Thanks to supply chain interruptions caused by the lingering effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, chicken wings have become a hot commodity. Local bars across the country have been forced to axe discount wing nights, and even some popular national chains have struggled to keep up with increased demand for one of our nation’s go-to gameday snacks.
Whether you’re a die-hard buffalo fanatic or lemon pepper promoter, it’s hard to give up the crispy deep-fried goodness of the chicken wing. Unfortunately, if this shortage continues you may be forced to explore other options. Never fear—there are plenty of alternatives to wings that almost match the experience of the real thing. Here are some of our top picks for “close enough” foods to try the next time your favorite wings are sold out.
The obvious next-best-thing to bone-in wings, detractors of boneless wings may say these poppable morsels are little more than glorified chicken nuggets. Their lack of bones aside, boneless wings are still a fairly satisfying way to get your bite-sized chicken fix. Fried to perfection, this humble substitute will do in a pinch when the bone-in is nowhere to be seen.
If boneless wings are just too puny, step up to their grande-sized cousin: the tender. Sure, this is the go-to item for a kid’s meal basket. Doused in your favorite sauce, it’s also a filling way to enjoy the flavor experience you’re used to with wings. Even better: tenders are a lot easier to dip in ranch or blue cheese, and there’s no messy bones to deal with when you’re finished.
In light of the current shortages, some major chains have resorted to offering deep-fried chicken thighs instead of traditional wings. It might sound odd, but the juicy dark meat of a fried chicken thigh might be the next best thing to the texture and flavor of the wings you are used to. For those who simply can’t bring themselves to go the boneless route, thighs might be the way to go.
Vegetarian and vegan lifestyles are growing in popularity. If the thought of meat alternatives brings to mind some grey blob from the freezer section at your local grocery store, think again. Great strides in texture and flavor for vegan meat substitutes have been made in recent years, including faux-wing products. Think about it, is anything deep-fried ever not mouthwatering and delicious?
If you’re still reading after the mention of vegan wings, you might be open minded enough to give cauliflower wings a shot. Developed to please the veg-head crowd, seasoned battered or breaded pieces of cauliflower are surprisingly crisp and tasty when fried and sauced. This option is also great for the low-calorie or keto-conscious wing fanatic.
Whatever you choose to take the place of wings until this shortage is behind us, Filtercorp’s SuperSorb® CarbonPads will help you serve better quality fried food while keeping your oil cleaner for longer. Contact us today for a free sample and discover the SuperSorb® difference for yourself.