Sunday, 5 February 2012

Metro Wings

I am angry and I don't feel well.

I am angry at Metro grocery store wings, but I'm probably more angry with myself. Because I don't seem to learn. And so I write to you as a warning to learn from my mistakes. And maybe I will learn to.

You see it's Superbowl weekend, the most holy of wing days. I decided I was going to have wings. But  my favourite butcher didn't have any wings left. So I went to the grocery store, Metro, and I knew about their flyer - 30 wings and a case of pop for $20. Not an amazing deal, but I see a deal and get all excited. So I picked out some wings to spread out over the weekend.

Here is one of the containers of the chicken. The meat is partially frozen. The wings are 'cooked' but just need to be reheated. They are coated in sauce. Don't get me started on them being called Buffalo wings.

Above, they are basically frozen mush. The problem comes how to cook it. Usually it's just toss in the oven and reheat. I did this, and the results were not great, so I tried 2 other methods. Let's see what happened.


So I went the traditional baked route (but took no photos of the before). I took a baking sheet, put down parchment paper, and baked at high heat (400-430). I did this for a while, flipped part way. They were sitting in a lot of oil, so I transferred them to another tray with parchment paper. Still more oil.

They took a long time to be crispy. What's kinda funny is that the crispy factor came from the bottom on the pan, not the heat above. While the skin got kinda crispy, there was still a gelatin-y layer underneath. The wings actually had a good bite to them, but were very salty.

Overall, I did not enjoy the meal. I ate because I had them, but I did not enjoy them. The next night I was going to have to change things up.


Over the phone I was telling LJ how my wings sucked and she suggested trying something different, like cooking in a frying pan. So I took my small cast iron pan, turned it on medium high, then put in half of my last batch of wings.

They started to cook, things sounded good. They smelled good too. But then I went to flip them - trouble. The skin completely stuck to the pan (non stick). I flipped them again (basically removing the skin) and then put them into the oven (set at broil). After a few minutes they were ready . . . I guess.

I could not get over the amount of grease and oil that came off the wings. I didn't add anything to the pan, and well, you can see above.

These were the final product. Don't they look appetizing? No, no they do not. Don't try and be nice, they looked like they were taken straight off the bird. The meat retained a bit of the heat. Having the soggy breading/skin off took a bit of the ick factor away, but this was not a good cooking solution. I don't look forward to cleaning the pan either.


I scratched my head on how to cook the last batch. I couldn't deep fry because these mucky mess would gunk up the fryer. I wasn't going to bake again, nor pan fry. What was left? How about my George Foreman grill?

The Foreman grill has only one temperature, cooks unevenly, but is the closest thing I have to a BBQ (but is nowhere near a BBQ).

I kept them in for, I don't know, 5-10 minutes, flipping once. There was 2 pieces that were quite large, so I kept them in longer.

So this was a decent method of cooking. A lot of the oil and fat were 'knocked out', the hot grates seared the meat giving a crispy texture. I think I could have let them cook longer though. I think actually putting them on a BBQ grill would this kind of work out.

Overall, all three methods failed. These wings were a class 3 FAIL.

Ok, here's what worked for these wings. They are meaty, tender and actually have a spicy kick.
What didn't: sloppy, soggy, fatty, oily, un-reheat-able. I actually did not feel like eating them.

These wings made me feel unhealthy eating them (I'm glad I ate a salad along with them). I rarely feel like that after eating a wing.

So I am saying here, I will not eat Metro wings again. If you see me going to buy these, smack me. In general avoid in-store wings. I hope, hope, hope I have learned my lesson this time.

Can you think of anyways that these wings might have been re-heated to taste not too bad? How do you do it?


Jay T said...

So sorry you don't live in Waterloo, Ontario.
Then you could have come to Morty's Pub and had some of the best wings you will ever eat.
We went through about 10,000 today.
Please come and see us soon,
Cheers and Happy Super Bowl!


Lord of the Wings said...

@Jay - It's been a while, but I was at Morty's and enjoyed your wings (and they are light years in quality to these terrible wings @ Metro). I just need to get back to Waterloo. That's a staggering amount of wings! Thanks for stopping in :)

Anthony said...

Ya I gave up on their wings. There is nothing you can do to make this monstrosity right.

P.S. I think I found the butcher that supplies Duff's. Their wings were near identical in size and flavour.

Lord of the Wings said...

@Anthony - Everytime I think, maybe they'll be ok. They are never ok.

I'd love to hear who your butcher is . . .

Teena in Toronto said...


We have a Metro near us and their wings always look nasty!

Anonymous said...

Hey LOTR sorry to hear about your wing fiasco. Are food prices higher in Canada? In Arizona I paid 15$ for 5 pounds of wings, and as far as soda I got 4, 12 packs of Mt Dew/Brisk for 8$! Sadly I am having trouble cooking them properly. They came frozen and pre-cooked. The best luck I've had was uncovered on a baking pan coated in nonstick spray and overcooking them slightly to melt out the gross fat. I'm willing to bet pizza chains use these quality wings and they suck.

Ricky Patel said...

*shakes head in disappointment* You did it again?!

Did you think that magically they somehow developed a method to make these wings better than sub par? I mean really? Dude!

Anyways, I hope you learn your lesson. It pains me to see you make this mistake again and again, after we've both made it before and concluded to never get them again!

Lord of the Wings said...

@Teena - Eww is right.

@Anon - food prices are higher in Canada (I wish I could get 4 cases of pop for $8! I recomend cooking the wings in the oven on parchment paper - its magical. But like the wings I did above, you may have to transfer them once because of the oil/fat in the wings.

@Ricky - I know. Its a disease. I won't be getting wings from Metro/Superstore/Loblaws/Longos again. Maybe Sobeys wings will be ok . . .

Chris said...

Man you give up easily! You haven't tried a waffle iron, panini press, Easy Bake Oven (by Mattel), or a blow torch yet :)

Ironically, my spambot word verification below is "worsen". As in, "Anything you do to these wings will worsen them" ha ha. They are beyond help:)

Anonymous said...

Sobey's Wings are even awful now - well at least the one in Kanata. They decided to get rid of their deep fryer, so everything is baked now. Really gross wings IMO.

Lord of the Wings said...

@Chris - Beyond help is right. I saw that screen capture - so appropriate!

@Anonymous - So I don't even have Sobey's to look forward to? Is there such thing as a good grocery store chicken wing!?