROCESS MAKES THE BONE MUSHY AND SAFE FOR YOUR DOG TO ENJOY. Feel free to serve whole or to break apart the chicken and soft bones for ease of pet consumption."

They also have it in a smaller serving. Cute.

Wild Buffalo Grill

"It's winter in the Rockies at a quiet cabin with the one you love, a good book and a warm fire. The taste of the west is on the menu tonight. Buffalo and a host of tasty vittles are warming on the stove. The Merrick family is happy to share this original taste with your canine friend. The Merricks say Howdy and thanks. Wild Buffalo Grill is prepared with Buffalo, Cracked Pearled Barley, Zucchini, Carrots, Snow Peas, & Fuji Apples."

This I misread. I was thinking Buffalo wings, not actual Buffalo.

Don't forget Turducken.

Or Burger Pie & Sweety Fries.

Or what dog doesn't love sports? So Gameday Tailgate naturally is the meal for them.

So how about you - would you serve your pet gourmet chicken wing food?

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

This Pizza Hut Wingnormous Commercial Bothers Me

I got an add in my inbox from Pizza Hut. Pizza Hut changed over to Wing Street not long ago, and I thought they weren't bad. The pizza isn't as good as it used to be in my opinion though. But decent new wings. And  I don't mind advertisement, especially about wings. But I got the one below and it bothered me. 

Can you guess what is wrong?

  • The $25 Wingnormous deal is the same as their other Panormous combo - same amount of everything just re-branded.
  • 10 wings should never be referred to as anything 'normous'.
  • You can not have a Wing Eating competition with 10 wings. Unless its to see the minimum number of wings eaten by a person in 5 minutes.
  • "It's a guy thing" - what is? A wing eating competition? Is Pizza Hut aware of Sonya Thomas, the 'Black Widow' who ate 183 wings in 12 minutes? (that is a wing eating competition).
  • There are 4 cans of pop, which suggests this combo is for 4 people. Sure there is a lot of pizza for 4 people, but 10 wings divided by 4 is 2.5.      2.5.   How do you share wings like that? How is 2.5 a reasonable amount of wings. 

That's my rant. I know I'm ridiculous, but wings are my business. I understand what they are doing, trying to make it all 'bro' friendly and hip and macho, but they aren't hitting the mark in my opinion. Grrrrrr.

Anything make you irrationally annoyed?
Does this advert bother you?

WWWWWW #49 - Ice Cream Club

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:

How would you like to to join a club that is all about ice cream? Well if you live in NYC, you can. The Ice Cream Club. What are they really about? Well straight from their website info:  "Ice Cream Club is a group in NYC that does a buncha things with ice cream. Take ice cream classes, subscribe to our ice cream CSA, or just show up to swap pints. We meet on the second Sunday of the month." Sounds tasty in my opinion. So what is the deal with them on LOTW? Ya, they did it. They did it. They made Buffalo Wing Ice Cream.

I have to include the whole post because, well I just do:

"Buffalo Wing: I am only telling you how to make this so you never ever ever do it. Cream about 1/3 cup sugar with 1/3 cup butter. Add enough Frank’s Hot Sauce until it tastes like buffalo sauce. Combine with 1c cream, 1c milk. Add bits of blue cheese when it’s almost done in the machine.
I mean, it does taste like buffalo wings, but there’s a time and a place for that flavor, and I’m not sure it’s in ice cream. I am not tough enough to mix in the celery I bought."

I like all things wings, but this might be the one thing I would really have to be in an experimental mood for . . . but awesome that it was tried.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Ruffles Buffalo Wing Chips

One thing that is great about potato chips is the endless possibilities of flavours. And I love that the chip companies have been jumping on the wing wagon.

Ruffles have been making Hot Wing chips for a while. And to admit to some unprofessionalism on my part, this was a review from 2010 that I found recently. Actually my good friend Julianna was the first to tell me about these.

First off, I'm glad they called them Hot Wing. Buffalo wings are very specific in smell and taste. But Hot Wings . . . a hot wing sauce is just hot and tasty.

I have to say I prefer a ridged chip, and in my opinion Ruffles chips are crunchy and flavourful.

Those wings on the package look not too bad.

That's ah, that some ingredient list. At least hot sauce is in there. Before salt even.

This was a regular sized bag. As usual, half full of air.

