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Wings, not homemade flying saucers, take flight at Rockit this week

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Rockit Bar & Grill this week is celebrating the bar food of bar foods: chicken wings.

Five different styles of wings (or really, five different sauces) will be on the menu this week for the first annual Wingfest: super spicy buffalo with a blue cheese dressing; sweet chile and lime (pictured above); pomegranate and port wine with a mango sauce; lemon-grilled with wild oregano, garlic and feta fondue, and, brace yourself, truffle butter-tossed with a foie gras gravy. The wings are $10 a dozen. And for dessert, strawberry milkshakes!

Higher wing prices notwithstanding, chef James Gottwald is a big believer in wings -- and in weeklong promotions that, to him, are kind of like their own holiday. The restaurant's early summer Burgerfest is going on five years now.

"To be honest, sometimes I get bored with the menu. We have the favorites we just can't take off ... or I'll be shot," he says. "These food celebrations keep me and my staff excited."

Gottwald talks like a wing aficionado. With their high skin-to-ratio, wings are "kind of like pork belly," he points out. And, mind you, we're not talking piddly 25-cent numbers. "I pay a premium for my wings, the big jumbo ones, no hormones, none of that garbage."

He soaks the wings in a brine for a good hour (1 cup of kosher salt per half gallon of water, for those of you wanting to try this at home) to season them. He then roasts the wings to render off the fat, and crisps them up in the fryer. (The Greek-style ones, by contrast, are grilled).

Mark your calendar: Gottwald already is planning a Mac 'n' Cheese Fest for January.

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Janet Rausa Fuller

Sun-Times Food editor Janet Rausa Fuller is always thinking about her next meal.

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This page contains a single entry by Janet Rausa Fuller published on October 19, 2009 10:26 AM.

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