As the popularity of creative chicken wing flavors continues to explode across the landscape, new ideas for featuring those wings is clearly next up.
During the rise of craft beers and local breweries in the early 2000’s, “beer flights” became a popular method for people to sample different flavors and styles in one sitting. You may have experienced “whiskey flights" in trendy bourbon bars or have been to a winery where “tastings” allow you to try multiple varieties.
The world is now ready for WING FLIGHTS!
I mean, come on! Wings? Flights? Could it possibly be more fitting? Granted, chickens don’t fly but let’s not let semantics get in the way of a great idea!
We first encountered “wing flights” when super-chef Matt Mager started a weekly “Wing Flight Wednesday" at his restaurant Center Street Grille in Enola, PA. There, he serves up a tray with a dozen wings in six different flavors (two of each). This gives patrons the ability to try out new flavors without having to commit to an entire plate. WE LOVE THIS IDEA!!
On Saturday night, April 1, Joe Attonito - owner of jjStacks in Brookfield, CT - partnered up with well-traveled fellow wing enthusiast, Rob Peters (of Bob & Meg’s Rust Belt Provisions) and put on their first version of “Wing Night" to a sold out house. And it was no April Fool’s prank!
By reservation only, the boys presented a prix fixe dinner which included four courses of wing flights, three flavors and six wings per course (24 total) along with unlimited hand cut fries, celery, carrots and house-made bleu cheese.
Overall, every person in the packed house was treated to wing flights that included:
Round 1: Jamaican BBQ/ Caribbean Spice/ Jerk Butter
Round 2: Sichuan Dry/ Miso Butter/ Thai Peanut
Round 3: Mexican Buffalo/ Black Pepper Buffalo/ Nighthawk
Round 4: Honey Bourbon/ Gold Rush/ Maple Bacon
Back East Brewing Company was on hand offering craft beer pairings for each course including their Back East Porter, Misty Mountain IPA, Czech Mix Pilsner, and Ice Cream Man IPA, while Paul Haughney was also in the house showcasing his Phire in the Hole hot sauces and unique hot-pepper chocolate bars.
The night was a Wingaddicts dream come true and hopefully the early stages of what will lead to a new era of Wing Nights and Wing Flights!
It's time for the wing-flavor revolution. We're not in Buffalo anymore, Dorothy!
Tommy Wyatt is co-founder of Wingaddicts and author of “Under the Wingfluence” for Wingaddicts.com.
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