Friday, August 6, 2010

Recipe in a Pickle Jar

My husband and I go through jars of pickles like crazy.  After seeing some online posts of pickle brined dishes, I decided to not just dump out the juice next time we finished a jar of pickles.  The recipes I found used different techniques - braising, baking, frying, etc...Chicken seemed like the best choice for brining, and I thought breading and frying would taste too much like Chick-fil-a, plus I wasn't in the mood for a braised dish.  So, baked chicken was the winner, and I thought searing it in advance would create a more appealing color.

Well, my husband and I are glad we gave this a try.  It created a very juicy, succulent chicken dish with a distinctive flavor.  If you do not like pickles, you will not like this chicken.  And, this may be obvious, but I feel it should be said - only use the pickle juice of pickles you like.

Pickle Brined Chicken
Serves 2

2 bone-in chicken breasts
1 jar of pickle juice (Claussen Hearty Garlic Dill is our fav)
2 Tbsp olive oil

I left the skin on the chicken breasts, thinking it might lead to crispy bits later.  You do as you prefer.  Drop the chicken in a zip-top plastic bag, pour in the jar of pickle juice to cover, and seal the bag.  I placed the sealed bag in a bowl to keep upright in the refrigerator and prevent leakage.  You could also try double-bagging.  Be warned: most of those zip-top bags are not leak-proof.

Let the chicken brine for at least 6 hours, but I think about 12 - 24 hours is best.

Pull the chicken out and pat dry.  Heat olive oil in a cast-iron skillet.  Then, sear the chicken breasts.  I cooked them on medium high heat for 3 to 5 minutes on each side.  Let it develop a nice browned color on each side.

Then, turn off the heat, and put the chicken still in the skillet in a 350 degree F preheated oven.  Bake it for about 30 minutes.

Once it was done, I pulled it out and covered it with foil to let it rest, but not let it get cold.

After about 10 minutes it was ready to serve.  Mmmm...juicy and flavorful, and so easy.


  1. Now that looks like a great way to use up pickle juice! I always brine my turkey and whole chickens with a salt / beer / wine mixture, but have never used pickle juice. Going to give this a try soon!

    Bon appetit!

  2. now thats an interesting marinade! The Philadelphia eagles use to drink pickle juice when the weather got to hot...I think it worked much better with your chicken!

  3. At St. Patrick's Day...the pickleback was very popular here in DC. That's a shot of picklejuice after a shot of Irish whiskey. I didn't try it.

  4. You can also use pickle juice when cooking burgers. If you fry the burgers in a skillet, use pickle juice instead of oil. You will need to watch it as pickle juice will evaporate, so cook on med-high heat and keep plenty of juice on hand.

    If you're grilling the burgers, mix a little pickle juice in with the meat...

    Just a little note from a long lost friend...