Oh yeah. I know what you’re thinking. PICKLE BRINED FRIED CHICKEN??? Oh seriously my beautiful friend, this is the chicken with the mostest, I can tell you that. Super flavorful, super moist. There isn’t a dry bite (and a sour puss pickle face look) anywhere when you make this lip smackin’ chicken!
Pickle Brined Fried Chicken
The idea is to marinate the chicken pieces in pickle brine for 6 – 12 hours (or overnight) before you even begin to season it. The pickle brine helps tenderize and flavor the chicken in a wonderful way. You’d think however, that the chicken would taste like a huge pickle, but it doesn’t! Trust me on this one!
If you don’t have pickle juice from a jar of commercially prepared pickles, you can certainly make your own brine here. I just find it a lot easier to use a jar of leftover pickle juice from a jar that’s almost empty. Also, if you have a jar of Aunt Bee’s pickles that you absolutely adore and there’s only 1 lonely pickle floating around in there, enjoy the pickle and use that juice to make this pickle brined fried chicken! Nothing goes to waste and it’s a win win!
Burns don’t tickle!
After marinating the chicken for a length of time, remove it from the brine, and discard it. The pickle juice brine has done it’s job at this point. When you have the flour and seasoning mixed up, place it in a ziplock bag. Dip the chicken in the buttermilk, and then throw the chicken into the seasoned flour mixture and give it a shake. (Shake one piece at a time). Coat it well and then place it on a plate to rest for about 10 minutes or so.
Meanwhile, have your oil heating up, either in a deep frying pan, or a deep fryer if you have one. After resting, place the chicken pieces into the oil (away from you please, oil burns don’t tickle!).
Fry the chicken for 7 – 8 minutes or so (use a thermometer and it should read 170 when done). Be sure to carefully flip your pickled chicken over in the oil at least once for even browning. If the chicken is browning too fast before the it’s ready, (it shouldn’t), simply turn down the heat a tiny bit.
Let this super yummy pickle brined fried chicken rest on some kitchen towel to soak up any grease. It will be nice and crispy, and the flavor from all the seasonings is honestly so savory, I just loved it!. You’d think you’d be tasting a huge pickle flavor, but I found it wasn’t like that at all! Just really, super moist and flavourful. How many times can I say a variation of flavorful??? LOL .. but seriously. It really is.
You could even double dip it if you want. So, buttermilk, flour, buttermilk again, and then flour. Let rest. You would just fry it slightly longer, to be sure everything is cooked and up to temperature. I didn’t double dip it because while I love deep fried food (omg, who doesn’t though???), a light, crispy fry and to let the flavor of the chicken come though is what I prefer. In my opinion, I think if you double dipped it, it would be too crispy and batterful. (haha.. batterful. Come on, you know my made up word makes sense! LOL)
Guess what? You can freeze it!
Incidentally, I’ve actually made this recipe and then froze the chicken after it was cooked. I froze it for about a month, and then let it thaw, then crisped it back up in the oven to warm through. It was excellent! If fried chicken isn’t your jam, I have another recipe called Chicken Pancetta and Cheddar Bake that’s easy peasy to put together and equally lip smakin’! And if that doesn’t strike your fancy, there’s a collection of scandalous chicken recipes that will cover any sort of chicken craving you might be having!
For quick reference, pin the image below to your Pinterest boards! I do that all the time if I want to save a recipe to make it a bit later! I hate when I lose things.. LOL!
If you get a chance to make this pickle brined fried chicken, please let me know what you think of it! I’d love to see any photos as well, if you can take a minute to snap some! Have a wonderful day everyone!
- 1 chicken, cut into pieces (or use separate pieces, like thighs and drumsticks)
- 2 - 3 c pickle brine
- 2 – 3 c milk or buttermilk
- 1 ½ c flour
- 2 tsp garlic
- 1 tbsp poultry seasoning
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp regular paprika
- 1 tbsp lemon pepper
- 1 tsp onion powder
- pinch cayenne, or more if you like it spicy
- Cooking oil enough for 1” in the pan you’re using.
- (Preheat oil in a deep cast iron on high sided fry pan so that it reads 350 on a thermometer when ready to start cooking).
- Place chicken pieces into a container that is taller than wider. Pour in the pickle juice. An alternative solution is to place the chicken in a sturdy freezer zip lock bag, pour in the pickle juice and remove all the air in the bag so that the chicken is surrounded in the pickle juice. Marinade for 6 – 12 hours.
- Drain the chicken pickle juice off the chicken and place onto a poultry safe board and season the chicken with pepper.
- In a bowl, combine the flour and all other dry seasonings into the flour. Mix very well.
- Dip the chicken pieces into the buttermilk.
- Then, dip the chicken pieces into the seasoned flour. Be sure to get all surfaces covered in the seasoning. Let sit for 10 minutes.
- After sitting, fry the chicken in approximately 1” of oil or a deep fryer. If cooking on the stovetop, fry the chicken approximately for approximately 6- 8 minutes or until all sides are golden and the chicken registers 165 degrees internally on a thermometer. If using your deep fryer, follow the mfg instructions.
- Drain on a paper towel and serve!