Chicken wings, which at one point in time were an undesirable part of the bird, have become a prized menu item – and restaurants across the U.S. will celebrate that on Saturday: National Chicken Wing Day.
I know, we just celebrated National Fried Chicken Day three weeks ago. But back in 1977, the then-mayor of Buffalo, New York Stan Makowski, proclaimed July 29 as National Chicken Wing Day, due to the city’s claim as birthplace of the chicken wing dish known as Buffalo wings. “Thousands of pounds of chicken wings are consumed by Buffalonians in restaurants and taverns throughout the city each week,” he said at the time.
Buffalo’s wing fixation helped spread the dish, but the origin story is a bit hazy. Since then, we’ve seen the arrival of countless types of wings – honey barbecue, teriyaki, garlic, ultra-hot – and, of course, boneless “wings.”
We continue to gorge ourselves on them, too, eating 4.4 billion chicken wings in the 12 months ending May 2023, from research firm Circana’s National Eating Trends and CREST tracking data.
The National Chicken Council estimates we’re eating about 2% more chicken wings each of the last several years. Consumers began preferring boneless-skinless chicken breast meat in the ’80s – instead of cooking the entire chicken – wings became an afterthought, said NCC spokesman Tom Super. Chicken producers began selling them to restaurants and bars, which could price the dish relatively cheaply and, because wings were usually salty and spicy, boost beer sales, Super said.
Why do we love chicken wings? “It is the ultimate and tactile finger food,” said Bon Appetit test kitchen director Chris Morocco in a chicken wing cooking video last year. “The wing is where you get all of the nuance of texture and fattiness and richness and flavor of an entire chicken but distilled down to its own microcosmic universe.”
Here’s some National Chicken Wing Day specials to help you get your fill.
7-Eleven has new Korean BBQ boneless wings for $3
The convenience store chain just added Korean BBQ boneless wings – lightly breaded all-white-meat chicken coated a sweet soy, garlic and pepper glaze sauce – to its lineup at 7-Eleven, Speedway and Stripes locations. Members of the 7Rewards and Speedy Rewards loyalty programs can get an 8-piece order for $3 (offer good until Jan. 9, 2024). Loyalty members can also get five traditional bone-in wings with Korean BBQ flavor for $5 for a limited time. And you can add a small Slurpee for $1.
Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza & Wings’ free 5-piece wings order
The Florida-headquartered casual restaurant chain is giving members of its Coal Fired Rewards loyalty program who order chicken wings through July 30 a free five-piece order of wings. Guests who sign up for Coal Fired Rewards will also get a free five-piece wing and 12-inch pizza on their next visit, too. Share your favorite flavor of wings on social media tagging @anthonyscoalfiredpizza and you might win a $1,000 gift card.
bb.q Chicken free delivery deal and new Caribbean Spice flavor
To celebrate National Chicken Wing Day, Korean fried chicken franchise bb.q Chicken, which has 160 locations in the U.S., has free delivery on DoorDash and UberEats until Aug. 5. Also, on Saturday, the restaurant begins offering a new flavor for wings and boneless chicken: Caribbean Spice, inspired by Caribbean jerk sauce. You can also enter to win a Caribbean cruise trip; go to the bb.q Chicken website to enter between Saturday and Aug. 31.
Bonchon: A special 15-wing Try Tri deal
Fast-casual Asian fusion chain Bonchon has a limited time Try Tri deal (through Sunday, July 30), with 15 wings, five each with the restaurant’s signature sauces – Soy Garlic, Spicy, and sweet & savory Korean BBQ – and fries for $23.99.
Buffalo’s Cafe has $1 wings for National Chicken Wing Day
Buffalo’s Cafe has a $1 wing offer for dine-in customers on Saturday at participating locations; you can choose from any of the chain’s 13 sauces.
Buffalo Wild Wings’ free wings deal for National Chicken Wing Day
When you dine-in at participating Buffalo Wild Wings on Saturday, get six free boneless or traditional wings with any $10 dine-in purchase. Choose from the chain’s 26 sauces, including the limited-edition sauces General Tso’s and Sweet Chile Lime, or the new Blazin’ Knockout sauce, made with nine of the hottest peppers including Devil’s Breath, Carolina Reaper, Scorpion, Ghost, Habanero, Red and Green Jalapenos, Chile de Arbol and Cayenne.
Fatburger: Get 3 free wings with your order
Co-branded Fatburger and Buffalo’s Express will be give you a free three-piece order of wings with the purchase of any Fatburger Meal (burger or sandwich meal) when ordering through order.fatburger.com on July 29 (at participating locations; use the code WINGMAN23). And if you miss out on Saturday, the deal will be offered every Wednesday in August.
