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Fried Chicken Wings with Creamy Ranch Dip is the ultimate party appetizer. Plump chicken wings are marinated in buttermilk, then double-dipped in batter and fried to crispy perfection. Serve these wings with a thick and creamy ranch dip.
Ultimate Fried Chicken Wings with Creamy Ranch Dip!
My favorite menu for any party involves lots of different foods. I’d much rather serve a wide variety of what we call “heavy apps” – a collection of different appetizers that are so filling, you don’t have to prepare a main dish.
These Fried Chicken Wings with Creamy Ranch Dip cook up extra crunchy on the outside and super juicy on the inside. You can eat them as is – but we like serving them with a cool, thick, and creamy Ranch Dip that perfectly complements the spices in the fried chicken coating.
Why You’ll Love Fried Chicken Wings with Creamy Ranch Dip
- This is the very best way to prepare fried chicken wings – with a crispy, perfectly seasoned coating and juicy meat on the inside.
- The zesty spices in the wings are perfectly complemented by a thick and creamy ranch-flavored dip that we seasoned with a dash of hot sauce to balance the richness.
- You can use this same recipe with full-sized chicken pieces if you’d like.
Key Ingredients & Substitutions
- Chicken Wings – Buy fresh chicken wings found in the meat case at the supermarket and avoid the frozen wings in the freezer case. (Frozen wings are sprayed with water and quick frozen, which exaggerates the weight in the package. Also, once thawed, the wings will release their water and are often smaller than fresh with less meat.)
- Buttermilk – Buttermilk is essential for the wings to tenderize without making them tough or chewy. If you don’t want to buy a carton of buttermilk, you can make your own homemade buttermilk following this recipe, or use a dry buttermilk powder and only make what is needed for this recipe.
- All-Purpose Flour
- Corn Starch
- Dried Herbs & Spices – Including: thyme, basil, oregano, celery salt, table salt, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, white pepper, and dry mustard.
- Frying oil – Canola or vegetable oil can be used, or melt lard and use that to fry the wings.
- For the dip: Sour cream, mayonnaise, Ranch Seasoning Mix (make your own, or buy a package. Also, add a dash or two of hot sauce to cut the richness and add a touch of heat to the dip.
Special Tools Needed
- Cutting board and sharp knife
- Two large bowls – One for the buttermilk and egg mixture, another for the dry mixture.
- Heavy pot (such as a Dutch oven) or a wok – For frying the wings.
- Deep Fry/Candy Thermometer
- Two Sheet Trays, one lined with a cooling rack
- Spider strainer or wide slotted spoon/strainer
- Metal tongs
Tips & Tricks
Keeping the oil around 300 degrees as you fry the chicken wings (plus or minus a few degrees) will ensure perfectly browned chicken. If the temp is too high – the outside will get dark before the inside cooks. Too low of a temp and the breading will absorb excess oil and be greasy.
Start cooking at 325 degrees F and keep it around 300 degrees F during cooking. This lower temp is the key to perfectly browned and crispy chicken.
Test a piece first to get the method down and be sure to use a deep fry/candy thermometer to make sure you are cooking at the right temperature.
How do I make Fried Chicken Wings with Creamy Ranch Dip?
- Separate the wingette from the drumette of each chicken wing, then nip off the wing tip. (You can save the tips for the next time you make a homemade chicken soup.
- Beat buttermilk with the eggs in a large bowl and add the chicken pieces, tossing to coat. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to six hours. (If longer than 30 minutes, place bowl in the refrigerator.)
- Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- Remove chicken – one piece at a time – from the wet bowl, shake to remove excess liquid, then toss in the flour mixture to coat. Shake off excess flour. Repeat with the wet, then the dry again for double breading. Lay chicken pieces out on a sheet tray while you coat the rest of the chicken pieces.
- Let chicken pieces rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.
- While the breaded chicken rests, add oil to the pan and get the other sheet tray ready with the rack. Lay out the spider strainer and tongs.
