Thursday, June 26, 2014

Pickle Brine Chicken – I Need to Give You Props

The chicken breasts seen herein started off as nothing more than a couple of props for our recently posted “How to Make a Brick Grill” video, but they came out so well, I decided to show you what I think is a pretty neat trick.

And let’s face it; there aren’t a lot of great uses for leftover pickle juice. I did hear recently that some people like to drink this stuff after jogging, which I found to be quite shocking, since I had no idea people still jogged.  

As you’ll see, I only let mine brine for about 2 hours which seemed to be enough. I’ve heard that you really only need about one hour per inch thickness of meat, and that rule of thumb seems to work for me. These breasts were tender, juicy, and flavorful.

Speaking of flavor, you can probably just go with the straight pickle juice as a brine, but I hedged my bets with a little extra salt, sugar, and pepper. Like most brined recipes, the payoff is in the texture and moisture content, and not necessarily in the taste, but having said that, these did have a nice little twang.

So, the next time you have nothing left in the pickle jar but the juice, you now know what to do, and I don’t mean take up jogging. I hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 2 breasts:
2 large boneless skinless chicken breast
olive oil to coat
salt and pepper to taste

For the brine:
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
pinch of cayenne
1 1/2 to 2 cups dill pickle juice

12 comments:

WolfyDaddy said...

I like to use leftover pickle juice for salad dressing and it is particularly good for potato salad.

Maybe even better than pickle juice for these purposes is the brine from a jar of marinaded herring.

052b9460-fd93-11e3-ac4f-c3c66e355eb5 said...

Hi chef!

Great idea! for the pickle juice. I never thought of that one. I will definitely be trying this.

Gerry Graham said...

Yum! Thank you Chef.

PhillyBear said...

i'm happy to see this recipe! i have a fried chicken recipe that uses pickle juice as a brine. of course, i like the result but even better is the look on people's faces when you tell them how you did it!

rancholyn said...

I always have left over green olive juice....would that work as a brine as well?

Food Junkie said...

I always hate to pour out the left over pickle juice, now I know what to do with it. If they are sweet pickles I assume you might want to omit the sugar?

Unknown said...

Chef John, have you never had a pickle back shot?

Rossana Aloi said...

looks mouthwateringly delicious!

Quick question, which camera do you use currently for your video recording?

cheers!
Rosie

Chef John said...

I use a Canon 3Ti

Michael Davis said...

My wife's mad at you,ChefJohn. Here I was watching this while she's sleeping away and you come out with that stupid Poseidon Adventure line. I started laughing and couldn't hardly stop. Naturally, it woke her. I'm not allowed to watch your videos while she's sleeping any more. Hopefully, this brined chicken recipe will get her to rethink that.

Andrea - Under a Blue Moon said...

I made this tonight and it worked brilliantly. I didn't get my grill marks as pretty but the chicken was very succulent and tender. Not pickle-y tasting either.

jdp said...

Have just made this dish using the brine from a jar of olives, and due to the British weather on a griddle on the stovetop. The result.....the juiciest tenderest chicken breasts ever.....thanks for the tip, I will certainly use this method again hopefully outdoors next time.