The “Mad Men” image is iconic: a back view of a silhouetted man, presumably Don Draper, on an easy chair, relaxed and leaning to his left, with his right arm extended across the top of the chair and a chicken wing between his two fingers, its sauce having already dripped onto his white shirt.
I’d demand that Peggy get Mr. Draper a napkin, but I think I’m food-projecting again. There is no chicken wing, and that can only mean one thing: the 2012 Wingfest is here.
The festival is Saturday afternoon on Hilton Head Island and will be similar to ones in the past with more than 20 area vendors selling wings you’ll nary find anywhere else (here’s to hoping Street Meet’s chicken-and-waffles wings returns for another year). And I can’t stop thinking about it — even with everything else going on this week.
It’s too bad all my interests couldn’t be combined for one big festival. Imagine what kind of wings they’d serve:
The “Mad Men” wing (returns to AMC on Sunday)
Wings marinated in Scotch and tobacco leaves. The wings from the female chickens struggle to achieve the flavor profile of the wings from the male chickens, which belittle them during marination. Smoked, not fried, until someone tells you it’s the best show on television.
“The Hunger Games” wing (hits theaters Friday)
Two chickens (one male, one female) from 12 coops are placed in a pen with small chicken weapons. The last chicken remaining goes home to eat subsidized feed for the rest of its life while the wings of the chickens from the other 11 coops are served in a demonstration of the farmer’s power. But the chickens are all really attractive, so it’s not as unsettling as it sounds.
The “Community” wing (returned to NBC last week)
Wings spun in a strangely delicious sauce that features quirky ingredients that attract only a few devoted fans. These wings weren’t at last year’s Wingfest, but those few fans got really, really upset, and now wing critics are urging everyone to try the “Community” wing … or else suffer through eating “Whitney” wings forever.
The Savannah Music Festival wing (begins today)
Wings from expert chickens, some classically raised in conservatories, others who mastered chicken theory and chicken songwriting through their own, diverse chicken cultures (and even from one who was once married to Julia Roberts!). Served at different venues throughout Wingfest, to which individual tickets must be bought.
The Madonna wing (her CD “MDNA” in stores Tuesday)
A popular wing since the ’80s, the Madonna wing has changed flavor profiles over the years, including incorporating provocative, techno and faux-British spices. The most recent incarnation of wings were served with a celery that caused quite a stir at the Super Bowl (one leaf was raised a little too high). But the buzz following the wing has died down, perhaps because the restaurants that once featured the wing (MTV, radio), don’t serve much chicken these days.
Andy doesn’t know what’s in the PreGame wing, only that it’s served with a cold drink.