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—by accident, after receiving a shipment of them. 

Over the years, most have dropped the word buffalo from the title, and chicken wings have become all the rage (across the U.S.).

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.

Now, when asked, you can tell everyone you did see this recent wings and skins recipe. And, you also prepared the dish.

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.

We want our wings to be at room temperature when we cook them, so do not refrigerate. Preheat the oven to 400° degrees. At least one hour before cooking wings, finely chop garlic. After that, in a large bowl, combine half of the garlic, half of the lemon juice, and the canola oil. Stir well to combine. Place the mixture aside. Certainly, we will get back to that later.

Meanwhile

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 Time

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

Once the chicken has reached room temperature, add the chicken to the mixture and toss to coat thoroughly. Remove wings from garlic mixture and place chicken wings on a rack inside of a pan. Spread the wings out evenly, so they are not touching (we want all sides to get nice and brown). Let them cook until golden brown, and the skin is crisp, 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 lightly chop 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

Here’s My Recipe

 

Finished Watermelon Salad
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Watermelon, Cucumber, Basil Salad

Fresh bright salad perfect for enjoying at any meal.
Course Breakfast, Brunch, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword Easy, Fresh, Fruit, Quick,, Summer
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup watermelon cubed
  • 1/2 large cucumber cubed
  • 1/4 large lemon
  • 1 tablespoon red onion diced *optional
  • 1 tablespoon parsley lightly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro lightly chopped
  • 1/4 cup sherry cooking wine

Instructions

  • 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 lightly chop 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.

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 Sheets

Potato Skins with Bacon and Sour Cream

Here’s My Potato Skins Recipe

 

Potato Skins with Bacon and Sour Cream
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Crunchy Bacon Potato Skins

Crispy potatoes filled with cheese, bacon, and drizzled with creamy sauce.
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword Cheese, Crispy, Easy, Potatoes, Quick,
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 4 large russet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded
  • 2 strips turkey bacon cooked crisp
  • 2 strips applewood bacon cooked crisp, reserve the fat
  • 2 tablespoons red onion chopped
  • 1 tablespoon parsley lightly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup salsa verde
  • 1/4 large jalapeño pepper finely chopped

Instructions

  • Scrub potatoes, dry them, and rub them generously with vegetable 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.  Once cooled, slice the potatoes into halves, and scoop out the centers.
  • Rub each potato generously with cooled reserve bacon fat, both inside and out. Place the potatoes back on the baking rack and place them into a 400° oven, baking them until the skin is crispy.
  • In a small bowl combine the onion, jalapeño pepper, sour cream, and chili verde sauce and stir well.
  • Remove the potato skins from the oven and fill them with equal parts of the toppings. Drizzle the potatoes with sauce and sprinkle with parsley.

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

Here’s My Wing Recipe

Plated Wings
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Garlicky Parmesan Wings

Tender moist chicken wing 'drummettes' covered in garlicky parmasan cheese.
Course Appetizer, Brunch, Lunch, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword Chicken, Easy, Meal, Quick,
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds chicken wing 'drummettes'
  • 1 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup dry parmigiano-reggiano
  • 2 tablespoon parsley lightly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 large lemon juiced
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/4 cup canola oil

Instructions

  • Allow the wings to come room temperature before cooking.
  • Preheat the oven to 400° degrees.
  • At least one hour before cooking wings, finely chop garlic. After that, in a large bowl, combine half of the garlic, half of the lemon juice, and oil. Stir well to combine. Place the mixture aside.
  • Once the chicken has reached room temperature, add the chicken to the mixture and toss to coat thoroughly. Remove wings from garlic mixture and place chicken wings on a rack inside of a pan. Spread the wings out evenly, so they are not touching (we want all sides to get nice and brown). Let them cook until golden brown, and the skin is crisp, turning them halfway through.
  • Remove the chicken from the oven. In a large pan, melt the butter and then add the remaining garlic and the pepper flakes, and stir for 2 minutes. Toss the chicken into the butter mixture, and then add the parmesan. Give the chicken one last good toss, making sure all chicken is well coated.
  • To plate the wings, sprinkle generously with dry parmigiano-reggiano, parsley, and squeeze lemon juice over wings.

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!