What exactly are boneless chicken wings?
Are they real chicken wings with the bones removed for easy picking? Or maybe a juicy hunk of breast molded into a wing shape?
Whatever the answer, it’s a subject that wing enthusiasts have long debated over a beer or three.
It is also the subject of a class action lawsuit this month against Buffalo Wild Wings by a man in the Chicago area who alleges he is falsely advertising a boneless wing product that he claims resembles chicken nuggets.
The man purchased boneless wings from Buffalo Wild Wings of Mount Prospect, Illinois, in January, according to the complaint dated Thursday.
Based on the name and description of the product, Halim believed he was receiving real deboned wings, according to the complaint. However, he soon discovered that this was not the case.
“Had Mr. Halim known that the product was not chicken wings, he would not have purchased it or would have significantly reduced the price,” the complaint states. “As a result, Mr. Halim suffered financial damage due to the restaurant’s false and deceptive conduct.”
Buffalo Wild Wings describes their boneless wings on their website as “juicy white chicken” that is lightly breaded. The lawsuit alleges that Buffalo Wild Wings’ competitors Domino’s Pizza and Papa John’s offer similar products. These companies state that their boneless products are made from chicken breasts.
Mr. Halim and others participating in his lawsuit are seeking a jury trial and damages, injunctive relief, compensatory damages and declaratory relief.
Halim’s attorney, Ruhandi Grezakos, said in a statement on Monday, “We believe this is a direct litigation and look forward to representing Mr. Halim and other consumers in this lawsuit against Buffalo Wild Wings.” He declined to provide further information about the situation with Halim and the January food order.
The Buffalo Wild Wings did not respond to questions about whether there have been any formal complaints about the boneless wings in the past. However, the chain he sent a cheeky tweet on monday “It’s true. All our boneless chicken wings are white meat chicken. Our burgers have no ham. Our buffalo wings are 0% buffalo.”
The lively debate over what boneless wings are is nothing new.
In 2020, a man in Lincoln, Nebraska, petitioned the city council to remove the name of boneless wings from city menus. “As for boneless chicken wings, they’re not actually made from chicken wings,” he insisted. in a widely shared video. “We would be disgusted if butchers mislabeled cuts of meat, but would they act as if chicken breasts were wings?”
There’s also the question of whether the wings are light or dark meat, and whether a Buffalo Wild Wings ad for “juicy white chicken” provided a clue about the wings.
it’s complicated. Cook’s Illustrated, a magazine published by America’s Test Kitchen, says chicken wings are technically white meat, but have a fat level similar to legs and thighs.
The Associated Press briefly touched on the topic of boneless chicken wings before last month’s Super Bowl, when it said more than 1.45 billion wings would be served. The Associated Press called them “delicious culinary lies” similar to baby carrots.
Both the Associated Press and Halim’s lawsuit attribute the evolution of boneless wings to the rising price of boneless wings in recent decades.
The complaint cites a 2009 New York Times article that described bone-in chicken wings as overpriced compared to breast meat. Fourteen years later, the Associated Press reported much the same story, citing a spokesperson for the National Poultry Council, who said boneless wings averaged about $5 a pound, while traditional wings cost more than $8 a pound.
The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has a Food Standards and Labeling Policy Book intended to provide guidance to help manufacturers create true and non-misleading product labels.
While not saying how the boneless wing will be described or advertised, officials said the wing is divided into two sections: the drum section and the wing itself, sometimes called a flat. It also said meat and poultry products cooked in mild or spicy sauces, including certain spices, can be labeled “Buffalo Style” or “From Buffalo, New York.” “Buffalo wings are a fancy term that needs a descriptive name,” the agency added.
Hundreds of comments have been posted on Reddit debating whether “boneless wings” are a real product, with some carefully explaining how they differ from chicken nuggets. Dozens of recipes explaining how to make boneless chicken wings call for a variety of ingredients, but they usually start with boneless chicken breasts.
Buffalo Wild Wings and Weck (short for Kimmelweck, a type of roll with special toppings especially popular in upstate New York) was started in 1982 by Jim Disbrow and Scott Lowery, who immigrated to Ohio from Buffalo. The idea for this chicken restaurant came from a desire for buffalo-style chicken wings and the lack of chicken wings available in the new state.
The company officially changed its name to Buffalo Wild Wings in 1998 and is now based in Atlanta with over 1,200 stores nationwide.