Food & Drink

Easy Chicken Wing Dip, 3 Ways

chicken wing dips
Maitane Romagosa/Thrillist

I see you, ordering those Wingstop wangs. Looks tasty. But let’s talk about the dips that go with those wings. They’re OK, but I think we could do better. What if I told you that you can make your very own homemade dipping sauces? I’m not talking major kitchen wizardry here, either. My experience as a seasoned cook-off contestant, caterer, and recipe developer tells me that if you’ve got mayonnaise, jam, red pepper flakes -- you know, stuff you might have in the pantry or around the corner at the bodega--a variety of new dips are close at hand.

Here are some super easy wing dip recipes anyone can tackle.

For Wingstop’s lemon pepper wings: Creamy artichoke and garlic dip

 Drain a 6oz jar of marinated artichokes (save the juice for an easy salad vinaigrette!). In the bowl of a food processor, add the artichokes, 2 cloves of garlic (one more if you’re sassy), and 2 tablespoons mayonnaise.  Pulse 3 or 4 times before blending on low until smooth. If there’s any left after you’ve had your wings, use it as a smooooov sandwich spread.

For Wingstop's buffalo wings: Apricot chili jam

In a small bowl, whisk 2 tablespoons of apricot jam with 1 tablespoon water and ½ teaspoon red chili flakes. If you don’t have apricot jam, other stone fruit like plums, cherry, and peach will work as well as orange marmalade. I don’t recommend strawberry or grape for this dipping sauce.

Important question: should you use jam or jelly? Fruit bits are strained from jelly so it’s just the juice, sugar, and pectin, while jams have pieces of the whole fruit. It’s kind of like if you prefer pulp in your OJ. If that’s not your thing, it’s perfectly fine to use jelly.

For Wingstop's regular fried wings: Sawsawan, a Filipino garlic dip

In a clean jar, mix 1 cup white vinegar with ½ teaspoon crushed black peppercorns, a bay leaf, 2 cloves sliced garlic, and 1 or 2 sliced Thai chili peppers. If you can’t find Thai bird chilis, sub in 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes. 

Let the mixture marinate at room temperature for up to 2 hours and then store in the fridge for up to two weeks. The best part? You can keep adding vinegar and aromatics to keep it steeping. Make sure all the herbs stay submerged and you’ll be good to go. Besides fried chicken, sawsawan is perfect with any sort of fish and french fries.

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Jenn de la Vega is editor at large of Put A Egg On It and author of Showdown: Comfort Food, Chili and BBQ. Her re-run of Guy's Grocery Games is on Food Network (S10E5).