This sounds like one of those colloquial tales that begins something like, "way down yonder on the Chattahoochie," but it's not. The catfish wing is something that I've dreamed of making for quite some time. Ever since Alex at Ideas in Food first fused a chicken skin to a piece of fish (at least the first time I'd ever seen the use of TGM), the seed of that dream was planted. Why? Because I'm a South Louisiana boy, and the idea of a fried catfish with chicken skin sounded like the ultimate in Southern food... a symbol of all that's good in the world.
Actually, I would wager that the transglutanimase isn't totally necessary to create the catfish wing (although I used it as insurance). All you really need are some chicken wing bones, some catfish, some chicken skin, and a freezer.
First, get some wing bones by taking the meat off, cooking to scrape off all of the meat and cartilage, and boiling or baking to get the bones real nice and clean. If you plan on eating the end product yourself, then cook up some wings, eat them, and reserve the bones.
Save a few 3 inch by 3 inch pieces of chicken skin and lay each one down on a slightly bigger pieces of plastic wrap. As for the meat glue, sprinkle it if you've got it.
Next, slice some fairly thin pieces of catfish and lay the pieces over each chicken skin. Apply more transglutanimase if you've got it.
Place the socket-end of the wing bone in the center of the catfish, and close the fish and skin around it and seal with the plastic wrap by twisting it around the bone.
The next step is to freeze the wings. Once frozen into shape, remove the plastic wrapping.
While frozen, bread the wings using a seasoned flour (I use salt, cayenne pepper, granulated onion, granulated garlic, paprika), eggwash, and back to the flour. The wings can then be held in the freezer until showtime (or half-time).
Be sure to fully coat the entire wing with the breading (bone and all). This will help to hold the shape when cooking... especially if you are not using Activa.
Fry it up (10 to 12 minutes at 350-60ºF to golden brown)!
Voila... served with white beans and mustard (true Cajun style). Even New Orleanians won't know what I'm talking about when I mention putting yellow mustard on top of white beans. That's a true bayou thing. People in the city won't know about that.
That's my story... a true legend come to reality. It may not be the coolest thing in the world to most, but it was a dream fulfilled for me. I can check it off my bucket list. I would love to be able to make about 500 of these (as our F&B director requested), but it is quite a process. The method (although time-consuming) has all of the coolness and simplicity of a Michel Richard recipe. Chefs always say that meat on the bone tastes better than without... in this example, the truth still holds.