Chicken wings are a popular menu item. Most restaurants and takeaway services serve chicken wings for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They are affordable, easy to cook, easy to eat, and oh so delicious!
If you decide to eat chicken wings, you need to choose between boneless and bone-in chicken wings. Until recently, most Americans opted for bone-in chicken wings.
Over the past year, the demand for boneless chicken wings significantly increased due to heavy promotion and cheaper prices.
You may have noticed that boneless chicken wings are way cheaper compared to bone-in chicken wings.
The reason why they are so cheap is that they are not real wings. Manufacturers make boneless chicken wings using breast meat. Simply put, boneless chicken wings are a derivation of chicken nuggets.
Despite their not being real chicken wings, boneless chicken wings are juicy with a spicy coating.
They go well with a variety of sauces. Additionally, they aren’t messy to eat since you don’t have to eat around any bone.
This article will discuss everything you need to know about chicken wings including; ingredients used to make them, how to prepare them for cooking, and how to deep fry them.
We will also discuss which one is healthier between boneless and regular chicken wings, why boneless wings cook faster, and the disadvantages of boneless wings.
Are boneless chicken wings real chicken wings?
Boneless chicken wings are not real chicken wings. You may have imagined that manufacturers remove bones from real chicken wings to end up with boneless chicken wings, but that is not the case at all.
Rather than deboning chicken wings, manufacturers use breast meat to make boneless chicken wings. They partition the breast into wing-sized pieces, then bread the wings to make them look like regular wings.
Unlike regular wings where you will get layers of cartilage, fat, meat, and bone when you cut into it, boneless chicken wings are merely a layer of thick white meat, similar to that of a chicken nugget.
What ingredients do manufacturers use to make boneless chicken wings?
Generally speaking, regular chicken wings do not have any additional ingredients. On the other hand, boneless chicken wings have several additional ingredients.
The most common ingredient in boneless chicken wings is sodium phosphate. Ideally, sodium phosphate is used in poultry products and deli meats to help them retain moisture.
Sodium phosphate is generally safe, but it may not be ideal for those with high blood pressure issues, kidney issues, or those looking to reduce their sodium intake.
Other ingredients you may find in boneless chicken wings are; emulsifying or binding agents like propylene glycol alginate, guar gum, or xanthan gum and flavoring agents e.g. calcium disodium.
Some brands may use transglutaminase, a meat glue that manufacturers use to bind meat proteins together. I do not recommend buying these brands as they may not be healthy.
How to prepare boneless chicken wings for cooking
Naturally, boneless chicken wings taste amazing. You don’t have to do too much to end up with an amazing meal. However, it would be best if you didn’t just toss them in the oven or deep fryer the same way you do regular chicken wings.
I highly recommend brining or marinating the wings beforehand. This way, they will retain their moisture as you cook them, and be more flavourful.
You can use any simple chicken marinade for your boneless chicken wings. Alternatively, brine them in a water and salt mixture. I mix ¼ cup of salt with 4 cups of water for the perfect result.
If you choose to brine boneless chicken wings, do not leave them in the water and salt mixture for too long. They will be ready for cooking in just a few minutes.
Do you need to bread boneless chicken wings before cooking?
Unlike regular chicken wings, boneless chicken wings don’t have skin that can become crispy and turn golden brown when deep-fried.
Therefore, if you want to achieve a similar texture and color, you need to bread the boneless chicken wings before cooking.
Coating boneless chicken wings with bread crumbs ensure that they do not burn while cooking and also ensures that they cook gently.
The breading will also imitate the crispy texture of the skin of regular chicken wings. For the breading, you can either use breadcrumbs or seasoned flour.
You may also try using tempura batter or beer batter if you like them on regular chicken wings.
How to deep fry boneless chicken wings
I highly recommend using a deep fryer to deep fry boneless chicken wings. So how exactly does the deep fryer work?
When you place boneless chicken wings in a deep fryer they are surrounded by hot oil, and the oil dehydrates the exterior of the wings to form a crust.
The crust ensures that the oil does not seep through to the boneless chicken wings, hence they won’t have a greasy flavor.
You can also cook boneless chicken wings in an air fryer or oven. Both of them use the same technique of cooking the chicken from the outside going in, but the only notable difference is the wings are surrounded by hot air instead of hot oil.
The oven and air fryer will cook boneless chicken well, but the exterior won’t be perfectly crispy.
Which one is healthier between boneless chicken wings and regular chicken wings?
Most people argue that boneless wings are healthier compared to regular chicken wings.
In comparison, boneless wings are leaner and offer several benefits during cooking.
They are also skinless hence don’t have the additional calories and saturated fat.
Why boneless wings cook faster than regular wings
You may have noticed that boneless wings cook faster than regular wings.
This is the case because boneless wings are made from breast meat which is more tender and compact compared to regular wings.
They are also thinner in comparison. Boneless wings will be ready in four to six minutes.
Disadvantages of boneless wings
If you do not cook boneless wings properly, they will taste dry. Note that boneless chicken wings cook rather fast, so you can easily overcook them and end up with dry chicken wings.
Another disadvantage is that boneless chicken wings don’t have any protective fat layer to keep them moist during cooking.
Therefore, you need to pay close attention to the temperatures (ideally 165 degrees Fahrenheit) so that the wings don’t dry out.
Most people prefer boneless chicken wings for various reasons; they are cheaper, cook faster, and are not messy to eat. They are also quite delicious.
Although boneless chicken wings are marketed as deboned chicken wings, they are made from breast meat, hence the cheap prices.
If you want your boneless chicken wings to be tasty, marinate or brine them before cooking. Try them today and let me know how you like them.