The Meatier Chicken Wing Substitute To Please A Hungry Crowd

Not only are chicken wings tasty, they are fun to eat and promise to be a crowd favorite at any gathering. Barbecue 'em, fry 'em, or bake 'em and serve with a sauce that everyone from kids to adults will be grabbing and sinking their teeth into. But there is a downside to making chicken wings for a large gathering: The significant amount of wings needed to make sure everyone's appetite is satiated.

A measurement from My Home and Kitchen to keep in mind is that cooked chicken wings provide about an ounce of meat. Grill Simply calculates that for 10 guests, 40 full wings (containing the drumette, flat, and wing tip) or 80 drumettes are needed, which equates to about 10 pounds. Increase the size of the crowd to 50 people, and 200 full wings or 400 drumettes should be prepared. For the smaller guests, about 3 to 4 wings will be needed for each child or about 4 to 5 for a teenager. 

That's a lot of chicken wings to bake in the oven, deep-fry on the stovetop, or find room for on the grill. However, an easy swap can be made that will provide more meat per wing and not compromise on the flavor.

Turkey wings offer more meat and lots of flavor

Turkey wings might just be what you are looking for when shopping for a meaty finger food. Larger with more meat, turkey wings can be prepared just like a chicken wing, and the recipe you may typically use for chicken wings can still be used for the turkey wings, per The Spruce Eats. Making a juicy, full-of-flavor turkey wing isn't complicated. Cover it with a seasoning blend of garlic, paprika, and onion powder, and then bake in a pan with chicken stock for a golden-baked turkey wing. Another option for turkey wings is deep-frying them. Epicurious describes the result as crunchy yet juicy on the inside. Whether baking, roasting, or deep-frying, the wings can be coated with a dry rub and served with a favorite barbecue sauce or other dipping sauce, per The Spruce Eats

Before a turkey wing is seasoned or sauced, it will have a slightly different taste than a chicken wing. The Spruce Eats says while a turkey wing is a white meat, it will have a "gamier" taste than the other big source of white meat on a turkey — the breast. If swapping the meatier turkey wing for the chicken wing sounds like something you want to do for your next group gathering, keep in mind that it does take longer for turkey wings to cook through. For three pounds of turkey wings, it will take an hour to bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.