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Just as everyone has a favorite part of the chicken to eat, everyone has a favorite part of the chicken wing to eat. That's because a wing can be cut into three parts before cooking, or left whole for the consumer to eat parts, or all of it.
Chicken wings make an excellent meal. Chicken wings can be cooked the same way the rest of the chicken is cooked. They can be fried, broiled, seared, roasted, and barbecued. You can buy them from the grocery store already cut up and ready to cook. However, they are more expensive than whole wings.
Three Parts of Chicken Wings
The three parts of the chicken wing are illustrated above. It was easier to show and label the different parts when the wing was uncooked. Don't worry because this is the only photo of a raw chicken wing in this article.
Some consumers like all three parts, while others like only one or two parts. The three parts include the drumette, wingette—also called the flat, and the tip or flapper.
It is better to cut up a whole wing before cooking, because it is not even in shape and thickness. Therefore, it won't stay flat in the pan, and will not cook evenly. If the wing is already cut up, cooks can turn the wing over better.
The drumette is the portion of the wing that is attached to the main part of the chicken. It is called drumette because it is shaped like the chicken leg, which is called the drumstick. The wing, with its three parts, has a bone in the middle along with some joints and cartilage on both ends.
One end of the drumette is rounded and meaty, but the other end is much smaller. That's the part where most people hold the piece of chicken. The drumette has dark meat. Because it is so small, most adults and children usually eat a number of them in order to be satisfied.
The Wingette or Flat
The middle part of the chicken wing is called the wingette or flat. It is called flat because of its shape. The flat has two bones that are paralleled to each other. The tender dark meat is covered completely with skin.
The wingette is even smaller than the drumette. If it is your favorite part, you will definitely need more than one or two to get full.
The Tips or Flappers
The tip is the tiny, pointy piece at the end of the wing that is shaped like a feather. It is made up of skin, bone, and cartilage. There is very little meat. Some people love nibbling on this part. Other don't even bother with them. They just throw them away without feeling guilty about it.
Some cooks cut the tips apart from the other two parts of the wing, and save them to use as chicken stock in soups, or to season vegetables because tips have lots of flavors.
If you are not going to use the tips right away, put them in a plastic bag in the freezer until you are ready to use them. They will last a long time while they are kept frozen.
Chicken Wing Trivia
Chicken wings have always been part of the chicken. However, they became a sensation as an appetizer in 1964 at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York when Teressa Bellissimo seasoned and cooked them after a mistake was made. She received chicken wings instead of the chicken necks that she had ordered. Aren't you glad a mistake was made?
Since then, a study has concluded that Americans who love chicken wings eat about 18,000 of them in their lifetime. That's about 24 wings every month, or 290 a year. The study also revealed that the average person eats at least seven wings at a time. Only 27 percent of those studied prefer boneless wings over wings with bones.
The Super Bowl is an occasion when most people eat wings. Americans eat about 1.25 billion on them during that one day. However, they don't have to wait to eat them only once a year. Some chicken wing lovers tend to eat them every week for lunch, dinner, or a snack.
Chicken wings are good when eaten plain, but ranch dressing, blue cheese dressing, and celery top the list of things that go well with the meal.
July 29th is National Chicken Wing Day. Eat as many chicken wings as you like, and no one is going to complain.