Punching the Clock: Winging it

In my opinion, the perfect chicken wing is extra, extra crispy on the outside, but still moist and tender on the inside. I like them best when they are slathered in sweet and savory barbecue or, when I’m in the right mood, hot sauce of a more traditional variety with just enough heat to tingle my tastebuds. But not enough so that sweat starts to bead on my brow.

I can do without the blue cheese, but I never pass up a couple of pieces of celery. (Cleansing the palate is a must.) And I definitely require someplace for the “carnage,” and a whole heck of a lot of napkins. Because, trust me, it isn’t going to be pretty. Oh, I try to be girlie and dainty about it, but it never seems to work out the way I plan.

I’ve sampled this deep-fried delicacy at many an establishment over the years, but never have I encountered a wing so absolutely perfect in their very wingness as those served up at The Stadium Sports Bar and Grill in Oxford. Their honey barbecue wings? To die for.

It was my deep seated attachment to these delicious wings that lead me to approach Dave Shull, part-owner and general manager of said establishment to let me “do” a Punching the Clock with him. While I wish I could say my motives were pure and altruistic, and derived from a desire help spread about this local business’ offerings, in reality, I just wanted to know how on earth he makes those wonderful wings. Not that I cared about trying to replicate them; I just wanted to know.

Not one to pass up on an offer of free labor, Dave was all for me tagging along in the kitchen with him. The only problem (besides the fact that he wanted me to help make the food) was that he wanted me to come in during one of their busiest times. Not wanting to get in the way, or cause any customer dissatisfaction I lobbied to come in at a slower time.

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