I love wings. Buffalo chicken was my number one comfort food growing up on the East Coast and remains pretty high on the Last Supper list to this day. I’ve spent hours trying to perfect my homemade jerk marinade and am scarcely happier than when massaging a final glaze of sauce onto bits of charred bird over the barbecue. So far, so “What the fuck?”, right? Thanks for telling us about your gluttonous childhood and miserable existence, you self-important blogging turd.
But there is a point of sorts, which is that good wings are hard to find in the UK. Worse still, many establishments erroneously label the dry, scrawny flappers they drown in sickly-sweet BBQ sauce as Buffalo wings, duping unsuspecting punters. I had this exact issue at Shoreditch’s latest hipster magnet, Far Rockaway, but recently noticed that it had tweaked its menu to feature the more truthful “chicken wings” descriptor – credit where credit is due, I suppose.
With hunger for ‘dirty’ US-style food at an all-time high, I got to wondering why no one had undertaken a thorough dissection of wings in London. There must be a million and one blogs dedicated to burgers, and dozens of guides to pizza, BBQ, street food and the like, but the humble wing remains relatively neglected. And of course, when I stumbled upon this fairly obvious fact, I realised it’d be pretty damn fun to take on the non-burden of rectifying the situation.
Enter “Wingin’ It,” a dedicated home for wing reviews and, hopefully, a vaguely useful resource for wing-loving Londoners one day. I’ll break with my normal aversion to amateur ratings and score the wings on a simple 1-5 scale, hopefully elevating the lovingly crafted wing to its rightful place on the catwalk and relegating the muck that drops out of the freezer and into the fryer to the bin. It’s safe to say that there’ll be an unconscious bias towards authentic, Buffalo-style wings, but I’ll endeavour to take each piece of poultry on its own terms provided it’s accurately labelled.
Most importantly, I hope this exercise proves to be an interactive one, so please let me know your recommendations – good and bad – by leaving a comment or hitting me up on Twitter. Right, serviettes at the ready – it’s time to get wingin’!