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Fazoli’s free 5-piece wings deal with any purchase
Quick-service Italian food chain Fazoli’s is giving customers a free five-piece boneless wing order with any purchase through Sunday at participating locations. And, since Saturday is also National Lasagna Day, get $2 off lasagna dishes at participating locations from July 28 to Aug. 3.
Golden Corral: All-you-can-eat wings, fried chicken
The buffet restaurant began offering all-you-can-eat wings and fried chicken on Thursday – it runs through Sept. 10 – with two new flavors, Garlic Parmesan and Sweet Bourbon BBQ. You can also order wings to go and for delivery on GoldenCorral.com.
Hook & Reel has a buy 12, get 6 wings free deal
Cajun-inspired casual dining chain Hook & Reel, with more than 70 locations nationwide, has a buy 12-get 6 wings free deal Saturday through August 5. There will be additional BOGO Happy Hour deals that week, too. Customers can call their local store for details.
Hooters’ free wings offer on National Chicken Wing Day
Hooters will give dine-in customers on Saturday 10 free wings for every 10 purchased, any style (at participating locations).
Hurricane Grill & Wings all-day wings deal
On Saturday, Hurricane Grill & Wings. which has more than 40 locations in the U.S., has a special of 10 boneless or bone-in wings with two of the chain’s award-winning sauces for $12.99 (available in-store and online at www.HurricaneWings.com at participating locations).
Krispy Krunchy Chicken sampler goes beyond wings
Need more than wings? The Krispy Krunchy Sampler Deal ($5.99) comes with a piece of dark bone-in fried chicken, a Cajun tender, two pieces of traditional wings, and a honey biscuit. Offer is good until October 10 at participating Krispy Krunchy Chicken locations while supplies last.
Marco’s Pizza has a discount on its new boneless wings
Marco’s Pizza’s has a discount on its new boneless wings: $7.99 for a 10-piece order, with a choice of three sauces (Buffalo, Garlic Parmesan and BBQ), at participating locations.
Native Grill & Wings’ 59-cent wing deal on National Chicken Wing Day
Native Grill & Wings, which has more than 20 restaurants in Arizona, Texas and Illinois, has a 59-cent wing deal on Saturday for those dining in and ordering online via www.NativeGrillandWings.com. Dine-in customers on Saturday will also get a $5 coupon for their next visit (good until Aug. 31).
Native Loyalty app members can also ask about an all-new “Secret Weapon” medium-heat sauce on Saturday. When you sign up for the loyalty program, you also get a free 10-pack of traditional wings with any purchase.
Perdue Farms’ Wing Bundle for making wings at home
Want to prepare your own wings? You can order Perdue Farms’ Wing Day Bundle through August 1. The bundle includes six pounds of wing sections, drumettes and mid joints for $34.99 ($49.98 regular price) on PerdueFarms.com.
Popeyes’ Ghost Pepper wings deal for National Chicken Wing Day
Get a free side with your pick-up order of Popeyes’ Ghost Pepper wings (a 6-piece order is $5, at participating restaurants). Want it delivered? You can get a free side, too, when you order delivery ($6 for 6-piece wing) on Popeyes.com or the Popeyes app.
Round Table Pizza: Get 6 wings for $8
At Round Table Pizza, you can get a 6-piece order of boneless or classic wings for $8 through Aug. 27 at participating locations.
Wing It On! Free wings with any purchase on National Chicken Wing Day
On Saturday, when you dine-in at Wing It On! or order online get a free 6-piece order of wings with any purchase of $5 or more.
Wingstop’s free wings on National Chicken Wing Day
Wingstop is giving a 5-piece order of wings free on Saturday when you use the code FREEWINGS at checkout on Wingstop.com or the app. The restaurant chain, with nearly 2,000 locations worldwide, recently teamed with rapper Latto on a new flavor (Latto’s Lemon Herb Remix) and the Latto meal, designed for a group with 21 wings in three flavors, seasoned fries and two dips ($26.99).
Zaxby’s BOGO deal for National Chicken Wing Day
Zaxby’s, which has more than 900 locations in 17 states, has a buy-one-get-one-free deal Friday and Saturday on its 10-piece traditional wings (starts at $12.99). The offer is valid for Zax Rewardz members only and can be redeemed by ordering ahead through the app or online. Add at least two orders of 10 traditional wings (before the reward is applied) to get one of them free. (One offer per person/device, valid at participating locations while supplies last.)
Follow Mike Snider on Twitter: @mikesnider.
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