Shine On

Easiest and cleanest way to eat a chicken wing

Super Bowl Sunday is just a few days away – and for many of us, that means hunkering down in front of the television, drinking a beer and chowing down on some chicken wings.

And we're not the only ones.

The amount of wings sold at grocery stores in the U.S. nearly doubles in the week leading up to game day -- and it's estimated that Americans will eat 1.23 billion chicken wings on the Superbowl weekend alone, reports the National Chicken Council.

But for some, wings are too just much of a struggle. You spend what seems like countless hours gnawing on a tiny piece of meat, and what do you have to show for it? Sauce all over your hands, and probably your face, too. Okay, we’re being a bit dramatic – but wings can be annoying. Luckily, these clean and easy tips will satisfy even the pickiest eaters.

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Remember, chicken wings have two parts

A chicken’s wing is made up of three parts, but for our purposes, a wing consists of the “drumette” and the “flat,” often served in restaurants as separate pieces. The drumette part is relatively easy to eat – just grab the handle and you’re good to go. The flat, which is the part of the wing that has two bones, is usually where things get messy.

“People sort of gnaw around it, nibbling tiny pieces of meat off the two thin bones and then try to suck the remaining flesh from in between,” explains John Mitzewich, also known as Chef John from Food Wishes. “It’s not pretty.”

Get rid of the bones

A lot of the best meat is hidden in between those two flat bones – but there’s an easy way to get to it. “Find the end that has the bigger protrusion of bone,” says Chef John. Remove the small piece of cartilage at the end, and then find the smaller of the two bones. “Give a little wiggle and a twist, and (the bone) will pull right out clean.” This only works if the chicken wings are properly cooked.

Once the small bone is removed, you should be able to do the same with the larger bone. Voila! Dip, eat and repeat with virtually no mess.

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Roll up your sleeves and make the most of your napkins

Let’s face it – chicken wings are never going to be the cleanest food. Save yourself from a stained shirt by rolling up your sleeves before you dig in. Spare some napkins by only using them for sauce on your face – since you’re eating with your hands anyway, you can just lick any sauce off your fingers.

And hey, if you still think wings are too difficult, Trongs might be the solution. Trongs are small plastic claws you operate with your thumb, pointer and middle finger and grip food for you.

Want to make your own wings this Superbowl weekend? Watch the video below for Fabio's ultimate chicken wings.

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