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Garlic and Parm Chicken Wings with Caprese Salad

Garlic and Parm Chicken Wings with Caprese Salad


For the wings and rub:

  • 24 to 30 chicken wing drummettes

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt

  • 2 teaspoons white pepper

  • 2 teaspoons black pepper

  • 2 teaspoons granulated garlic

  • 1 teaspoon granulated onion

  • Olive oil spray or canola spray

For the wing sauce:

  • About 1/4 cup (for 24 wings) to 1/3 cup (for 30 wings) EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • A big splash white balsamic or white wine vinegar

  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • A small handful basil, chopped

  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes

  • A handful parsley, finely chopped

  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

For the pesto dressing:

  • 1 tightly packed cup basil leaves

  • 2 lemons

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 1 /4 cup pistachios or pine nuts

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1/2 cup EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil

For the salad:

  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes or mixed color heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 1 pint bocconcini, halved or 1 ball of mozzarella, diced

  • 1/2 seedless cucumber, diced

  • 4 ribs celery with leafy tops, chopped

  • 1 small red onion, chopped


At least 8 hours ahead of cooking (or even the night before), place wings in a shallow dish and toss with baking powder and dry seasonings. Leave uncovered on bottom shelf of refrigerator until ready to cook.

For smoked or grilled wings, prepare a smoker or grill with woodchips and heat to 325°F. Spray wings and grill with cooking spray, and smoke drummettes for 1 hour to 75 minutes until the skin is tight and crisp.

For oven-roasted wings, preheat oven to 450°F. Spray a wire rack with cooking spray and set over a large baking sheet. Spray wings with cooking spray and arrange on the wire rack. Transfer to oven and roast for 45-60 minutes until the skins are tight and crisp.

For the wing sauce, in a large glass bowl, combine the EVOO, vinegar, garlic, oregano, basil, chili flakes and parsley. Add the hot and crispy wings to the bowl and toss to coat. Sprinkle with cheese and toss again to coat.

For the pesto dressing, combine ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and add tomatoes, cheese, cucumbers, celery and onions. Chill or serve immediately.