Some things about the chips to point out. First you can notice the size. That's a big chip. Good ridges, however you can see the browning and/or burning. For 'specially selected potatoes' I wonder what their selection process is.

Let's look close up. Reeeallly close. Lots of flavour powder on that chip. Its the kind that helps tingle the lips and tongue. There was a little bit of a burn, but nothing crazy. The flavour is a mix of all dressed, salt and vinegar and bbq. Did it really taste like hot wing? Not in a blind tasting. But I think this is a tasty chip with a minor kick.

In the States I've seen "Molten Hot Wing" chips, and the next time I go, I'm gonna buy some and see how they compare. For now, these are a decent 'wing' chip.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Crispy Baked Wings?

As you know, I love wings. I like lots of different styles and sauces. I respect different methods of preparation  for wings from smoking to stir fry, to deep frying and grilling. But one method I regularly scorned was baking wings. I hated baked wings because they were never crispy. Crispy wings are very important. When people wrote Buffalo wing recipes and listed baking them, I would lose my @#$. Partly because a Buffalo wing has very specific criteria, but mainly because baking doesn't make for crispy skin. 

Or so I thought.

But I've come to realize that under the right conditions, you can have a very-close-to-deep-fried crispy baked wing.

First thing - get some fresh wings. Do not get frozen. Go to your butcher, go to your poultry dealer, go to where ever you can and get fresh, not frozen wings.

Next step, toss them in some flour. Maybe some flour and spices. Maybe even corn starch. Some say baking powder. Do it.

Then take those wings (knocking off excess powder) and put them on parchment paper. Parchment paper is key here. In the past I used tin foil and the chicken sticks and never cooked right. Parchment paper is magic, magic I say. And I know there are some out there who are like, what about wax paper? No. Parchment. Wax and parchment are not the same. Parchment will not burn in the oven, the chicken will not stick to it, and it will help in the crisping process.

Then put it in the fridge. At least 30 minutes. I do it for an hour. Or more. Then when your ready, pre-heat the oven for 450 or higher. Hot.

See those wings in the oven? Baking (middle shelf). High heat, fresh, dusted, parchment. This is the way.

Here is the wings after being flipped after say 15-20 minutes. Ya, baking takes a long time. But you can see how the skin is browning. The photo makes the wings a little pink, but they didn't look that pink. Weird. Keep baking for another 15-20 minutes or until they are crispy.

Here's a finished drummette. I took a bite. You can see the layers of crispy skin. Yes, that chicken is baked.

While the wings were baking I made up some Buffalo-style sauce. For some reason I put it in the bowl first. It's sitting on the burner that gets hot when the oven is on (but the burner is off). I don't like my sauce cold, but the Frank's sits in the fridge. Heat it up.

Then toss it up. Mix mix mix. Flip flip flip. Sauce sauce sauce. Until completely coated.

And there, baked Hot wings. Can you tell that they weren't deep fried? No, no you can't.

Look - each one of those wings looks nearly perfect. And they were crispy, and tasty and pretty darn good. I still prefer deep fried, but this is as close as you are going to get.

So remember:

  • Fresh chicken
  • Dust in flour/corn starch/baking soda (one or all)
  • Place on parchment paper
  • Air chill in fridge for minimum 30 minutes.
  • Cook in oven at 450 degrees. Flip once after 15-20 minutes. Cook for another 15-20 minutes. Or until skin is crisp.
  • Toss in sauce, enjoy.

First Wings in the Caf

What's for dinner?

Well tonight in the dining hall at work it was the first wings of the year (the work year here starting in September).

Tonight they were serving them up honey garlic and bbq, with hot & more honey garlic on the side. I asked for the wings sauceless. The wings tonight had a heavy flour dusting. They were deep fried, and because they are serving hundreds of pounds, weren't straight from the fryer. They weren't the crispest at this point, but still good fried chicken.

On my wing journey were four lovely ladies. Mel, Lisa, Kat and Claire. Claire refrained from wings this night, but she normally loves them. As you can tell, the rest enjoyed their meals.

 I took the dry wings and poured a bowl of some Frank's sauce. I added some Sriracha, some Tobasco and some vinegar. I took the dry wings in a bowl, poured the sauce mix over, then put another bowl on top and shook.

On the left, the wings sauced (poured over). On the right, 15 seconds of tossing.

