Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Bite with Belkys: Chicken Wings from Hooters
This month we're taking a twist on "A Bite With Belkys," and heading to some South Florida restaurant institutions and popular restaurant chains to find out the secrets behind their dishes. Tonight, we begin with one of the world's top spots to grab a bucket of wings. Time to grab A Bite With Belkys.
THE CHEF: Jim Raines, he's also one of the managers of the world famous Hooters restaurant chain.
THE DISH: What else, chicken wings and buffalo shrimp. Besides their annual calendar, those are the most popular items on the menu.
Jim Raines: "Hooters is basically synonomous with chicken wings, and I guess it's probably because of the consistency, they're consistently always good."
Start with the chicken, by giving the wings and drums a good wash.
Jim Raines: "One of the most important things obviously, when you're dealing with poultry is to make sure that everything is sanitized because of the bacteria problems."
Next, toss the chicken in some flour.
Chef jim says at hooters, they add some secret spices to the mix.
Jim Raines: "There's secret seasoning in the flour which we're not going to divulge, the same with our sauces, they're actually the originals that the company started out with in Clearwater, Florida."
Once the chicken is covered in flour, put it in the refrigerator for 30 to 45 minutes.
That'll help the flour adhere to the chicken better.
Now, remove the chicken from the cooler and place the wings and drums in a basket.
The secret to hooters perfect wings: Shaking off any excess flour.
Jim Raines: "We do it so that the flour doesn't separate in the oil and so you're getting a clean wing that has been cleanly breaded."
Now drop the chicken into a deep fryer... The oil should be at 350 degrees.
Let it cook for six to ten minutes, making sure to shake the chicken so it doesn't stick together.
Jim Raines: "Once they start floating we're about there, we're ready to pull them up."
Transfer the chicken wings into a bowl. Place them in a smaller bowl. Add sauce, for every ten wings, chef Jim adds a scoop of it.
At hooters they have six sauces to choose from -- everything from mild to 911.
Now shake it all up and plate the dish.
For the buffalo shrimp, you go through the same process... Flour, refrigerate, fry and shake.
But chef Jim says you shouldn't use the same oil, so your shrimp don't taste like chicken.
To plate this dish, serve the shrimp over a bed of lettuce and garnish with a piece of lemon.
Jim Raines: "This is our world famous chicken wings and our buffalo shrimp. Hooters Girls: Come to Hooters and try all of our dishes."
Although wings and shrimp are they're signature dishes, the restaurant has recently expanded its' menu to include some lighter fare.
The wings are so popular Hooters celebrated its 20th anniversary last year.
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