Brined Grilled Chicken with Dipping Sauces Recipe

We love the smoky flavor of grilled wings, but we also like wings that are tender and juicy.  The brine, made with herbs, garlic, brown sugar, and chiles, adds tons of flavor and keeps the wings from drying out on the grill. And the trio of sauces gives everyone plenty of options to choose from. We recommend using drumettes because they are nice and meaty and easier to pick up and eat.

Buttermilk-Parmesan Ranch Sauce
Photo: Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Torie Cox
Cook Time:
4 hrs
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
5 hrs 35 mins
10 serves


  • 2 quarts water

  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar

  • 1/4 cup kosher salt

  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

  • 6 thyme sprigs

  • 6 parsley sprigs

  • 4 rosemary sprigs

  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 2 whole dried chiles (such as de árbol chiles)

  • 2 pounds chicken drumettes

  • 2 teaspoons paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • Fiery Sweet Dipping Sauce

  • Buttermilk-Parmesan Ranch Dressing

  • Creamy Honey Mustard


  1. Combine water, vinegar, salt, brown sugar, thyme, parsley, rosemary, garlic, and chiles in a large stockpot. Cook over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until salt and sugar dissolve, about 5 minutes. Remove brine from heat; cool completely, about 1 hour. Place chicken drumettes in cooled brine; cover and chill at least 4 hours or up to 8 hours.

  2. Preheat grill to medium (350°F to 400°F). Drain chicken, discarding brine. Pat chicken dry with paper towels; sprinkle evenly with paprika and black pepper. Grill chicken, covered, until browned on all sides and a thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 170°F. Remove from grill, and let rest 5 minutes. Serve with dipping sauces.

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