The final product was a super saucy wing. The meat just fell away from the bones, so I basically dissected each wing, and could dip the meat into the sauce bone free.

I started off with a double order of wings (over 10 wings). I was still hungry so I went up for more. I just grabbed a plated wings of BBQ, and then did the whole sauce thing again. Tasty.

The wings were good. They weren't the best I've had in the caf, but they were good. I was very satisfied at the end of the night.

Here is our collective bone basket. May all those chickens rest in piece.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Old and New posts

I mentioned recently that I've been catching up on posts due to being busy for the past month. But I've actually been much more neglectful than I thought.

I try to keep my Lord of the Wings files in order. I have a complex system of folders and catagories and such. Arranged by type of wing and by year etc etc etc.  But since moving back to Toronto I haven't been on top of things they way I used to be. So not only did I have unattended files for the past month, I also had more from the summer, and even one from a couple of years ago. Wow.

So for the next couple of, I don't know, I want to say days but lets say weeks, I'm going to try to bring things up to speed. Most of these posts are recipes, sauce reviews, chip reviews etc. I don't know what happened, but lets try and make things right.

Teena in Toronto has some wings!

Fellow blogger and frequenter to my own blog, Teena of Teena in Toronto has been having wings recently, and I'd thought I'd let you all see:

Here are some wings from Muddy Waters Smokehouse in Winnipeg! She says they weren't great, but they look tasty to me.

Here's an order of wings from the Local. She said they were good. I thought so too when I went in 2007.

Have you had wings recently? Send in your pics!

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Wing P0rn: Wild Wings

I'm enjoying my new Wing P0rn series (I hope you are too). Its nice to not do a review every time I have wings or when I go back to try other flavours. 

This is also from some lost photos from earlier in the summer - a late night tuesday night special at Wild Wings (.5bls added to a 1lb order). These are Hot Dill Pickle (Come Get Some - a creamy dill, with hot mixed in).

Creamy, dilly, with just a hint of heat. Crispy but meaty wings.


Wednesday, 14 September 2011

WWWWWW #48 - gchang on picplz

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:

All I know is that gchang has this picture online. It's two giant chicken wings on skewers that look really good. Dang!

That is all.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011



What's better than spending a beautiful day on a patio eating wings? 
Nothing right?

Then something was wrong with a lot of other people.

The Foxes Den is a quaint little pub up on Bay street across from St Michael's College at UofT. On the East side of the street its all concrete jungle . . . except for the oasis that is the Den. You can see in the photo above the very private patio that is covered by ivy and other plant. When I went to sit on the patio, I was flabbergasted that no one was out there. I went inside to let the waitress know I was out there, and no one was inside either.

Oh well, I was happy to have the space to myself and some tiny birds looking for a hand out. I chatted with my waitress Beth about how quiet the patio was, and she said she was expecting a big rush, but the first customer didn't come until 12:30! And I was there not long after that. Beth was very sweet and friendly and before long I had a drink, and then some wings.

The wings looked good, but there was something about that little metal bowl that made me feel something special for this lunch.

There are four flavours at the Den. Old school. The heats and honey garlic.

On the side you have veggies and blue cheese dip. This was a seriously good blue cheese dip. Maybe I was just in the right mood, but I gobbled up the veggies and even dipped my wings after (I rarely dip my wings). I also like that it was in a washable bowl instead of a disposable container.

The wings come by the pound, and at the Den (I don't know if anyone actually calls them "The Den" but I think this is something that could catch on) a pound is about 9 wings. I always find it funny how apparently there is no standardization in the poultry world what a pound is.

These were not a jumbo wing. These were not a big wing. They were a small to medium sized wings. They were meaty, and they were crispy due to the dusting on the skin.

I went with the 'Hot' wings. They weren't hot. No bite. But good. The sauce tasted like a straight bottled sauce, no in house additions. The wings were also 'wet absorbed', as in they were well coated in sauce, but it was not wet to the touch, but absorbed into the skin. But the wings stayed crispy, so that's good.

FINAL SCORE: Wings were good, standard wings. A little crispy, a little little. Decent sauce, nice crispy skin with dusting. Great service. Loved the patio outside and can't understand why no one else was out there, but my win.  There is some question as to whether wing night still exists, so the SCORE is about 6/10.

The Foxes Den
1075 Bay Street, Toronto ON