Do you find yourself with a jar full of pickle juice after finishing all your pickles? Don’t let it go to waste! Instead, transform it into a delicious brine for Pickle Juice Chicken. This recipe takes chicken breasts, marinates them in pickle juice, and grills them to perfection, resulting in tender, juicy meat infused with a delightful blend of zesty flavors.
A Flavorful Solution for Leftover Pickle Juice
We’ve all been there, staring at that empty pickle jar in our fridge, wondering what to do with the leftover juice. Well, wonder no more! The acidic pickle brine can be transformed into a salty and tangy solution that imparts succulence and a well-balanced combination of tart, tangy, and savory flavors to your chicken.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Chicken breasts: This recipe works beautifully with boneless, skinless chicken breasts. If you prefer chicken thighs (boneless or bone-in), they will also work, but require a few extra minutes on the grill.
- Dill pickle juice: Never pour your pickle juice down the drain again! Save it from store-bought pickles or when making Easy Refrigerator Pickles.
- Sugar: White granulated sugar helps balance the salty tang of the pickle brine and creates a lightly caramelized browned crust around the chicken as it cooks.
- Kosher salt and pepper
How to Make Pickle Juice Chicken
- In a small bowl, mix the pickle juice and sugar together. Place the chicken breasts in a separate bowl and pour the brine mixture over them.
- Cover the bowl and refrigerate, allowing the chicken to brine.
- When it’s time to cook, transfer the chicken from the brine to a plate (discard the brine). Pat it dry with a paper towel and season both sides with salt and pepper.
- Place the chicken on a hot grill and cook until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF. Let the chicken rest off the heat before slicing and serving. Enjoy!
Alternate Cooking Methods
Not in the mood for grilling? No problem! You can achieve the same delicious results using different cooking methods:
- Air Fryer: Place the brined chicken in the air fryer basket and cook at 370ºF for 10 minutes (you may need to cook them in batches). Flip, and cook for an additional 4 to 8 minutes.
- Oven Baked: Bake the brined chicken on a lightly greased baking sheet at 400ºF for 20 to 25 minutes.
- Sous Vide: Vacuum seal the pickle juice-marinated chicken and submerge it in a 145ºF water bath for 1 hour.
- Instant Pot: Place the trivet in the Instant Pot with 1 cup of water. Put the brined chicken on the trivet and pressure cook for 5 minutes, followed by 8 minutes of natural pressure release.
Tips and Tricks
- If you’re working with large, thick chicken breasts, they will take longer to cook. To speed up the cooking time, feel free to slice each breast in half before brining and cooking.
- Regardless of the cooking method, always use a meat thermometer to ensure the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F, which is safe to eat.
- Allow the cooked chicken to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. This allows the juices to soak back into the meat, making it even more moist and flavorful.
Once you’ve sliced up these delightfully pickle-y chicken breasts, there are endless ways to enjoy them. Stuff them into sandwiches and lettuce wraps, or use them as a protein-packed topping for leafy green salads and grain bowls. If you’re serving the chicken as the main dish, pair it with sides that complement the zesty flavors, such as coleslaw, roasted sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, or potato salad.
Have leftovers? Store the cooked and cooled dill pickle chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. It can also be frozen for 3 to 4 months. Just remember to defrost it before reheating in the microwave or oven.
Wine Pairings for Pickle-Brined Grilled Chicken
If you’re a fan of dill pickle juice, you’ll love pairing this chicken with a refreshing Dill Pickle Martini! As for wine, opt for a crisp Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, or Rosé to complement the flavors.
More Delicious Chicken Dinner Recipes
Looking for more chicken recipe inspiration? Try these mouthwatering options:
- Grilled Mango Chicken
- French Onion Chicken
- Slow Cooker Butter Chicken
- Chicken in White Wine Sauce
- Curried Chicken Breasts
Did you make this pickle juice chicken?
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