Bone of contention: 1 in 4 would dump their date for ordering boneless chicken wings

NEW YORK — How do you handle messy fingers after devouring a plate of buffalo wings? A survey of 2,000 people finds that three in four Americans won’t judge you for licking your fingers after eating chicken wings – because they’ll do the same.

The poll also reveals that chicken wings are considered an “old reliable” classic food (63%) and are the favorite among casual-dining appetizers (54%), followed by chips and salsa (46%) and French fries (44%). Results show that chicken wings are a crowd-pleasing appetizer for even the pickiest of eaters. Three out of four people agree it’s hard to beat the taste of a chicken wing, which may be why 60 percent say they’re likely to order them most times or every time they go to a restaurant.

I feel like chicken wings tonight

People also enjoy a good chicken wing whenever the cravings hit (44%), when ordering takeout or delivery at home (42%) and at parties (40%). This may also be why seven in 10 of those who enjoy the savory food crave them often (71%), and why they make sure to eat every last bite before leaving the bones behind (79%).

When presented with a plate of chicken wings, a third of Americans will reach for a drumette first (33%). However, a quarter of respondents would prefer a flat wing instead, while 42 percent would gladly eat whichever they grab first. Conducted by OnePoll for Hidden Valley Ranch, the survey found that when it comes to the boneless versus bone-in debate, more people have a preference for boneless (33% vs. 29%). Nearly two out of five people (38%) say they enjoy both equally.

Although 44 percent consider boneless wings as actual wings, 38 percent would tease someone they know for ordering them instead of bone-in wings. What’s more, one in four would not go on a second date with someone who thinks they’re the same as traditional wings (24%).

Chicken Wings Day

Double dipping is encouraged?

According to respondents, the best chicken wings are deep-fried (55%) or grilled (51%) and tossed in barbecue sauce (39%), ranch seasoning (34%), or hot buffalo sauce (33%). For those hot wings, four in five people say they need a dipping sauce to cool down.

“There are so many different flavors of wings for your every craving – sweet, savory, spicy, combinations of these and so many more,” says Alvaro Andres, associate director at Hidden Valley Ranch, in a statement. “There’s no better way to cool down the heat from a hot wing than dipping it in a cool and creamy condiment like ranch.”

Respondents also shared that the best way to dip their wings is once, without grabbing too much sauce (46%). However, those who dip their wings more than once dip an average of five times per wing.

Snacky respondents are also likely to eat the vegetables that come on the side of chicken wings (58%), citing celery sticks as the better side veggie (26%). Other popular sides that hit the spot when munching on chicken wings are French fries (34%), onion rings (31%), or a side salad (30%).

“Dipping foods provides an extra burst of flavor and, let’s face it, makes eating more fun,” says Andres. “The best condiments to keep on hand for dipping are ones that work with the most food, so you’re never craving more flavor.”