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September 21st, 2011

Chicken Wing Adventure Time

Hey, have you guys ever had chicken wings? Chicken Wings 1Because, here’s something: I’d never really had them until Friday. Well, I mean I’d had a chicken wing here or there. But they were either amateurish and gross or so spicy I wanted to hurl them into the road and scream. Friday was the first time I’d ever been properly schooled in the fine art of Chicken Wingery.

I went with a friend of mine who, if it was legal, would probably marry a chicken wing. I thought it best such a person accompany me on this kind of outing, since I’m always intimidated by any food that has bones in it. This is because one time, years ago, my mom bought and cooked some “discount fish” for our dinner one night. She put the platter of white, flaky fish meat on the table and said cheerfully, “Now, this wasn’t the most expensive fish, so there might be some bones.” Boy, she wasn’t kidding. It was like biting into a pin cushion. At one point I looked up at Louie, who was trying so hard not to gag that his eyes were watering. “Help,” he said softly. (Although, because he had to form the word around the bony fish bolus seated on his tongue, it sounded like “hehwp.”) I gurgled a little, because that was all I could do and pulled some bones out of my mouth. Finally, Louie gave up altogether. “Abort,” he moaned, and let the ball of half-chewed fish roll out of his mouth onto his plate. It was the first time we’d ever been fully unable to eat something that my brilliant cook of a mother had made for us.

And it changed us.

So, I wasn’t about to go blindly into a meal that was so obviously bone-centric. I needed a guide. I needed a Wing Man. (I’m so, so sorry… but I think we all knew that joke was inevitable.)

The first thing I learned is that you have to eat your wings with blue cheese, “none of that ranch shit.” Apparently it’s for losers.

Chicken Wings 1- edit 2

There was also a lesson in anatomy. A wing is composed of two parts: The drumstick and the “flat.” You can eat both. Flats are more awesome, though, because you can bust them apart and have Duel Meat Time. (That is not an industry term.) I got a plate containing eight chicken units. This means that my dinner represented the death of two chickens, which is not the best thing to tell yourself as you’re rending delicious, delicious flesh from bone. My plate also featured curly fries which I was told were there to “help soak up the grease.” When you’re using fried potatoes to soak up grease from something else, you’re in for an enormous treat.

What you do at this point is dunk the wing into the blue cheese and shove it into the side of your mouth and begin frantically dismantling chicken flesh with your bicuspids while carrying on a conversation. Or, if you’re me, you hold the chicken wing daintily in both hands and nibble at it with your front teeth like a rat while dodging eye contact. Then you ask your dining companion, “Am I doing it right?” Which is the stupidest thing that has ever come out of my mouth, bar none.

Then you have a bunch more chicken wings.

By this time, the spiciness of the sauce starts to build up on your tongue (and face and hands and pants) and you need this:

Chickens Wings 4

Carrots and celery. They’re the palate cleansers, I was told. It’s very refined, like “a sorbet of sorts.” A sorbet that you dunk into sauce. And, should you wish to avoid looking like a complete orange-faced lunatic,  those pre-moistened towelettes are critical.

I guess, if Friday is any indication, the rest of a proper chicken wing meal should be a complete whirlwind. I don’t really remember much, except for that I used WAY more napkins than anyone else in the restaurant and that, at some point during the madness, I hit my head.

Chicken Wings 3

The feedback on my meat pickin’ skills was positive. The only things I left on the bones were those bits of weird chicken sinew, which I guess is points off, but whatever.

Bones close

Turns out, I freaking love chicken wings, as I haven’t been able to get the entire experience out of my mind since. Although, I do feel I would have enjoyed the meal more if I wasn’t doing Dead Chicken Math the whole time.

1 comment to Chicken Wing Adventure Time

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