I was invited down to Juke Chicken to celebrate their 6th year anniversary. A celebration that included a chicken eating competition that I knew I just had to be a part of.
Held in their neighbouring bar, the Chickadee Room; the space was opened up as guests began filtering in for the festivities. They were welcomed with margarita and negroni slushies,and invited to graze on a collection of small bites that came steadily out of the kitchen. Let’s just say no one left hungry or thirsty.
Additional drinks were available at the bar: beer or wine, your choice of 1 or both specialty cocktails. Either a smokey sipper with the “Final Fantasy”, or a sweeter spiked punch with the “Summa Summa time”. Naturally, I tried both.
For the above mentioned food the selection included deep fried chicken skins, spicy deviled eggs, Mexican-style zesty dressed corn, a mini cheese stuffed corn dog, veggies and dip, watermelon with Tajin spice for self seasoning, and their classic deep fried chicken drums. I wanted to try them all, but committed myself to the chicken eating competition, so had to stave off.
Although I could not steer away from their spicy wing challenge. Attendees played a rift on the viral YouTube segment: Hot Ones, by eating a spicy wing and answering a difficult, no way to win what-if question. I bypassed the mildly spicy “hot chix summer”, and went right for the “face melter”. It was a spicy wing, that had me welling up with tears in conjunction to the heat, but not the hottest wing I have had.
Then it was anticipating the competition ahead, the bar/table that centered the room became a spread for chicken drums piled. And the 6 contestants took their places around it. Equipped with water, I opted for the glass of white wine I had at the time.
Contestants went around the table offering their name and a self-given nickname. As the only female competitor I had to take on the moniker of “man eater”. Dennis of @pangcover fame, my rival, became “hunger pangs”. I wanted to win the competition, if not, at least beat him. The winner would live in infamy with their name on the trophy and a earn a surprise prize.
The rules were explained: all the drums you can eat in 2 minutes. You did not need to clean the bone, cartilage and all, but the majority of the meat had to be removed.
Then the buzzer sounded and we were off. My strategy: to find the smallest drums and go to town carving each down. I anticipated myself finishing 10 drums, only to learn that the record holder has done 9. What I didn’t anticipate was how difficult getting the thick and crispy breading down would be. It dried up the tongue and scratched up the mouth when eaten in a flurry. Liquids were necessary, a fact I did not realize until the end. I had difficulty swallowing in gulps because I insistent on wine.
When our 2 minutes were up, our judge came around and counted all our bones. I was able to complete 4.5 wings, the 0.5 allowed me to get an edge up on Dennis and the other competitors who finished at 3 and 4 respectively. The others would see numbers from 5-6, with the winner taking the prize at 7. The prize being Juke branded green and gold boxing trunks, which I would have loved and worn, as I was the only competitor who looked like they could fit it.
The rest of us had a consolation prize of a shot and iridescent double jigger. Plus all the leftover chicken and sides we couldn’t partake in before.
In short, this was another great eating competition I got to be a part of, and a great way to celebrate the restaurant’s anniversary. I did not get my name on the trophy this year, but may be the next, if I start consuming large amounts of Juke chicken in practice now.
Juke Fried Chicken
182 Keefer St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1X4