Emmanuel David has cooked for royalty and earned medals at culinary competitions around the world. So it might surprise some that the corporate executive chef at Red Deer’s Boulevard Restaurant and Lounge has been focusing on chicken wings in recent weeks — that is until they see what he’s doing with poultry appendages.
Tequila and juniper marinated wings, Mediterranean stuffed wings, habanera glazed chipotle wings and mild coconut crusted lollipop wings are among the offerings on Boulevard’s new chicken wing menu. There’s also spicy peanut butter and jelly wings, root beer barbecue wings and even poutine wings — complete with fries, cheese curds and gravy.
“Who knew what you could do with chicken wings, the unlimited potential of chicken wings?” said David.
Boulevard’s chicken wing menu, which has been available for about two weeks, includes 20 flavours. Some are grilled, others roasted and still others fried.
Several are stuffed, with the bone removed and replaced with ingredients like ground chicken, shrimp, mushrooms and vermicelli noodles, in the case of Thai-style stuffed wings.
“We really took a lot of time in developing and perfecting these recipes,” said David, adding that the process required about a month of kitchen work.
While many restaurants and pubs throw frozen wings into a deep-fryer, Boulevard works from scratch with whole fresh chicken wings. David makes many of his own ingredients, such as a scotch bonnet pepper sauce for his Grenadian invasion hot wings.
“It’s hotter than habanera,” he said.
“But it’s not only hot, it’s very, very flavourful.”
Boulevard’s chicken wing menu even suggests an appropriate beer for each flavour of wing, such as Japanese Sapporo with its teriyaki glazed wings. In most instances, David has chosen regional beers from the likes of Edmonton’s Alley Kat Brewing Co., Calgary’s Wild Rose Brewery and Canmore’s Grizzly Paw Brewing Co.
He plans to offer a modified wing menu at Boulevard every summer, keeping the most popular flavours and introducing new options. He doesn’t anticipate problems finding fresh alternatives.
“To be honest with you, when I started I had 50 different flavours in mind.”
Born and raised in Granada, West Indies, David came to Canada in 1977. He’s worked at a number of high-end restaurants and hotels, including the New Ramada Renaissance Hotel in Regina, where he prepared a state dinner for Queen Elizabeth II in 1987.
David has overseen the kitchen at Boulevard, which is located in the Holiday Inn and Suites Gasoline Alley, for the past two years.