We’ve all heard about the great times and scrumptious meals that are part of working in a fire house. Well, the Cullman City Fire Department is no exception; in fact, C Shift has a trophy and some braggin’ rights to prove it!
Three C-Shift firemen, Neville Franks, Tim Martin and Jason Lamb, first heard about the CluckNBrew chicken wing contest from their boss, Junior Reinhart. They kicked the idea around for a while, then collectively decided, “Why not?”
The three were surprised at the crowd which attended the CluckNBrew event which was sponsored by Cullman City Parks and Recreation Department in order to raise money for a new playground in Cullman. They had to enlist the help of Tim’s family: His wife, Wendy; son, Brayden, 13; and daughter, Katie, 16. At the end of the day, they had served somewhere between 1,800-2,000 wings.
They are understandably reluctant to share the prize winning recipe, which garnered them a trophy, $250 and braggin’ rights for a year, but they did agree to give us a close version of the championship recipe.
Neville Frank’s recipes
Neville has been with the Cullman Fire Department for 5 years. He’s been cooking for most of his life. He wouldn’t give up the prize winning recipe for his chicken wings, but he gave us a close version.
CluckNBrew winners of first place in the Amateur Division; second-place winners of People’s Choice:
Prize-Winning Firehouse Wings
“We fried our wings,” he said. “Using your favorite chicken batter, with your favorite seasonings, such as Tony Charchere’s Original Creole Seasoning or McCormick seasonings, shake your chicken wings to coat.”
Fry at 350º for about nine minutes or until golden brown.
In a salt shaker, mix your favorite spices and seasonings and sprinkle over fried wings.
Venison or Beef Burgers
Using one pound of venison or ground beef, or ground sirloin, add 1 to 2 packages Lipton Dried Onion Soup Mix.
“The soup mix holds the ground meat together well,” instructed Neville.
Grill on low in center, with side burners turned on high. Flip one time.
“Every Saturday night that C-Shift works, we call our families to come and eat a big meal. We serve desserts and dips and whatever we are cooking that night. It’s like one big family,” said Neville.
Rotel Cheese Dip
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef or sirloin
1 box Velveeta cheese, cubed for faster melting time
2 cans Rotel, drained, (one mild, one lime flavored)
Brown ground beef, drain, add to crockpot with remaining ingredients.
Neville’s tip of the day: When cleaning pots and pans with baked-on food, fill with very hot water and add powdered dishwashing detergent, like Cascade, and let sit for 12 hours or overnight. Neville says that 99 percent of the baked-on food will come right off.