Summertime, the warmest of the seasons; inviting us to get out of the house, enjoy the sunshine and all of the opportunities that go along with it — the pool, outdoor dining, summer activities, and savoring the seasons most popular foods. Generally, fresh, crisp salads, grilled fruits and vegetables, BBQ, and refreshing beverages are the norm. But, did you see this recent wings and skins recipe making us immediately re-think ‘summer dishes’?

I am a bit of a rebel!

Oh… alright, it’s true, I am a lot of a rebel, especially, in the kitchen.

Breaking the Rules

Most of my life I was taught that when it comes to summer cuisine, you need to pick a side, light and fresh (salad, pasta, fish) versus the heavy grilled meat options (hamburgers, steak, ribs). Now don’t get me wrong, I love both of those options as much as the next person. However, there is a third option I prefer over the others.

I call it; ‘the in-between.’

I like to take food that is generally considered not to be summer cuisine and transform it into a tasty summer delight. For instance, a classic buffalo chicken wing is one of my favorite tailgate foods, and while most think of them as merely football or bar-food, I disagree.

Who Invented Buffalo Wings Anyway?

If you’re assuming buffalo wings are named after Buffalo, New York, good for you! You are correct! Hearsay has it a joint called Anchor Bar in Buffalo created them — or rather, their owner Teressa Bellissimo did — after accidentally receiving a shipment of them. 

Over the years, most have dropped the word buffalo from the title, and chicken wings have become the all the rage — in all different styles.

Lighten Up The Dish

During the warmer months, I prefer preparing them in a lighter style, using bright, vibrant ingredients. Similarly, I prefer preparing fresh vibrant sides to pair. In this case, I choose a fresh watermelon, cucumber, basil salad, and light crispy potato skins. The meal is a nice riff on typical wings and fries. Above all, you still get the pleasing textures without the bold heaviness of the bar food favorite.

Did you see this recent wings and skins recipe making you immediately re-think ‘summer dishes’

C’mon, I”ll show you:

Garlicky Parmesan Chicken Wings

Ingredients For Chicken Parmesan Wings

The Cast of Characters: Raw chicken wing “drummettes”, canola oil, fresh Parmesan Cheese, Dry Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, garlic, fresh parsley, lemon (not shown) and butter.

At least one to two hours before preparing the wings, chop up 1 tbsp of garlic (I like a bit more). After that, in a large bowl, combine drummettes, garlic, and a tablespoon of lemon juice and 2tbsp of oil. Place the mixture aside. Certainly, we will get back to that later. We want our wings to be at room temperature when we cook them, so do not refrigerate.


Scrub potatoes, dry them and rub them generously with oil. Place the potatoes on a racked oven pan, and bake them at 350° until they are soft in the middle. Check the potatoes by sticking a toothpick into them; if it comes out easily and clean, they are ready.


Remove the potatoes from the oven and allow them to cool so you can handle them. Meanwhile, slice the potatoes into halves, and scoop out the centers; you can use those at some other time. I am not fond of mashed potatoes. However, there are several other things you can do with the mash.

It’s One Time

Time to get the chicken prepared to go into the oven!

Pour remaining oil and half of the remaining garlic to the bowl of chicken, toss to coat well. Place wings on a rack inside of a pan and spread them out evenly, so they are not touching (we want all sides to get nice and brown). Let them cook until golden brown, turning them halfway through.


Ultimately, we want the potatoes and the chicken to be done cooking around the same time. So, wait for your chicken to cook halfway through before placing the potato skins into the oven alongside them.

Rub each potato generously with oil, both inside and out; use your hands, they work wonderfully. Place the potatoes back on the baking rack and place them into a 400° oven, baking them until the skin is crispy.

Potatoes Center Removed on Pan

Let’s prep the ingredients for the potatoes:

The Cast of Characters: Red Onion, Cheddar Cheese, fresh Jalapeños, Turkey Bacon, Applewood Bacon, fresh Parsley, Sour Cream, and Salsa Verde.


Pan-fry the bacon until crispy and chop. Shred the cheddar, and chop the onion, parsley, and jalapeño. In a small bowl combine the veggies, sour cream, and chili verde sauce. Stir well and refrigerate until later.

Now, lets work on the refreshing salad. This salad is so good, I could just eat it all by itself.


Watermelon, Cucumber, Basil Salad

Ingredients for Watermelon Salad

The Cast of Characters: Watermelon, Sherry Cooking Wine, fresh Cucumbers, Red Onion, fresh Parsley, Lemon, fresh Cilantro and Basil (not shown).

Start by cutting up the watermelon into large chunks. Also, cut up the cucumber (I like to cut it in slightly smaller chunks). Dice the onion, and chopped the cilantro and parsley. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, add in the sherry and juice from the lemon. Mix well, sprinkle with chopped basil, and place the mixture in the refrigerator until well chilled.

Finished Watermelon Salad
1 1/2 Cup Diced Watermelon1/2 Cucumber
1/4 Lemon1 Tbsp Cilantro
1/4 Cup Sherry Cooking Wine1 Tbsp Red Onion (optional)
1 Tbsp Parsley

Finally, lets pull this meal together. I am starving!

First, remove the potato skins from the oven fill them with equal parts of the toppings. Lastly, drizzle the potatoes with sauce and sprinkle with parsley.


Wings And Skins Recipe

Potato Skins with Bacon and Sour Cream
4 Large Russet Potatoes1/2 Cup of Sharp Cheddar Cheese
2 Strips Turkey Bacon2 Strips Applewood Bacon
2 Tbsp Red Onion1 Tbsp Parsley
1/2 Cup of Sour Cream1/4 Cup Salsa Verde
1/4 Jalapeño PepperShredded Basil for Topping

We still have a few things left to do before our chicken is perfect. So, let’s get started, shall we?

Remove the chicken from the oven. After that, in a large pan melt the butter, add remaining garlic and pepper flakes and stir for 2 minutes. Toss the chicken into the butter mixture and add parmesan cheese. After that, plate wings and sprinkle generously with dry parmigiano-reggiano, parsley, and squeeze lemon juice over wings.

Plated Wings

Ingredients – Wings

2lbs Chicken Wings ‘Drummettes’1C Fresh Grated Parmesan Cheese
2 Tbsp Chopped Parsley1 Tbsp Red Pepper Flakes
1/4 Fresh Lemon1/4 Cup Dry Parmigiano-Reggiano
4 Garlic Cloves1 Stick of Unsalted Butter
1/4 Cup of Canola Oil

Oh, you guys, I can’t tell you how delicious this meal is, and as you can see, it is so easy to pull together. Summer doesn’t have to mean all or nothing cuisine; mix it up, have fun trying different versions of foods. For instance, instead of cucumber in the salad, try Jicama. Oh… and the potato skins are great served at room temperature.

In closing, I hope you will give this wings and skins recipe a try. Bon Appetite!