Inspiration Behind “Esperanto’s DoughBoy” Dip
This recipe for DoughBoy Dip is coming to you courtesy of the flurry created this week by Stewart’s Shops following the announcement that they are now carrying Esperanto’s DoughBoys!! Now, if you aren’t originally from Saratoga Springs, NY or the surrounding area, you probably have no clue what a DoughBoy is. No worries, I’m about to educate you.
The DoughBoy is a chewy, gooey flavor explosion. It consists of chicken and cheese wrapped in a pizza dough pouch that resembles an egg roll. It is an ingenious creation by Esperanto, a quick service pizza joint located on Caroline Street in downtown Saratoga Springs, NY. You know…home of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, the Saratoga Racecourse, Yaddo, Skidmore College, Gideon Putnam and the Roosevelt Baths, Saratoga National Golf Course, and much more.
Now for the disclaimer: The original DoughBoy will always be better. No matter how delicious my dip, or any other copycat recipe, nothing can ever compare to the original. EVER. I am in no way affiliated with Esperanto or Stewart’s, just stating facts. And I’m OK with that.
I have had many a DoughBoy in my 38 years. I grew up in Ballston Spa, a mere 10 minute drive to Caroline Street (AKA “bar alley”) in neighboring Saratoga Springs. It was THE hotspot upon turning 21, and admittedly my DoughBoy experience was condensed to the bar-hopping days of my 20s. Caroline Street still is a hotspot, but I’ve since moved about 30 min away. I’m also now married with two kids. So basically that phase of my life is over.
While I may not be able to keep up at the bars or nightclubs anymore, I still crave that doughy goodness. Problem is, thirty minutes is a long way to drive for a snack. So when Stewart’s made their DoughBoy announcement, I literally did a happy dance. I bought one yesterday and only had to drive half the distance, and it was every bit as magical as actually visiting Esperanto. Since I happened to be planning a birthday party, a crazy idea entered my mind: how can I make the DoughBoy into a dip?!
I immediately got to work creating the recipe. First up: breaking down the ingredients, since the recipe is not a matter of public record. The flavors are simple, strong, and clear – chicken, onion, and cheese. There are obvious green flecks in the filling, so the onion flavor has to come from either chives or scallions. My guess is chives by the color, size, and strength of flavor. Putting it all together was the easy part. So without further ado, I give you DoughBoy Dip. Stand back and get ready to board the flavor train! (PS – keep reading after the recipe for modifications, hacks, and secrets beyond the dip.)
Recipe – Esperanto’s DoughBoy Dip
- 2 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
- 1 package cream cheese
- 2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 T. milk (give or take)
- 4 T. fresh chives
- Salt & Pepper
- Place the chicken breasts into a crockpot. Sprinkle with a little salt & pepper. Note: Be conservative with the salt if you are going to serve with salty chips or pretzels!
- Cook on low for 3 hours, or high for 2 hours. Note: If your crockpot generally runs cooler or hotter than normal, adjust cooking time accordingly. Chicken should be fully cooked, meaning no pink and an internal temperature of 165 degrees (F).
- Once the chicken has finished cooking, turn the crockpot to warm. Shred chicken right in the crock with 2 forks. Keep all of the juices left from the cooking process.
- Add the cream cheese and shredded cheddar, cover, and let sit until melted (about 10 min).
- Add the fresh chives and stir everything together.
- Leave dip in the crockpot on warm to serve immediately. Or, transfer dip to a greased baking dish, let cool, then cover and store in the fridge. When you’re ready, sprinkle the top with a little extra cheese and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 25 min (until warm and bubbly).
- Serve with corn chips, pita chips, veggies, pretzels, breadsticks. Or just eat with a spoon…yes, it’s that good!
Modifications and Hacks
- The “correct” way to eat a DoughBoy is to dip in hot sauce. Feel free to throw a few (or more) dashes of hot sauce right into the dip.
- Use a store-bought rotisserie chicken to add a different level of flavor and save time. Just pick and shred, then throw in at the cheese step!
- Change up the variety of shredded cheese to accommodate your preference or what you have on hand.
- You can easily make this on the stovetop instead of the crockpot. Just cook the chicken first, then add the cheeses to melt, and finish with the fresh chives.
- When not in season or available, use dried chives instead of fresh. You may want to halve the quantity since dried herbs tend to be stronger in flavor than fresh.
Beyond the Dip
As if this recipe isn’t amazing enough on its own, here are some other ways to enjoy this cheesy concoction beyond just the dip!
My husband leads a [mostly] keto lifestyle. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure what this means. Except that protein is key, and I can’t make any meals with pasta, bread, potatoes, rice. Basically the staples that I grew up on, and the only things our kids will eat. Oh and sugar…sugar is apparently very bad?? Anyway, his keto-friendly take on this dip was to scoop some into a fluffy omelet. Absolutely GENIUS! It instantly reminded me of the cream cheese omelets that I used to order from the diner. So yummy!!
Macaroni & Cheese
Back to pasta…because, well, pasta! I am a huge fan of mac & cheese. I love all the different variations of cheese, pasta shapes, and additions of different proteins. The only thing I don’t love in mac & cheese is tomatoes. Is that weird? Anyway, for perhaps the best mac & cheese EVER – simply pour this dip over cooked and drained (never rinsed!) short pasta. My favorites are rotini and mini shells, because the sauce gets into all the nooks and crannies. Reserve a little pasta water to thin out the dip and help coat every piece with creamy deliciousness. Kids love it, too!
Have another idea for ‘Beyond the Dip’? We’d love to hear about it below!
Comfort Food & Comfy Clothes
This dip falls squarely into the ‘Comfort Food’ category for me. And in our opinion, there is nothing better than comfort food and comfy clothes. Perhaps that is why this particular recipe fits so nicely into our little blog. We hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!XOXO -- Claire