Are boneless wings really wings? The story of buffalo wings and a lawsuit
The lawsuit said that the plaintiff wouldn’t have purchased them if he had known that they weren’t actually wing meat
While lately I’ve been on a buffalo cauliflower kick, I’ve had some pretty good buffalo wings in my day. I have a penchant and a passion for buffalo sauce, so I like to think I know a good buffalo wing when I see one.
And what do they all have in common? They’re boneless.
I get it. The wing part of a buffalo wing refers to the wing of a chicken, which has a bone, but colloquially, we’ve been calling chicken tenders slathered in buffalo sauce boneless buffalo wings, so I’ll continue to call them that. A boneless buffalo wing is the better option because the bone doesn’t take up any space, so you get more for your money.
One Chicago man thinks that the distinction was enough to warrant a lawsuit. According to Fox Business, Aimen Halim thinks that Buffalo Wild Wings shouldn’t call their boneless buffalo wings “wings.” In actuality, he said that they are “slices of chicken breast meat deep-fried like wings” and claimed that if customers knew what they really were, they would pay less money for them.
He had apparently bought the boneless wings in January in Illinois and alleged in the lawsuit that they were more like chicken nuggets than wings, per USA Today. The lawsuit said that the plaintiff wouldn’t have purchased them if he had known that they weren’t actually wing meat.
Buffalo Wild Wings made a sarcastic joke on Twitter after the news of the lawsuit hit the headlines. They tweeted, “It’s true. Our boneless wings are all white meat chicken. Our hamburgers contain no ham. Our buffalo wings are 0% buffalo.”
It’s true.— Buffalo Wild Wings (@BWWings) March 13, 2023
Our boneless wings are all white meat chicken.
Our hamburgers contain no ham.
Our buffalo wings are 0% buffalo.
Are boneless chicken wings really wings?
Some people say no. Mashed said boneless chicken wings are typically made from chicken breast meat as opposed to wing meat, so they don’t really qualify as wings. They compared them to chicken nuggets.
Colloquially, they are called boneless chicken wings by several different restaurants and people, so it may just be an imprecise term that points towards boneless chicken wings. Companies like All Recipes also use the term, so not everyone is opposed to using the term.
Are boneless chicken wings better than chicken wings?
It depends on your taste, but I think boneless chicken wings are better. Not only do they have more meat like I said earlier, the chicken picks up sauce and dip much better than the wings do. According to Mashed, wings have more natural flavoring than chicken breasts do, which could be why people prefer them.
Where were buffalo wings invented?
Like the name implies, buffalo wings were invented in Buffalo, New York, per National Chicken Council. Co-owner of Anchor Bar Teressa Bellissimo decided to cook wings in peppery sauce in 1964 and serve them. They were an immediate hit, so from there, buffalo wings took off and have been popular since.
A classic buffalo wing is deep fried without any breading, per Time. They are deep fried without breading or sauce, and then they are coated in a buttery hot sauce with red peppers in it. Even though though modern buffalo wings have deviated from this model, these are considered the original wing.