By Mike Thayer
So I was cruising the aisles of Sam's Club yesterday looking for an easy peasy something I can just pop in the oven for a quick meal.
Perusing the frozen ready meal section, some boneless Buffalo wings caught my eye. I've really been craving Buffalo chicken lately - recently reviewing Arby's Crispy Buffalo Chicken Sandwich - and hopefully these wings will help to satisfy that craving so in the cart went a box of Yummy brand boneless "Wyngz."
Here's the description from the packaging: Breaded chicken breast patties with rib meat glazed with Buffalo-style sauce.
I know, these aren't true wings, it's processed chicken shaped in the form of wings which also means no bones, so the wing purists out there might turn their noses up at this. But for me the boneless aspect is appealing. It's flat out an easier and cleaner eat.
The packaging also includes heating instructions for virtually all cooking devices, the traditional conventional oven; microwave; convection oven; toaster oven and THE trendy device, the air fryer.
I prepared eight 'Wyngz' per the conventional oven method, hitting the wings with a bit of cooking spray before placing in the oven. TIP: If you're using the oven to heat up an item that is typically fried, the addition of cooking spray helps to crisp things up a bit, giving you a nicer texture without the heaviness and calories from frying. You can also add flavor to whatever you're heating up using flavored sprays, there's all kinds of them out there to choose from. There are different oils such as olive, sunflower, avocado and even coconut (hello shrimp!) giving you a different flavor profile. And then there's straight up flavors infused with flavor neutral oils such as lemon, garlic, chili, truffle and the good 'ol standby, butter flavored.
I went with a neutral spray oil (canola) on this occasion because I wanted to evaluate the base flavor of these wings. I will say the aromas filling my kitchen and dining room were enticing during the 16 minute cooking time, tempting me to pull the wings early to take a bite, but I refrained in the name of a'hem, cough, "Food Science."
Serving the wings up in a basket with a side of Ranch dressing, I took that first bite without the Ranch. I got the light crisp from the breading and the chicken was tender and juicy. But it is processed chicken after all, so it's virtually impossible for such a thing to NOT be tender. The key to the wing - the Buffalo flavor - was good. Keeping in mind that I ate these dry and not sauced, I was pleased by the cayenne pepper and vinegar notes, providing a decent Buffalo base flavor. But missing, were the butter and Worcestershire sauce elements of a really good Buffalo sauce. A recipe from yours truly, Mr. Bachelor on the Cheap, is posted below. These wings could benefit from being sauced. Dipped in the Ranch however, these wings still provided for a nice chicken wing experience as prepared.
Costing me $10.98 for a three pound bag of wings - that's A LOT of wings! - I'm giving Yummy Boneless Wyngz 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars. Reasonably priced, these wings are Bachelor on the Cheap wallet friendly and provide for a decent impromptu meal or snack. Good but not great, these wings need a bit of "Doctoring" with sauce to get them to a "Wow, these are NICE!" factor. They are worthy of a repeat buy because doctoring them up with sauce does indeed make them special. I'll have these on hand in my freezer for that impromptu meal, sporting event on the TV, a munchie to share with the guys.
Mike's Buffalo Sauce
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup Louisiana Hot Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Couple shakes of Parmesan cheese (garnish)
Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Stir until the liquid begins to bubble, remove from heat and set aside to toss with the wings.
After the wings are done in the oven, immediately toss in the Buffalo sauce (use as little or as much as you like) in a large bowl, plate, then hit with the optional Parmesan cheese. Enjoy! I doctored up a second serving of the Yummy Boneless Wyngz with the above signature sauce, added that dusting of Parmesan cheese - It was another dose of YUM!