Waterfalls of ranch dressing? Check. Gobs of blue cheese? Check. Napkins? Check. An insatiable hunger for the ultimate party food, complete with a willingness to eat far beyond your comfort level? Definitely! Well then, you’re ready to take on National Chicken Wing Day on July 29. Oh, and don’t forget the full bottle of antacids.
Originally relegated to the far corners of the kitchen as material for chicken stock, chicken wings were born when the owners of the Anchor Bar in Buffalo cooked up a midnight snack for their son and his friends. Using only fried wings, butter, and hot sauce, they stumbled on a dish that would change American game day gastronomy forever. So this July 29, make them sweet, spicy or any way you want, but raise a glass and down a few wings to celebrate.
Note: We can thank previous Buffalo mayor, Stan Makowski, for giving us one of the most celebrated food holidays of the summer.
National Chicken Wing Day timeline
McDonald's introduces Mighty Wings
The first Chicken Wing Day is celebrated in Buffalo
Teressa Bellissimo cooks leftover wings in hot sauce at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, N.Y
National Chicken Wing Day Activities
Find some free wings
Yes, you read right, free chicken wings. In many locations around the country, bars and restaurants will offer free chicken wings to customers who make some kind of purchase — typically a drink or an entree. Don’t let that deal fly away.
Have a chicken wing party
Invite your friends to try out their creative side by cooking up a chicken wing dish other than buffalo. Create a list for everyone to fill in so there are no doubles, then chow down as you try an assortment of out-there, oddball, yet still delectable wings.
Enter a contest
Have you been passing by that bar for years? The one that advertises its annual chicken wing eating competition? Ever thought about joining it? Do it! Maybe you’ll earn yourself a spot on their Wall of Fame, or at the very least, go down in a blaze of glory.
Why We Love National Chicken Wing Day
Chicken is healthy
While we all know chicken is a great source of lean protein, it’s nice to know that the white meat is also packed with other health benefits. Its high levels of vitamin B can boost immunity and regulate digestion, while it has much lower levels of saturated fats and cholesterols than red meats. Just take it easy on the buffalo sauce — and you’ll be fine.
It’s a classic competition food
Whether it’s an official competition at a fair or just some friends getting together, these bite-size chicken chunks are perfect for chowing down. Sometimes it’s a matter of handling the high heat of a spicy buffalo sauce, while other times it just means eating the most in a given period. Either way, excitement, and maybe a few stomachaches, will ensue.
The perfect late-night snack
Bars have had chicken wings on their menus for decades for a reason. There are few things more satisfying than a late night basket. Sweet, spicy, salty, juicy, crunchy — they’ve got it all. And when you only need a snack to tide you over till morning, it’s an easy decision to make.