Featured, Theory & Essay

The Most Important Parts Of A Good Chicken Wing, Ranked

8. The type of wing

(Flats today, flats tomorrow, flats forever.)

7. An appropriate amount of liquid-based white substances to dip them in

(For the record, blue cheese and ranch are the only appropriate liquid-based white substances. If you’re eating wings with me and you try to dip a wing in some mayo or some fucking milk, I’m going to assume you’re a Fed or an Armitage.)

6. The amount of meat on the wing

(The chicken wing is one of the few meat-eating times — perhaps the only meat-eating time — when less meat is optimal. Eating a chicken wing with too much chicken meat on it makes you think you might as well just inject the hormones into your own body.)

5. The actual taste of the actual chicken meat

(The fact that the actual taste of the actual meat is fifth on this list actually helps prove my theory that chicken, while amazing and tasty and sexy, is slightly overrated as a meat.)

4. The Breading/Covering

(An underrated part of the chicken wing experience, because while breading can be heavenly, too much breading will make you think you’re eating a deep fried bat.)

3. Rubs/Flavors

(For the record, the best chicken rub/sauce/flavor is garlic parm. I know lemon pepper gets all the pop culture co-signs, but garlic parm kicks lemon pepper’s ass.)

2. How they’re cooked

(Anything other than fried or roasting is really pushing things. Like this party I went to a few years ago where the host had the audacity to serve a group of Black people a batch of wings cooked on a Foreman grill. We almost burned her house down.)

1. How long they’re cooked

(As important as the rest of the list is, none of it matters if the wings aren’t fried hard enough, and you’re left with a batch of bitch-ass soggy, slippery, soft, and flaccid fucking wings.)

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for GQ.com and EBONY Magazine. And a founding editor for 1839. And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at damon@verysmartbrothas.com. Or don't. Whatever.

  • AshAlly08

    I don’t think I’ve ever had lemon pepper seasoning on my chicken… but garlic parm, yum!

    • SoonToBeMrs

      There is this Chinese spot that has slices of lemon on top of their lemon pepper seasoned chicken. Clutch, af.

      • Michelle is my First Lady

        That sounds delicious.

        • SoonToBeMrs

          Very.

  • First of all, team drum 4life. Second of all, garlic parm? All you need is whatever herbs and spices your oldest aunt has in the cabinet.

    • AshAlly08

      Dat Lawry’s and Red Hot

      • Lawry’s makes life better.

        • Val

          Yeah, it will give you hbp and kill you eventually but in the meantime it makes for some good eating.

        • Jae Starz

          I cannot and will not get down with Lawry’s. It’s suicide in a jar.

          • Cheech

            But also the important 4th ingredient in butter cayenne shrimp.

            • Jae Starz

              There’s gotta be another way. I won’t do it. I just won’t.

              • LoveTrenia

                You’re right. We need to do better, as a people. But I love me some Lawry’s.

          • PinkRose

            Everything in moderation.

          • TheUnsungStoryteller

            I (and I am fond of others) am still alive. Lawry’s is love in a jar.

    • First of all, team drum 4life.

      i always knew you were a level-headed, logical, righteous brother.

      #Salute #Respect

      • #solidarity

        • in a world full of neer-do-wells, hoteps, and flat-supporters…Team Drum has to stick together
          http://pa1.narvii.com/5908/7239ee71603334a734ebfd6702590f838d5202c3_hq.gif

          • Brooklyn_Bruin

            With the full metal alchemist gif

          • Alessandro De Medici
          • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

            Down vote

            • Cheech

              I upvote your downvote.

              • BrothasKeeper

                *upvotes this downvote as well*

              • Alessandro De Medici

                And raise you another upvote.

            • PinkRose

              I down voted your down vote, lol!

            • BrothasKeeper

              *upvotes the downvote and adds an additional downvote*

              • HomieDaClown

                [img]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v234/merk0331/1238450217445.jpg[/img]
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                [img]http://picturescream.com/images/tumblrmczjg96no21qa7idto1.gif[/img]

          • Sarara

            Upvoted just for this image alone. Love me some FMA:B. And Drums.

          • BT

            I’m just here for the Fullmetal gif!

      • TheUnsungStoryteller

        Seems rational. Drums have more meat and it’s not too overwhelming like white meat (I think that’s the bigger pieces).

      • HomieDaClown

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    • VividBlue.

      Agreed. I’m still trying to understand the fascination with flats.

