Don’t Fear the Flapper
Last night I was up later than expected finishing up a story for All Over Albany. Given my new bedtime, that means I had to go to sleep before writing today’s post. So today we’re trying something new.
Please forgive their graininess, but these were taken in The Ruck and it’s dark in there. But despite the poor quality of the following pictures, I feel that photos are needed for this simple yet important lesson. Far too often I have seen people avoid the flat part of the wing in favor for the drumette because they just don’t know how to tackle the parallel bones that run through it.
Let’s face it, the flat is the better of the two wing segments. Not only does it have a greater ratio of skin to meat, but the meat is more succulent and tender. But if you are one of those people who has tried to remove the meat trapped between the two bones with your tongue or engaged in a vain attempt to suck it out with your lips, this technique should be illuminating.
And if you have already mastered the flat, then perhaps you will consider passing this along to someone who you know that hasn’t quite yet figured it out.
It begins with orienting the flat. This is especially important if the wing tip is removed, because the two bones that run through this piece are not equal. One is small and frail, while the other is a monster. And as we are going to remove the small bone in three bites, it’s important to put it front and center.
So find the more curved side of the flat and point it in the direction of your mouth. Like this:
Now bite into that beauty, to reveal the smaller of the two bones. It’s always on the curved side. If you have already made an error, don’t worry, you can still proceed. Just be aware that bone removal will be a little bit trickier.
Bite two takes a little bit of practice and is really the only tricky part of the process. Remember this, bone isn’t attached by bone. Bone is attached by soft delicious cartilage. Now you don’t have to eat the cartilage, but it’s easier to bite through than you might think.
Following the line of the revealed bone, bite through the wing at the right end of the flat, releasing the bone from one side and sucking off the meat and skin.
If you’ve made it this far, the rest is merely a technicality. If you don’t mind using your hands, you can simply twist the loose top bone and pluck it from the wing. Or if your hands are a bit slippery from fat and Buffalo sauce you can use your teeth. Regardless, you are moments away from having some of the best chicken on the wing, surrounded still by plenty of crisp skin and peppery sauce.
You know, I shouldn’t be spreading this around. There are some joints where you can request an entire order of flats. But that’s only possible because most people have an irrational love for the drumettes. If love for the flat blossoms, then these special orders may be harder to come by.
Good luck. I envy those of you who get to go out there and practice. Wings still aren’t on my diet until March. But I hope this helps at least some of you to extend the joy that chicken wings can bring to life.