The 3 Parts Of A Chicken Wing, Explained

The traditional way that folks have eaten chicken wings is served with celery and blue cheese sauce, according to SWNS Digital, which credits Teressa Bellissimo, of Buffalo, New York for one of America's favorite snack foods. Since Bellissimo's creation, the chicken wing continues to stain the hands of those who partake with the modern addition of barbecue sauce, per SWNS. The outlet's findings show that the average person will eat 17,653 chicken wings in their lifetime. That's 24 wings per month if you're counting.

If you're a diehard wing fan, you can make a pilgrimage to its motherland of Buffalo, New York where Visit Buffalo Niagara has designed a wing trail of 12 producers of its deep-fried delicacy. Whether dredged in sauce, dry rubbed, or even air fried, the chicken wing still alludes to those who insist on knives and forks. Yet, 53% of Americans prefer to eat them bone-in, according to the National Chicken Council.

As part of the chicken's breast quarter, the wing is actually divided into three parts – the drumette, wingette, and tip of a chicken wing. By separating the wing into its parts, you'll not only stretch your ingredient list, but also it'll help cook them faster and more evenly, per Oklahoma Joe's. But, if you've never butchered your own chicken, this can be a daunting process. Ready to break it down?

The drumette

Not to be confused with the drumstick (chicken leg), which likely got its name during the 18th Century when such words were cause for a lady to clutch her pearls, according to Grammar Phobia. Still, it makes sense the drumette's name stems from this same etymology.

The part with the most wing meat and closest to the body of the bird, the drumette looks like a mini drumstick, according to Recipe Tips. Think of it as the chicken's upper arm, as Barbeque FAQ suggests. The outlet outlines how as opposed to the drumstick's slow-twitch leg muscles which are used for walking, the drumette is white meat because chickens are flightless birds requiring only fast-twitch muscles. Its irregular shape starts thick on the breast end and tapers to connect with the wingette, as Barbeque FAQ illustrates.

When ordering drumettes at a restaurant, be mindful that you're not getting the same amount of meat. Generally the order of a 10-piece chicken wing dish will consist of ten whole wings; whereas, a 10-piece order of drumettes only includes the ten small, round chicken pieces, according to The Fork Bite

Per 112 grams serving, this relatively lean cut per serving comes in at 211 calories, 18 grams of protein,15 grams of fat as reported by Nutrition

The wingette

The flat part of the wing that has two bones (radius and ulna) is known as the wingette. The wingette doesn't have near the meat on it as the drumette, according to Recipe Tips. So, think of this part of a chicken's wing as its forearm, per Barbecue FAQ. Sometimes called the flap or flat, Evolving Table notes that these little ones crisp up quicker than the drumette. For those who prefer the flat, Barbecue FAQ cites your primary reason for such a hanker being the overall "eating experience" because it lacks the tendons and cartilage that the other two parts have.

If you haven't figured out how to make the most of a wingette, plenty of TikTok tutorials point to the twisting method as the most effective hack. Essentially, you need to twist the end of the bones while simultaneously pulling them free leaving an intact piece of meat. Now, that's some clean eating!

Smaller than the drumette, one wingette is a mere 70 calories containing 6.3 grams of protein and 5 grams of fat, according to Calorie King.

The wing tip

That pointy end part that perhaps only your cat seems to want, the wing tip is the third and outermost part of the wing. Because there's very little meat, it's often discarded, according to Recipe Tips. Although, because of the higher skin to meat ratio, some love to nibble on these crispy guys, notes Vocal Media. But, if you and your cat aren't feeling it, the outlet suggests to waste not, want not by freezing them until you have enough to turn these babies into a flavorful broth.

Per one gram serving of tips, My Fitness Pal lists its calorie count at 250, with 15 grams of fat, and 18 grams of protein.

Now that you've got the skinny on a chicken's wing parts, you're more than ready to break them down. Cooks Illustrated suggests using your fingertip to locate the joint connecting the wingette and its tip. Using your dominant hand, place the blade of a sharpened knife between the bones at the joint. Then place the palm of your free hand on top of the other to gently rock the blade between the wing's joint cutting through the chicken skin and tendon. Find the joint between the wingette and drumette to repeat the process.

Now that you know, next time you hit up your favorite wings joint, you won't have to wing it!