Chicken Wings: Raw vs Precooked

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Joined Oct 7, 2010
I used to work at Applebee's about ten years ago and we would drop wings into the fryer frozen and cook about ten minutes( I forgot the correct time) until they are half cooked. A little pink juice would still be present. Then they would be dumped on a sheet pan and cooled in the cooler. Next they would be portioned into 12 per order and placed in the pull box. They were cooked daily. When orders came in they were dropped into the fryer for about ten minutes until done and then dumped in a 2 qt cambro with the Buffalo sauce and shaken. Then placed in serving basket with celery sticks. 
 
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Joined Dec 9, 2010
On our wing nights we typically do 250 - 300lbs of wings in a 60 minute service. We have had the best results by par baking in a convection oven, cooling then frying in small batches before tossing in different sauces.

We have also done a lot of raw fries and the 2-3 days hold on fries blanched in oil works just fine. If blanched in oil, I am sure the lemon slice mentioned above would not be needed. Last fall we did about 200# ahead and then finished them on a propane turkey fryer and had a great product for an outdoor event.

To get the best result, we cut, rinsed, dried, par-fried, fried the potatos. Getting the starch off really helps extend the life of the fryer oil.
 
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Joined Dec 18, 2011
I live and work in Buffalo, NY and you'd be hard pressed to find too many restaurants out here that don't serve chicken wings.  I'd have to say raw and straight into the fryer is the generally accepted way to cook them, out here at least.  And as for taking up time in the fryers, it takes about 12-15 minutes, its up to you if thats too much time.
 
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Joined Dec 24, 2011
I buy fresh jumbo wings and stick them in a homeade brine for about 1 and a half hours then rub them down with my wing dust and roast them in the oven until they are around medium rare... after that I drain the excess grease and bag them up and fry them to order. I would love to brine them and fry them from raw but it tears up the oil in my fryers to much especially when you live in an area that wants everything deep fried and you have to change your oil almost every other night of the week..
 
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Joined Dec 24, 2011
Yes.
They can be blanched, cooled and stored in buckets in the walk-in.
They should keep 2-3 days with no notable drop in quality.


I do the same thing in the busy season here.. But if you want that extra thirty seconds pull them out about half an hour before hand and let them get to room temperature.. But normally I blanch and re-drop to order in the slower time as it only takes around 5 - 6 minutes as long as your baskets arent over-crowded... This is with two 45 gallon deep fryers in a 180 seat restaurant as well...
 
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Joined Apr 3, 2010
For us the fastest way although not the best ,only fresh is the best. We steam them, place them on a rack in a combi,  drain well and cool. Bag 10 to the bag and finish in fryer otherwise we get killed . 

     We keep one smaller table top fryer for fish only as the fish does impart a taste to other foods..

    To clean a fryer quick on the fly, drop a raw egg shell and all into it . The egg cooks and draws all the floating sediment from the oil into it . Then just take out the mass with a spider or large slotted spoon and disgard. We fry at 350. for wings and strain oil daily, and clean kettles.
 
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Joined May 26, 2011
Raw to fryer is best if you want the best taste and moistness.

However, when I make wings I prefer lightly coating them with seasoned potato starch and double frying it.  The first time blanching them in low heat oil and the second time in high heat oil to crisp them up.

I also marinate my wings overnight with egg whites, baking soda (1 Tbsp for every 10 pounds), a touch of soy sauce, fresh minced garlic, garlic powder, kosher salt and ground white pepper.  This allows the wings to develop flavor and the egg whites and baking soda will tenderize the wings for a supremely moist and tender wing while the seasoned potato starch will give it unbelievable flavored crunch.

Double frying also helps in a restaurant setting since the wings can be blanched off just prior to service.
 
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Joined Jan 4, 2012
i,ve done from raw to fryer and par cooked. of course raw is best result if in high volume restaurant they usually have a fryer or 2 just dedicated to cooking meats so its farely easy to keep up but if u dont have the space or have time restraints then do what u have to also if your cooking wings in a fryer with other items such as fries the fries can take on that flavor
 
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Joined May 9, 2011
We confit ours in duck fat, garlic and thyme. Cool, snip off the pointy part/cartilage and pull out the bones. Then we vacuum bag them up and fry them to order.

Delicious.
 
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Joined Aug 21, 2004
I like the idea of confit, then fry to order. I have done that with duck wings. Just curious though why you use duck fat to confit chicken wings as opposed to schmaltz.
 