- Make the dip (also while the chicken rests) and set that aside in the refrigerator.
- When ready to fry, heat oven to 200 degrees F. Bring oil slowly to 325 degrees F using a deep fry thermometer so you know when the oil has reached the proper temp.
- Once oil has reached 325 degrees F, add 5-7 wing pieces, depending on the size of your pan. (Try to keep the heat under your pan adjusted so the temperature hovers around 300 degrees F.)
- When the chicken pieces start to float, they are close to done. (Our very plump wingettes cooked in seven minutes, while the drumettes cooked in eight minutes. Your cooking time may vary.)
- Use a spider strainer or tongs (or both) to remove each chicken wing to the sheet pan with the rack. Place the pan in the oven to keep the first batch of wings warm.
- Turn flame up a bit until the oil recovers to 325 degrees F again. Use a small mesh strainer to remove any sediment or foam from the pan before frying the next batch.
- Fry the next batch, repeating the steps above and continue until all the chicken has been cooked.
- Serve with the creamy ranch dip.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I make Fried Chicken Wings with Creamy Ranch Dip ahead of time? These chicken wings are best fried fresh. But you can place the wings in the buttermilk mixture and refrigerate for up to six hours. In addition, the dry breading can be mixed in advance, and the dip made ahead and refrigerated.
- How do I store leftovers? Store covered in the refrigerator for up to two days
- How do I reheat leftovers? Reheat in the oven or microwave.
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3 pounds fresh chicken wings
1 cup buttermilk
2 whole eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons corn starch
1 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons celery salt
2 teaspoons white pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dry thyme
1/2 teaspoon dry basil
1/2 teaspoon dry oregano
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 teaspoons paprika
Canola or vegetable oil, for frying
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons dry ranch seasoning & dressing mix
1 teaspoon mild hot sauce (*this ingredient can be adjusted per your heat tolerance)
- Separate the wingette from the drumette by holding the drum part with the end facing straight up like the letter V. Then run a sharp knife straight down through the joint. Don’t turn or tip the knife or the wing, just a straight down cut through to the bottom of the V. Once separated, nip off the wing tip and freeze for soup.
- Beat buttermilk with the eggs in a large bowl and add the chicken pieces, tossing to coat. Let sit for 30 minutes and up to six hours in this mixture. If longer than 30 minutes, place in the refrigerator.
- Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- Remove chicken one piece at a time from the wet bowl, shake excess then toss in the flour mixture. Shake excess and repeat with wet then dry for double breading. Lay out on a sheet tray and let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature.
- While the breaded chicken sits, add oil to the pan and get the tray ready with the rack and lay out spider and tongs. Also, while chicken sits, make the dip and set that aside in the refrigerator.
- When ready to fry, heat oven to 200 degrees F. Bring oil slowly to 325 degrees F using a candy thermometer.
- Once oil has reached 325 degrees F, add 5-7 pieces, depending on the size of your pan. The temperature will drop but avoid cranking the heat up too high. Instead let the chicken cook at that lower temperature for the entire cooking time. Try to keep the flame adjusted so the temperature hovers around 300 degrees F. Avoid getting the oil hotter. The chicken will get too dark or burn before the center is cooked. Low and slow is the key to perfect pieces.
- When the chicken pieces start to float, they are close to done. Our plump wingettes cooked in seven minutes and the drumettes cooked in eight minutes. Use a strainer or tongs or both to remove to the pan with the rack and place that pan in the oven to keep the first batch warm.
- Turn flame up a bit until the oil recovers to 325 degrees F again. Use a small sieve to strain out any sediment or foam.
- Fry the next batch, repeating the steps above and continue until all the chicken has been cooked. We used a large heavy wok and we were able to cook all of our pieces in three batches. If you have a smaller pan, fry in four batches.
- Once the last piece is done, combine with the previous pieces and serve with the ranch dip.
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*Feel free to adjust the amount of hot sauce used in the dip. We like Cholula because it is mild. But what you use and how much is totally up to you.