I LOVE chicken. I love it roasted, fried, grilled, slow-cooked, and slathered in sauces.
Perhaps my favorite style of chicken consumption is in wing-form. Wings bring people together, they’re my favorite eats during sports events, and they are actually finger-lickin’ good. As in I shamelessly lick my fingers every time I eat wings. The only problem is that, more often than not, they’re deep-fried and loaded with a buttery sauce. And while that doesn’t negate the tastiness at all (on the contrary), it does stop me from eating wings constantly.
Well, I might be in trouble.
Look unto the works of Carmen from Full Street Wings Cafe, Durham’s newest gourmet chicken wing spot!
These never-frozen chicken bits are grilled and, trust me, the pictures don’t do them justice.
Carmen Settles, owner and chef, invited a number of folks from the Durham area to show off her delightful drumettes and have a little meet and greet. She was also spreading the word about her KickStarter campaign which, if you like wings, you should consider donating to… I just love KickStarter, it gives community members the chance to back local projects they’re passionate about and be part of the entrepreneurial process. Exciting, no?
Carmen set out all of her favorite flavors and what kind of wing-eater would I be if I didn’t try them all?
- Naked (Okay, I lied, I didn’t try this one, but can imagine if it’s anything like the other, it’s a clean crisp and juicy chicken wing)
- Garlic Herb & Parmesan – Our first wing, the Parmesan and garlic pair up perfectly for a savory, flavorful bite. Delicious.
- Classic BBQ – Sweet and saucy, though, I’ll admit, it was not my favorite wing. Not because it wasn’t tasty…. but because the others were beyond tasty.
- Papi’s Original – A medium heat wing, these are the recipe that Carmen’s father started her off with, and she never looked back. Loved the spices without hitting you in the face with salt.
- The Full Street – Carmen’s classic wing, these are the closest to a classic wing-heat as I think we tried, and I could eat a dozen. Crisp skin, plump chicken, with all the right spices.
- Jerky – See that sexy and proud wing on the top of my pile in the picture above? That was the jerky. It was excellent! It was savory with a nice heat, though, obviously a very different flavor than the next one.
- Just D*%# Hot – The heat on this one was a nice, slow burn. It was a nice “hot” flavor and avoided the gimmicky “THIS IS SO HOT YOU NEED TO SIGN A WAIVER AND MAN VS. FOOD WILL BE HERE IN 15 MINUTES!” I love this. I’d probably get a number of these if I were making a big order. I don’t even need blue cheese to cool my mouth down (though I bet it’d be great with some blue cheese!)
- Honey Hot – Our surprise favorite. I never would’ve thought that the flavors of honey and spice would pair so nicely, mostly since I don’t consume honey all that often. Honey + chicken + spicy = a sneaky heat that creeps up on your palate and rocks your tastebuds like a hurricane of flavor! Definitely sucked the bone dry on this wing…
I think the best part of this whole experience was the fact that, despite eating 7 large, juicy wings, I didn’t feel sluggish, stuffed, or sleepy after the dining experience. These wings filled me up, but didn’t weigh me down or have me craving the usual post-wing coma.
Seriously, if you have the chance, TRY THESE
PUPPIES CHICKIES! And the next step to getting Carmen all around the Triangle is to check out her KickStarter and, if the spirit moves you, donate! Every little bit counts and pushes her closer to the goal of getting a trailer to bring her wings to the masses.
Do you like chicken wings?
And what’s your favorite flavor of chicken wing sauce? (or, if you’re not a meat-eater, ever try those veggie friendly wingz? I wonder what those are like…)