If you love the famous chicken sandwich with the buttered bun and tangy pickles, you know the one, you’ll love this copycat inspired version. We’ll show you just how easy it is to make pickle brined fried chicken at home. Waffle fries are optional but encouraged.
My name is Paula and I love pickles. Obsessed is probably a more accurate description. I may even be snacking on pickles as I type this. Okay, who am I kidding, I am. Dill pickles, because I have an abundance from using the pickle juice to brine said chicken.
That’s right friends. Do not toss the pickle juice, it helps to make one juicy bird and we’ll show you just how to do that by brining the chicken.
WHAT DOES PICKLE BRINED MEAN?
Brine is water that contains salt and is a used to pickle or preserve foods. If you want to make pickles, you’ll need to soak cucumbers in a brine. That leftover salty solution (pickle brine) is what we’re using to brine the chicken in this recipe.
Instead of making it myself, I’m taking a shortcut and using the pickle brine from a jar of store-bought dill pickles. Lovingly referred to as pickle juice.
HOW LONG CAN YOU LEAVE CHICKEN IN PICKLE JUICE?
In a sealable bag, fully submerge chicken in dill pickle juice and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or up to 24 hours.
WHY DO YOU BRINE CHICKEN BEFORE FRYING?
Brining chicken is an easy way to increase the moisture and tenderness of the chicken before cooking. In this case, frying. The process of soaking the chicken in a brine causes the chicken to soak up some of the liquid through osmosis, making it juicier when cooked.
Dry and tough isn’t what you want to bite into to. Am I right?
HOW TO SERVE PICKLE BRINED CHICKEN?
Serve pickle brined fried chicken with mashed potatoes and a side of vegetables OR you may want to turn it into a sandwich. Buttered brioche bun, dill pickles and a side of waffle fries. You could even mix up a batch of copycat CFA sauce to go with.
- 2 chicken breasts - trimmed of fat and halved
- approximately 1 cup pickle juice (or enough to cover chicken)
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- canola, vegetable or peanut oil
- Place chicken into zip top bag. Pour pickle juice on top of chicken, making sure chicken is submerged. Seal bag. Transfer to refrigerator to brine minimum 6 hours to overnight.
- Remove chicken from bag, shake excess juice from chicken. Transfer chicken to plate. Discard juice.
- Into a shallow bowl mix flour, powdered sugar, salt and pepper.
- Dredge chicken in flour mixture. Shake excess flour from chicken.
- Heat oil in a deep sided cast iron skillet with enough oil to come 1" up skillet, approximately half way up of chicken.
- When oil is 350 degrees, CAREFULLY add chicken and cook until golden on both sides, turning as necessary, chicken is done when internal temperature of chicken reaches 165 degrees.
- Transfer chicken to cooling rack and and allow to rest/cool prior to eating.
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MORE DELICIOUS CHICKEN TO TRY
If you’re feeling inspired by my fried chicken recipe, you’ll love these other tasty chicken recipes:
We would love to see them!