It’s a common question you might have after ordering your chicken wings appy; did I get too little or is this really a pound of wings? How many individual wings actually are in a pound?
How Many Chicken Wings in a Pound?
Its a simple question, but the answer can be a bit more complicated. You will find that not all chickens are created equally. The size of the chicken wings can vary quite a bit.
Not only the meat content, but also coatings like tempura or crispy breading will affect overall weight.
Chicken wings when cooked, like any meat, will loose roughly 25 percent of its initial weight. No matter if you are ordering baked or deep fried, the loss will be the same, depending on cooking time. When meat of any type is cooked, the proteins release juices and shrink slightly under the stress of heat.
Chicken Wings – The Two Different Types
Anyone who has eaten chicken wings before has their favorite type, and I don’t mean flavor. There are two distinct pieces you will get in every order of chicken wings, the Drums and the Flats.
Drums or Drumettes
The chicken drums/drumettes are the meatiest type of chicken wing and have a single main bone which is surrounded by meat.
Very similar to a drumstick or leg, these pieces are always the biggest in your basket of chicken wings. One drumette can weigh in at more than double one flat wing.
These pieces of chicken wing are well known as flats since they are quite flat! No surprise here, they are a lot smaller and have less meat than a drum.
The flats tend to cook up to a nicer, crispier texture.
Even though the chicken wing flats are less meaty, they tend to hold a lot of sauce with their shape. If you love a saucy wing, they could be your favorite.
Weighing In the Wings
Taking into consideration the types of chicken wings, we realize that having an even mix of both drums and flats is key. Imagine getting a pound of wings made up of only drums. In that case you may get merely 5 or 6 pieces in your pound of wings! That would feel like a rip-off!
A good restaurant will portion out an even mix of drums and flats, and on average, you will find that 1 pound of uncooked chicken wings will yield about 10 pieces.
An uncooked flat wing weighs about 1.5 to 2 ounces. An uncooked drum can weigh between 2 and 4 ounces each.
Keep in mind that if you choose a breaded wing, this will factor into the weight, resulting perhaps in less actual meat. This is a preference, and if you love your extra crispy breaded chicken wings, you probably wont mind!
Another style that has gained in popularity in recent years is the boneless chicken wing. These wings technically are not even chicken wings at all. A boneless wing is instead chicken breast meat that has been cut to shape and breaded. The result is to resemble the look of a chicken wing. Basically, a big chicken nugget, this style of wing is favorable to some and is quick to cook. Definitely a kid-favorite style of chicken wing.
Brief History of Chicken Wings
Chicken wings weren’t always a popular appy at your local pub and restaurants. They were once considered an undesirable cut of meat and were sold very inexpensively to be used mainly for making soups and broths. It wasn’t until the early 1960’s that things changed.
The first chicken wing, as it is known today was served in a Bar in Buffalo, New York in 1964. Teressa Bellissimo, the co-owner of the Anchor Bar prepared deep fried wings with hot sauce as a snack, and after word got out she decided to add the dish to the menu. Their continued popularity and widespread adoption in the restaurant business led to the namesake “Buffalo Wings”.
As time went on and increased patronage to sports bars and neighborhood pubs became more popular throughout 1970’s and 80s, the popularity of chicken wings increased dramatically. New flavors and styles popped up, often breaded and fried crispy, served coated with hot sauce or other sweet or savory sauces.
The economics of the dish for these bars and restarants helped the popularity of chicken wings as an appy, as it was very inexpensive to serve.