…And Be Sure To Add A Second Blogger For Extra Spice

Hot n’ Saucy Wings is about to celebrate it’s 4th Anniversary.  That’s four years following ‘a man’s consuming passion and obsession with chicken wings.’ I’ve been salivating since the first post, enjoying the educated reviews of wings all over the northeast.  Now I’m excited to announce that I’ve been invited to join HSW as an author, reviewer, and all-around online wing commiserator.

I’ll start by mentioning that I’m related to this blog’s founder-and-still-main-author.  Now before you cry ‘Nepotism!’ allow me to attempt to validate myself…besides, screaming ‘Nepotism!’ at a blog is a very silly practice anyway.

As a child growing up in New England, I was under the impression that my favorite food was lobster.  As it so often turns out with that popular crustacean, my fascination with it was more a fascination with clarified butter…which I would later learn is an essential part of a classic Buffalo sauce.

My father opened a chicken wing restaurant about halfway through the presidency of the first George Bush.  He offered about 14 sauces and rubs, and four of the recipes were baked, not fried.  This is where my obsession with wings began.  I spent a lot of time in the kitchen preparing wings: hand-turning baked wings with tongs, frying the others to a timer and shaking them in durable plastic tupperware containers with sauce (two squirts for every 10 wings).  By the time the restaurant closed (bad location…at least the old man broke even!), I was proud to list the chicken wing as my favorite food.

That was years ago.  Now I live in NYC, and enjoy wings several times a week, without fail.  There’s a lot of options here in the city, and I can’t wait to start sharing them with the readers here.  We’ve got tons of bars & restaurants, chains, and foreign options.  The biggest city in the country is about to be shared with the society of wing lovers.

All hail the mighty capsaicin!

Thinking About Wings

I recently exchanged emails with my cousin Matt, who is also a wing aficionado, and we got to talking about "crispy wings."  He asked for a clarification about what I mean by that, and I came up with the following:

When I – and other wing reviewers – refer to "crispy wings" we are talking about the skin.  Not unlike good barbecued chicken, a hot wing should be cooked enough that the fat which lies under the skin of the wing (either section – the wing or drumstick) has been rendered out, leaving a nice crispy skin.  You This can be a delicate balance: you can go from "crispy skin" to "crispy chicken" to "burnt" relatively quickly.  But when you do get a well-cooked wing, you should have meat that comes off the bone easily, is still moist, with chicken skin that is crispy and not flabby and/or soggy.  At least that’s what I think. 

The crispy skin seems to also provide a barrier of sorts against the sauce making the wing soggy.  That’s why I don’t get wings that are breaded and then served with a sauce.  Typically you have about 30 seconds before the sauce penetrates the breading and makes for a soggy, disappointing mess.

This then led to me thinking about how do I actually judge wings.  I don’t have a formal "point scale" but if I did, I think this is what I would use:

Wing rating guide (100 Points = Perfect Wing)

Size of wing – Are they very small and puny or large and plump? Too large for sauce for good sauce to meat ratio
10 points

Texture of wing – Is it 100% cooked through so that it is tender and juicy? Or is it overcooked and dry or undercooked and tough?
30 points

Texture of skin/exterior – Is the skin crispy and the fat rendered out, or is it fatty and flabby? If breaded, is it crispy and flavorful or soggy and bland?
30 points

Quality of sauce – Overall flavor? Spiciness? Spiciness vs. flavor – is it too hot to taste anything else? Is it an original tasting sauce, or just another Frank’s Red Hot and margarine? (not that there’s really anything WRONG with that) Quantity of sauce: are they floating, a bit on the dry side (leaving you wanting more) or just right?
30 points

I don’t know if I’ll start using this officially on this blog, but I wanted to give everyone an idea of what I’m thinking about when I review wings.


This is the first official post of this blog – the other stupid "why isn’t this working" posts will be gone by the time anyone reads this.

So what is "Hot n’ Saucy Wings" all about?  It about a man’s consuming passion and obsession with chicken wings.  Especially "Buffalo Wings," but that term is too limiting.  There are plenty of good spicy wings that aren’t the traditional buffalo wing, and I love a teriyaki or asian-style wing.  Or grilled with spices.  Hey, just bring them on.  I’ll even count buffalo chicken tenders and similar, if they are good enough.

I’ll be posting reviews of wings in restaurants, made-at home wings, and ready-made wings.  Occasionally I post reviews and links to hot wing related web sites.  Most importantly, I hope to get people comment and share their "wing moments."  LOL

Welcome to the society of wing lovers, brothers and sisters.  All hail the mighty capsaicin!

About This Blog

This is a blog dedicated to the fine art of the "hot wing" – chicken wings that a deliciously spicy.  They can be a traditional buffalo wing – deep-fried and then tossed with Frank’s Red Hot & Butter – or they can be grilled with a dry rub.  Or done in an Asian-influenced manner with soy sauce and garlic.  Basically, if its a wing, you’ll find it here.

I’m a certified Barbecue Judge, certified by the Kansas City Barbecue Society, and have eaten wings at hundreds of restaurants.  That’s about as close to an expert on wings as you’re gonna get I think. You can find out more about me at my other blog, Pop Culture Gangster, and at my web site.

Here you will find blog entries about those experiences, as well a recipes, tips for making good wings at home, and links to other chicken-wing related web sites.

I encourage you to comment and discuss the posts and join in the wing-loving fun!!