I desperately miss American food when I’m not in the country. It’s not a surprise any longer when a craving for Arby’s or Pizza Rolls crops up. I think about things like Combos and Double Decker Taco Supremes. It’s not that I only eat junk food, mind you, but those are the things I can’t easily recreate.
Okay, I’m lying, a little. My tacos are pretty good copies. Indeed, I’ve managed to recreate many meals that I’ve enjoyed in the US.
And this is why it doesn’t surprise me that my kids crave the Boneless Chicken Wings at Winking Lizard – or that it’s my job to recreate them at home… As often as I can. They need it in the same way that I need the Cinnamon Apples from Boston Market (preferably with a roast chicken sandwich on delicious French bread).
My first attempt at boneless chicken wings (a few years ago now) was both a wild success and an unqualified disaster.
I had found a recipe (actually for Hooters-style boneless chicken wings) and set off recreating that. It should be a fairly simple process, even if it’s quite tedious. Slice chicken breasts into nugget-sized chunks. Dip in a mixture of egg and milk whisked together, and the dip into a spiced flour. Repeat that process, and then drop the coated chicken pieces in hot oil until crispy and cooked through. Remove to a pan and repeat with the remaining chicken until done. Toss with (insert favourite wing sauce here), and serve with celery and ranch.
It sounds like it should be easy enough, right?
But multiple dipping creates an awful problem. And, if the chicken pieces aren’t coated properly, then the breading comes off in the oil. And, you need enough oil to drop in several pieces of chicken, but you really can’t add in too many or you’re going to have a fire. (That hasn’t happened yet, but I’ve come rather close, I must say.)
Over the years, I’ve managed to streamline the boneless chicken wing process… because I have to. My kids crave it the way I need crab cakes, gumbo, and Mexican pizzas.
Whereas the first attempts were a mess of flour, oil, milk, and pans… today’s boneless chicken wings are almost perfect. Well, they are, so long as I have enough Winking Lizard BBQ sauce in the house.
For a start, there’s more milk in the egg mixture than there is egg or other gluey substances (I’ve used mayo or sour cream in the past… you know, when I don’t have whatever I need in the house). There’s now measurement, mind you; it’s a general rule. And it goes into a mixing bowl with a tight fitting lid. The flour goes into another mixing bowl with a tight fitting lid, with whatever spices float my boat at that moment.
I cut the chicken with kitchen shears because slicing takes way too much time and energy. Then I drop these pieces into the milk mix, cover with the lid (totally tightly) and I shake it vigorously. I use a slotted spoon to lift and drain pieces before putting them in the spiced flour. Again, I fit the lid tightly and shake the whole thing seriously. These pieces I pick out to drop into the milk (or the flour, if they’ve been in the milk twice).
Sadly, as much as I undertake this production, I can never quite snap a good picture of the final work. Mainly, that’s because as soon as they know I’m making these treats, everyone in the house descends into the kitchen and quickly gobbles my work. But, I can assure you that they look rather like the Winking Lizard boneless chicken wings that the kids can’t live without.
And, at the end, I have a small mess – not quite as huge as it once was, but still there. I deal with that. There’s nothing like your favourite foods even when you’re 10,000 miles away from the nearest place to pick them up.
Winking Lizard BBQ Boneless Chicken Wings at Home
Country: United States
Address: 9570 Mentor Ave
Zip/Post Code: 44060
Location Tips: N/A
Phone: +1 440-354-2968
N/A = home cooked meal,etc
$ = street food, fast food,etc
$$ = bistro, cafe, pub, bar,etc
$$$ = fine dining,etc