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Snack attack: winging it

Susan Jung

 

Such is the demand for chicken wings in the United States that poultry breeders have come up with a new, somewhat deceptive marketing ploy: "boneless" chicken wings.

No, it's not that bones are being laboriously removed from the drumettes and middle joints of chicken wings; a boneless chicken wing is actually what is often referred to as the chicken tender - a strip of white meat that's attached to the breast by a very thin membrane. The chicken wing, breast and tender are all considered white meat but their texture and flavour aren't the same when cooked, because the wings are covered with skin, which helps to keep the meat moist.

Many of the chicken wings (and now, tenders) consumed in the US are eaten as a bar snack called Buffalo wings, named after the city in New York state where the dish was created. The wings are fried then coated with a spicy sauce before being served with celery sticks, which provide crunch, and creamy blue cheese dressing, which cools down the mouth. At many places, the wings can be ordered in degrees of spiciness. It's not the ideal bar snack in that it can be messy to eat, but it does a good job of making the diner thirsty so he or she will drink more.

Many bars buy their Buffalo wings frozen, as a convenience food, rather than making their own; the frozen ones just need to be fried and mixed with the sauce, which is a mixture of butter and bottled hot sauce.

 

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