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Pickle-Brined Fried Chicken

June 8, 2023 • 0 comments

Pickle-Brined Fried Chicken
Looking for an easy and delicious fried chicken recipe that balances savory and sweet flavors? Check out our recipe for perfectly crispy fried chicken that will have your taste buds singing!
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Servings: 6-8



For the chicken:

  • 3 chicken leg quarter packages (6 total), cut into thighs and drumsticks
  • 2 cups buttermilk, well-shaken
  • 2 cups all-purpose organic flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus additional, to taste
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus additional, to taste
  • Pinch of ground red pepper
  • Peanut oil or lard, for frying
  • 1⁄4 cup chile-garlic hot sauce (Sriracha)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • For the brine:

    *Or use leftover pickle brine from the jar!

    • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
    • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
    • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
    • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
    • 1 cup water
    • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
    • 1⁄4 cup kosher salt
    • 1⁄4 cup sugar
    • 1 tablespoon dill seeds
    • 1 bunch fresh dill leaves, chopped (or 1 tablespoon dried dill weed)
    • 2 cups cold water


    1. For brine: In a large skillet, toast mustard seeds, coriander seeds, peppercorns, and cloves over medium heat, stirring constantly, until aromatic, about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup water, vinegar, salt, sugar, and dill seeds. Bring to a boil, stirring until salt and sugar dissolve. Remove from heat; stir in fresh dill and 2 cups cold water. Let cool completely.
    2. For chicken: Using a sharp knife, cut through the bone connecting the thigh and leg to create thighs and drumsticks. (Need a tutorial?)
    3. Transfer brine to a large bowl or baking dish, and add chicken and enough water to completely cover. Refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight.
    4. When ready to cook, remove chicken from brine, scraping off any seeds or dill leaves. Discard brine. 
In a large bowl or long, flat dish, combine buttermilk and chicken.
    5. In a separate large bowl or plastic bag, combine flour, sea salt, and peppers. (I like to use a bag because the chicken gets coated all over and it makes for easier cleanup.)
    6. In a large cast-iron skillet, add oil to 1⁄4 inch deep. Heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers between 
360° and 375°. (The oil should be 
deep enough to cover the chicken about halfway; the level of the oil will rise slightly when you add the chicken.)
    7. Working in batches, remove chicken from buttermilk. Dredge in flour mixture, one piece at a time, to coat evenly on all sides, beginning with large pieces. Shake off any excess flour.
    8. Place chicken, 6 to 8 pieces at a time, in hot oil. Cook until golden brown and cooked through, turning once, 6 to 7 minutes per side. (Do not overcrowd skillet.) Adjust heat as necessary to maintain temperature.
    9. Transfer chicken to a wire rack over a baking sheet to drain. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste, if desired. Keep in a warm oven while the next batch is frying.
    10. In a small bowl, stir together Sriracha and honey. Serve chicken hot or at room temperature with honey mixture drizzled on top or served alongside for dipping.

    Adapted slightly from Sara Foster's Foster Market Favorites

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