Here's how it works, in case you've never done this.

You take the wishbone from the chicken or turkey and hold it in your thumb and forefinger. Someone else holds the other half. You close your eyes and pull it apart. Whomever holds the larger part gets his wish.

The fun part is eating the meat around the wishbone; that's the best part of a bird. It's like the breast, only better. And if you can fry it apart from the breast, you get this really crunchy morsel that is just heavenly.

When I won, I always wished for more chickens.

Wishbone is also the name of a wonderful cajun/southern home cookin' restaurant in Chicago. It started as one small hole in the wall on Grand Avenue and has expanded to become a small chain of two large venues. One is located in River West and the other in Roscoe Village; both popular and somewhat upscale neighborhoods.
The restaurant features a very tasty menu of flavorful entrees and two side dishes chosen from an extremely extensive list of choices. There is also a daily insert of specials, all you can eat cornbread muffins and a full bar. All the food is authentically cajun or southern, soul-esque in nature but painstakingly spruced up to have a more modern, urban taste I might go so far as to call 'gourmet'.
They are availble for private parties, large-scale reservations and catering, so my mother uses them for almost all her entertaining needs unless she is doing the cooking herself. The River West location is very convenient to downtown; the fare is relatively inexpensive.
I give it 3 and a half forks out of 4. Enjoy!

back to Stylee's Guide to Chicago Restaraunts
The wishbone is also the name of a type of American football offensive formation in which plays are run based on the way the defense is aligned and reacts to the play.

The wishbone formation features a fullback lined up several steps directly behind the quarterback. On both sides of the fullback, a few steps back from him, are halfbacks. The formation got its name because the backs are aligned in the shape of a wishbone.

At the snap of the ball, the quarterback can hand the ball off to the fullback, who would try to go up the middle for yardage. However, the quarterback could also fake giving the ball to the fullback, and run with the ball laterally down the line of scrimmage, towards either sideline.

At this point, the quarterback can turn upfield with the ball himself if he sees an opening, or pitch it backwards to one of the halfbacks who had been following him down the line.

The ability of the quarterback to react and make decisions on-the-fly is of extreme importance in the wishbone. If the defense is stacked in the middle, awaiting the fullback, the quarterback needs to be able to see that and take the ball down the line. Similarly, he needs to be on the lookout for any openings for him to run the ball himself. If he's about to get hit, he still needs to be able to toss the ball to the halfback.

While the wishbone is mostly a running scheme, wishbone teams do occasionally pass the ball, catching defenses by surprise.

The credit for inventing and popularizing the wishbone offense is generally given to Texas head coach Darrell Royal and his assistant Emory Bellard, who used the formation as a high school coach years earlier. Texas started using the wishbone in 1968.

Bear Bryant at Alabama (in the 1970s) and Barry Switzer at Oklahoma (in the '70s and '80s) followed Royal's lead and led their teams to great success using the wishbone.

Currently, the wishbone's less common in college football, but a few teams (such as the military academies) still use the wishbone or a variation of it. The wishbone is also still used frequently in high school football.

A half-hour-long show, "Wishbone" stars Soccer the Jack Russell Terrier as a canine bibliophile named Wishbone (voice-over by Larry Brantley).

His family, teenager Joe Talbot (Jordan Wall) and his mother Ellen (Mary Chris Wall, who has appeared in the soap opera "The Bold and the Beautiful" and the feature film Inspector Gadget), lives in the small town of Oakdale, a friendly place where everybody knows each other. Joe's friends David Barnes (Adam Springfield) and Samantha Kepler (Christie Abbott) live in his neighborhood and spend a lot of time with him and Wishbone, going on adventures and helping out in their community.

Ellen is a librarian at their local library and in her spare time enjoys the friendship of next-door neighbor Wanda Gilmore (Angee Hughes). Wanda is an eccentric tree-hugger who runs the Oakdale Chronicle and constantly wars with Wishbone over his digging up her yard and disturbing her plastic flamingoes.

While Wishbone accompanies Joe and the gang on their adventures, he daydreams himself into characters in novels, providing a parallel plot in which he tells the stories of Homer, Alexandre Dumas, Mark Twain, and many others. As he becomes characters such as Ichabod Crane and Cyrano de Bergerac, Wishbone teaches kids about issues like loyalty, courage, and wisdom while throwing in amusing jokes and antics of his own.

At the end of each show, Wishbone and the people who produce the show tell about how something in the episode was done, like sound effects or camera tricks, or what some concept in the episode means, like the Greek word epithet.

The show is very entertaining for kids and also gets them to appreciate literary works and family values. Over the years, it has won the following awards:

Episodes of "Wishbone" can be seen on PBS; check your local listings.

All birds have a wishbone - it is part of the skeletal structure which makes flight possible. Powerful muscles are required for flying and these have to attach to a strong but flexible framework. Birds achieve this by having a large, strong breast bone, some fused vertebrae, and collar bones which are fused together in the middle - this latter is the wishbone or fercula. The wishbone can bear the strain of the contracting flight muscles by being flexible enough to bend with each wing beat.

Has anyone noticed how often you come to pull the wishbone and find it's already broken? Disappointed that you can't now make your wish?

Does the chicken maybe break its own wishbone in the mad desperate wish that it won't be eaten? Does the chicken farmer break them in order to maximise his chances, wishing that one day he will make his fortune?

The truth is something like that, yes.

The farmer, in his wish to make money, resorts to keeping thousands of 'broiler' chickens tightly packed in barns, as many as 45000 in one shed is not unusual. The birds are selectively reared so that they reach the right size for slaughter within 6-7 weeks of hatching, and are fed growth promoting drugs to speed things up even more. The birds are unable to move freely or exercise, the result being thin brittle bones which break easily. Also the rate at which the bones are forced to grow results in them being soft and low in calcium. When the catchers come in they gather up as many birds as they can handle and throw them roughly into crates, pack them onto lorries and transport them to the slaughter house. At this point many die, but many more suffer from broken bones, usually the wing, breastbone (wishbone) or leg.

So next time you find a broken bone in your chicken, spare a thought for the farming practice that caused it and wish for change.

For further information:

Wish"bone` (?), n.

The forked bone in front of the breastbone in birds; -- called also merrythought, and wishing bone. See Merrythought, and Furculum.


© Webster 1913.

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