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Joined Dec 21, 2012
Pete, I'm in that pickle myself.  I recently started frying chicken.  I'm doing it in a 14" fryer, and it doesn't leave a whole bunch of room, plus I filter every third batch.

I'm mulling over whether I want to really get into the chicken thing in a heavy way, which will entail a $9000 vent hood system plus two new 18" fryers.  All in all, about a $25,000 cash outlay. 

For chicken wings, I have always lightly dusted in plain flour, knocked off most of it and fried for 9-10 minutes.  For me, it seems the light breading helps keep the wings a little more juicy and helps the wing sauce adhere just a little bit better.  I might add I am NOT doing chicken wings presently except those included with my "Half-Fried Chicken Dinner".
 
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Joined Dec 30, 2012
We go through a lot of wings. Went through 18 40# cases last week, and we often hear that we have the best wings in town. We use only fresh, jumbo wings, change our fry oil twice a week and fry wings to order. During rushes we will par off some wings and have them ready to drop into the oil when orders come in. It's pretty much the only way we can keep up with orders during rushes.

We also do baked wings. We'll bake'em in the morning for 40 minutes and then crash cool them. Then it's into the oven for 5 minutes when an order comes in.
 
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Joined Aug 14, 2013
I was going to do a precook on my chicken wings but after doing an in house taste test, I decided it was much better to cook from raw stage, my customers don't mind waiting. I only have 1 fryer and I have to change oil twice a week. I run a rooming house with a cafe & tavern attached.
 
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Joined May 24, 2013
Thank you Chef Jim...but guys, and I'm new to this professional world actually but not in tasting, isn't taste what it's all about? And fat makes things very delicious. Rendering a chicken wing seems actually wasteful. Is fryer oil change going to make or break an outfit? Won't consumers prefer delicious even paying a little more? Or is the world indifferent, even when it comes to taste...just asking. And thanks again Jim for your insight (sanitation is #1) and MrChris for his query. Cheers.
 
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Joined Apr 3, 2011
We go through a lot of wings. Went through 18 40# cases last week, and we often hear that we have the best wings in town. We use only fresh, jumbo wings, change our fry oil twice a week and fry wings to order. During rushes we will par off some wings and have them ready to drop into the oil when orders come in. It's pretty much the only way we can keep up with orders during rushes.

We also do baked wings. We'll bake'em in the morning for 40 minutes and then crash cool them. Then it's into the oven for 5 minutes when an order comes in.
Only twice a week doing almost #800 of wings?  At that volume I'd think every other day...
 
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Joined Dec 21, 2012
I know a guy that used to have a big catfish restaurant.  He said he fried so much fish that with the oil loss from cooking, he didn't have to replace it very often (as in going weeks at a time, evidently. 

He said he very seldom had to change the oil (throw it out).  He bought his oil in 55 gallon drums.  Went through a lot of filters, but didn't have to throw away a lot of oil.
 
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Joined May 8, 2009
The fat is going to render out of the chicken when you cook it, however you cook it. It's not wasteful because having chicken fat mixed in your fryer oil is going to shorten the life of the fryer oil. Not sure if that answers your question.

We get ours in fresh, 30 minute brine, air dried, tossed in oil with a bit of cayenne, and baked. Then fried to order.

I did a taste test versus raw last month and I liked the pre-cooked ones better. Crispier crust, just as moist, and half the ticket time. Perhaps the brine is the X factor?

Only go through 40lbs a week, so we can afford the extra prep time.
 
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Joined Nov 19, 2013
I only use raw wings in my fryer on 350 degrees for 13 min. 11 min cooks them thru ,but 13 makes it perfectly crispy, I then put them in  a granulated garlic  powder & liquid margarine (ONLY PURCHASED THRU  A FOOD DISTRIBUTOR) toss em  then coat  em in your sauce and let  the people  love  em!! Good Luck
 
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Joined Dec 21, 2012
Saucie, do you add any salt to the butter/garlic mix?

I've just started wings for the third time, looking for a couple of WOW coatings.  Any suggestions as to garlic-parmesan?  I've tried garlic-parmesan from two chains, and didn't like either very much.

Thanks for the suggestion.
 
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Joined Nov 19, 2013
Hi there, play around with a  half cup  liquid margarine,  eyeball 1 teaspoon each of onion powder and granulated garlic 1/2 t of fresh lemon juice, pinch of salt, 1/8 tsp white pepper  mix and coat, also  using about a 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder  will add crispiness to the   14-16 wings  while you cook them if u are baking or grilling.. Good luck/img/vbsmilies/smilies/crazy.gif
 
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