This July, chicken wing enthusiasts may be revisiting another riveting debate: who invented the modern-day Buffalo wing? It’s a question worth revisiting as we ring in National Chicken Wing Day 2021.
While it should come as no surprise that Buffalo, New York claims to be the birthplace of the Buffalo wing, there’s still some debate about who actually made the first wings.
Did you say National Wing Day?! When is National Chicken Wing Day?
National Chicken Wing Day is Thursday, July 29, 2021. The holiday celebrates chicken wings of all varieties. And Americans have been celebrating National Chicken Wing Day for 44 years!
So in honor of National Chicken Wing Day 2021, here’s what we’ve dug up on the history of the day…
The history of National Chicken Wing Day
- The birthplace of buffalo wings is said to be Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York. When founder Teressa Bellissimos’ college-aged son wanted a late-night fried bite for his friends in 1964, she took the chicken wings that were usually reserved for soup stock, cut them up and put them in the deep fryer. After she tossed them in a “secret sauce” of her making, they became an instant sensation — the modern-day hot Buffalo wing.
- There’s some controversy in this claim; one man named John Young started selling wings a year earlier in 1963 and officially opened his Wings n’ Things shop in 1964, although they were tossed in a tomato-based “mambo” sauce. He also served the deep-fried concoction as an entire wing (as opposed to cut in half, which is more common today).
- At the 2013 National Buffalo Wing Festival, officials inducted John Young into the festival’s National Wing Hall of Fame for his contributions to wing history.
- Regardless of who invented the modern buffalo wings, most can agree it happened in Buffalo, New York. Former mayor of Buffalo, Stan Makowski, officially established National Chicken Wing Day in 1977.
- Now, people can inhale chicken wings like you wouldn’t believe. Molly Schuyler recently set the record for most chicken wings eaten in 2018, downing a record 501 wings in 30 minutes.
Thanks to early pioneers of the buffalo flavor, a number of foods — shrimp, pizza and chicken fingers — are now available in a spicy buffalo taste. In fact, Buffalo Medium Sauce is the most popular sauce at Buffalo Wings & Rings, with more than 2.3 million orders clocked. And there are now countless flavors of wings available at any given wing restaurant.
In honor of National Chicken Wing Day, what makes a perfect chicken wing?
It’s a question that wing enthusiasts and journalists alike have investigated far and wide. And in honor of National Chicken Wing Day, we have to get it answered — what makes a perfect chicken wing? Three things matter:
- The outside. They must be cautiously crispy on the outside — not overdone or undercooked.
- The inside. The meaty inside must be cooked all the way through, while still staying juicy.
- The sauce. Hot sauces really have to pack the heat; sweet sauces should be full of flavor.
And our expert Chef Dan agrees the real secret to the perfect chicken wing is to have extra crispy skin. In order to get that ideal crunch, they have to be baked or fried twice to get the fat out from under the skin. Just like your Thanksgiving turkey, he says, the meat should have a long, slow roast but the skin should have a crisp to it like bacon.
But it’s not just about cooking the perfect chicken wing — how you eat them matters, too. While Chef Dan says you can really eat them any way you like as long as you don’t toss the bones onto the floor, his preferred method of eating is specific. He separates the bones, pulling off the smaller one first so you can more easily eat all the meat off just one bone. And be sure to avoid double dipping!
So when the excitement of National Chicken Wing Day is over and you’re ready to reheat your leftovers, can you still have a perfect chicken wing? The short answer: yes! Just make sure you’re reheating them right for the most optimal flavor experience.
How to celebrate National Chicken Wing Day 2021
How will you celebrate National Chicken Wing Day this year? There are countless National Wing Day deals to keep an eye on this July 29th. All of Buffalo Wings & Rings’ 51 locations will have National Chicken Wing Day deals to satisfy your craving.
- Dine in. We’re open for business. Come in for dine-in or sit on our patio.
- Order online. Try one of our curated meal combinations if you need ideas for the perfect National Chicken Wing Day meal.
- Order via the app and earn rewards.
- Get it delivered. Stay in your PJs and enjoy our tender wings from the comfort of your couch.
From wings well under a dollar a piece to giveaways, see exactly what your local Buffalo Wings & Rings is offering for National Chicken Wing Day 2021. And keep your eyes peeled for more deals as we approach our unofficial “Wing Month” this August!