    • HomieDaClown

      [IMG]http://media.graytvinc.com/images/KennethBerry.jpg[/IMG]
      [IMG]http://recoveringagency.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Mark-E-Petersen-racist-quote.jpg[/IMG]
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      [img]http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mdelwi5YhG1rkj538o1_1280.jpg[/img]
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  • SoonToBeMrs

    Team Drums.
    Flats remind me of poverty. Hunger. Rejection. Dejection.

  • Cheech
    • Ess Tee

      There should be a VSB post about all the ways one can rank chicken wings, ranked.

      It’d be meta as hell…and perfect.

  • SirKnows DevoidofPunk

    why the sauce gotta be white? why can’t it be red like BBQ or tomato based? or burgundy–brown sugar-chili-based? or yellow–honey-mustard, tamarind or curry? You ranchy-white people make me sick. Know why? Cuz you go for that mediocre Kraft-McDonalds-mediocre-bland sauce when there’s so many other good sauces and spices to be enjoyed.

    And I’m from the southside of Chicago, so it’s hot sauce or mild sauce. PERIOD.

    You filthy animals.

    • Honey mustard? These ain’t chicken nuggets we talmbout.

      • Jennifer

        What about a glaze? I got a good recipe for a honey dijon one. It’s too good for some chicken nuggets.

      • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

        I wasn’t going to say anything, but seriously!

      • SirKnows DevoidofPunk

        leave my honey mustard alone you savage!

    • Tam

      Tamarind any day.

      • Cheech

        There’s a lot to be said for tamarind sauce. Steaks, salmon, samosas. But I have never tried it on a wing.

      • SirKnows DevoidofPunk

        i’m sayin’ tho.

  • Michelle is my First Lady

    I know a lot of folks here hate Friday’s but I’m glad they brought back their $10 endless apps. Those jack daniels boneless buffalo wings are heavenly.

  • Janelle Doe

    Soggy wings are just … I don’t know… like the feeling when you wanted 80’s and 90’s Ben Carson but you the one from the 2017.

  • PDL – Cape Girl Shero

    Yaaas to 1-8. All of this matters. #flatsforlife

    Edit: Throw in a batch of home cut fries or sweet potato tater tots. Lawd!!

    • Mary Burrell

      Yes ??

  • Steve Holmes

    Blue Cheese is the only proper dip. Totally agree with #1, the cook just wasted his time and yours if he gives you soggy wings. Wings have just the right amount of skin and fat that they are the perfect meat if cooked until they are crispy, they totally suck if the skin isn’t crispy.

    • Mary Burrell

      Yes to blue cheese and wings

  • Hugh Akston

    Wait y’all gonna do this again? Smh

    • Tam

      Cos the world is burning and we need to burn shid too

    • Jennifer

      Have you see the other things happening in the world today? Have you seen my work to-do list? Don’t ruin this for us.

      • Hugh Akston

        Imjs…chicken?? Been there done that so we good..?

        • Jennifer

          I have 20 year discussions on the same topic still going with my girlfriends. This is enjoyable.

    • NonyaB?

      Gotta agree; on the meat spectrum, chicken just isn’t that exciting.

      • Jennifer

        Have we ever had a post about BBQ? I could stalk that post for days.

        • Janelle Doe

          I think we need one if we havent – and maybe on for curry and/ or jerk or can those be offshoots of the BbQ post?

        • NonyaB?

          Doubt it. We could certainly talk about the joys of well executed BBQ.

          • Jennifer

            There would be so much regional in-fighting. Classic.

            • Val

              Sauce wars.

              • Jennifer

                *sitting in her office like Remy Ma writing down shETHER lines about NC bbq and that trash vinegar sauce*

                • Val

                  Lol Funny you say that, because Carolina vinegar based sauce is the only bbq sauce I actually like.

                  • Jennifer
                    • Val

                      For me it’s no sauce in general. None on wings. And if the bbq is seasoned and cooked right then none on that. But if the bbq is just fair to middlin then I’ll go for some Carolina sauce. I can’t take tomato based sauce.

                    • Jennifer

                      I had some pulled pork last weekend in Winston-Salem. It was actually pretty good even without the sauce. The brisket they attempted was another story…and this place is supposed to have the best BBQ in town.

                    • Val

                      A lot of places mess up brisket.

                    • miss t-lee

                      I wouldn’t even attempt to eat brisket outside of the Lone Star. I already know I’d set myself up for failure.

