Thanks to a few hungry Atlantans, McDonald's chicken wings are now a reality and are going to be sold in every McDonald's in the country by the end of next month. The fast food giant's "Mighty Wings" menu item did so well during a test run in Atlanta during the fall of 2012, the fast food giant is now reintroducing them on September 9, with a nationwide rollout by September 24.
It is a little surprising that Atlanta gave birth to the new creation, since that city has continually positioned itself as a Mecca of Southern delicacies — which includes fried chicken* — and its love for a cheap McDonald's knock-off no doubt puts that reputation in jeopardy. But McDonald's and Atlantans' decision to try the new product is doubly baffling when you consider that McDonald's has already perfected the most glorious chicken(ish) product known to man: the Chicken McNugget. Why would anyone in their right mind order a chicken wing from McDonald's when another fast food marvel is available from the same counter? Consider:
A Chicken Wing Is Not Efficient
Part of the reason fast food was created was because of a need for speedy, efficient, eating with minimal cleanup. A chicken wing barely passes those metrics. Using the meat-to-work ratio, chicken wings rank just below crabs when measured by at how much meat you get in comparison to how much work it takes to get it in your mouth. Granted, McDonald's Mighty Wings will probably not require any twisting or breaking, but you still have to deal with a bone and not every wing will be a drumstick.
Now think of the ease of a McNugget: minimal clean-up (three napkins max), no bones, and speedy eating that's perfect for your car or in the darkness of your sad dorm room. It is beautifully efficient.
A Chicken Wing Is Not Progress
If McDonald's wants to continue this silly belief that people want to eat bony chicken wings, then they'd be going against a trend—a trend that their Chicken McNuggets started. The hottest thing in fast food chicken trends right now is to make their chicken boneless. KFC's push for boneless chicken and Popeye's new Chicken and Waffle tenders are all speaking to the consumer's need to swallow food whole and leave nothing behind.
A Chicken Wing Will Make You Pay More for Bones
"In the Atlanta trial, Mighty Wings cost $3.19 for three and $4.99 for five. That’s steep: $4.99 buys 20 Chicken McNuggets—or an equal number of 5¢ wings at a local dive bar," writes Bloomberg's Venessa Wong. Five scraggly wings with meat you have to work for or 20 pieces of the closest things to heaven this earth can produce? The answer is obvious.
A McDonald's Chicken Wing Can Not be Any More Gross Than a Chicken McNugget
One of the biggest reservations people have toward the McNugget is that they are disgusted by the highly processed foodstuff. Mind you, a simple night of drinking will make any Chicken McNugget truther forget about the pink slime they might have seen or the startling images of what Chicken McNuggets look like under a microscope (fibrous). Normally, they'll remind you that McNuggets only come in circles and boot shapes and that's unnatural, but at 2 a.m., say "McNugget" in front of a drunk nugget truther and their eyes will flicker wildly. Their bodies will perk up with life like you haven't seen in the last three hours. And they will demand nuggets.
But back to how gross McNuggets allegedly are (I refuse to believe) ... think about it this way: Do you really think you are getting a wonderful, organic, free-range, cage-free, loved chicken when you go to McDonald's?
Chicken Wings Are Pandora's Box of Fast Food Horrors
Back in 2000, Mighty Wings were tested in Virginia and the three words you need to know: Fried Chicken Head.
*During the writing of the article, The Atlantic Wire staff could not decide if a Mighty Wing was considered and judged as fried chicken or a buffalo wing. We came to the conclusion that it is an example of Yankee-Southern fusion.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.