                    • Cheech

                      Pork in Carolina. Beef in Texas. (Repeat)

                    • Jennifer

                      Pork in California? Tell me more.

                    • Cheech

                      Carolina. Which has 3 parts: east, west, and south.

                    • Jennifer

                      Lord! I can’t read. I did a wiki search on Carolina bbq. I didn’t know about their different approaches.

                    • Ille Jay

                      Tomato-based? What Kinda 2520s you got spittin in a pot and callin it sauce? Molasses is all I’m trying to hear…unless my time is compromised!

                    • Cheech

                      I can even take the tomato based sauce (like the Western Carolina/Virginia sauce–not jar sauce). What I can’t stand is that sweet St. Louis or Kansas City stuff.

                    • Val

                      Yeah, the sweet stuff hides the flavor of the meat.

                    • miss t-lee

                      ALL DAY.

                  • Cheech

                    Not a partisan, but I’ve kind of taken a liking to SC mustard sauce lately.

              • miss t-lee

                No sauce on the bbq, Val.

                • Val

                  Only if it’s not seasoned and cooked well.

                  • miss t-lee

                    I don’t know that life, Val.

                    • Val

                      Lol You’re lucky, you’re in Texas, T. Out here in the rest of the world good q is hard to find.

                    • miss t-lee

                      I’m sure.
                      I’m also sorry for y’all plight.

            • Catfish Jenkins

              So, as a Canadian intending to do one of them Guy Fieri road trips to find good American BBQ, where do I go? The Carolinas are the easiest to reach in terms of distance, but Mizzou apparently a must reach destination as well.

              • Jennifer

                The best example of Texas BBQ are in the Hill Country region between Austin and San Antonio — in towns like Lockhart, Luling, and Taylor. It’s a nice drive, but bring somebody. :-/

                • Catfish Jenkins

                  Appreciate the info!

        • miss t-lee

          We already know the right answer.
          I ain’t trying to hear any other arguments…lol

        • Old Head

          KC BBQ Sauce or nothing

        • Cheech

          The best part of BBQ is cracking that first beer as the sun clears the horizon and the fire starts to catch.

          • Jennifer

            I don’t even like beer, but I agree with this statement. Also works when you cracking crabs with friends in the summer.

      • SoonToBeMrs

        So what is? Goat?

        • NonyaB?

          Ehen! Goat, sheep/lamb/mutton, ram, beef (African and S. American varieties are way more flavourful), etc. Also love me some good seafood from places where the shrimp alone is the size of a lobster.

        • Tam

          Goat is great.

          • Cheech

            But is it GOAT?
            *ducks*

            • Tam

              Yup. Curried goat, goat stew, goat water

            • NonyaB?

              So punny corny.

        • Roz

          GOAT MEAT for the win!! Stew o, Soup o, Pepper soup o…it’s goat!

          • Tam

            You tell her

          • SoonToBeMrs

            Lol. Used to love it. Can’t stomach the smell now.

            • Roz

              Nothing like fresh goat from the farm! *deep inhale*

        • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

          Life

      • Tam
      • Hugh Akston
      • Cosmic_

        But chicken is so versatile….
        There is so much you can do with it!

        • NonyaB?

          Nah. The type found in US and Canada is so bland, requiring 3X seasoning just to taste only slightly decent. Try imported chicken or guinea fowl found in African/Caribbean stores (sometimes labelled “free range”) or even better, have some if you ever visit those countries. You’ll feel cheated with the regla ish here.

          • Cheech

            Here it’s called “pasture-raised” and like $10/pound, from gentrifarms. And totally, completely worth it.

          • DM.

            Lmao yeah American food was definitely the biggest culture shock i got when i landed.
            Everything tastes exactly the same (and the servings are ridiculously huge, its insane)

          • Catfish Jenkins

            Yup. When the wife and I went to show off the kids in Chile, she took me to a chicken spot she frequented as a kid. First, you got half chicken and it was the white meat portion. Second, I almost had to go to the back to see the cook, because I could not believe no Chilean (read:white) could make chicken like this. And the KFC? They GIVE away the white meat (Chileans prefer the dark). Had to air out a server charging extra for white meat back in Canada.

      • BrothasKeeper

        Narc.

    • Cheech

      It gets butts in the seats, like the Nutcracker at Christmas.

      • Hugh Akston

        Still haven’t watched it lol

    • Janelle Doe

      It coulda been another selfies post though (also)

      • Hugh Akston

        On a post that said selfies were overrated lmao ? Funny how that worked out

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