I have been hearing people talk about pickle brine chicken for a while now. I never thought it was a big deal because honestly, I've been making chicken with pickle juice for years. This wasn't new to me at all! Coming from the South where restaurants like Chick Fil A are common, this idea wasn't new at all. It was a favorite way to add flavor, very easily, to an ordinary chicken breast. Now I get to share my version of this recipe with you!
Pickle Brine Chicken Recipe
So, what is pickle brine chicken? Well, exactly what you think it is! It is chicken that has been soaked or marinated in pickle juice. Why are people so excited about it? Well, it happens to be one of the key ingredients that make Chick Fil A chicken so popular. If you are tired of paying the higher price for those nuggets and sandwiches, then now you can make your own at home!
What Does the Pickle Brine Do?
The brine imparts flavor while also keeping the chicken moist. Not only will the moisture soak into the chicken with brine, but the flavor of the brine will also add flavor to the meat. In this instance, the pickle flavor is more prevalent and makes further seasoning less necessary. Sure, you still season the meat, but you won't need as heavy a seasoning blend to still produce a delicious piece of chicken.
How Long Do You Marinate The Chicken?
For chicken, a brine is best left between 2 and 6 hours. Much longer than 6 hours is a bit too much for my tastes, but some will marinate up to overnight. I suggest trying less time first before soaking overnight. If short on time, a marinade of at least 20 minutes is a must. Ideally, over 2 hours will give you a nice amount of flavor and moisture in your chicken breasts or thighs.
What Dipping Sauce Goes With This Chicken?
I admit that dipping sauces may be a bit of a problem for me. In fact, a few weeks ago as my husband was trying to find room for something in our refrigerator, he told me that we needed to use up some of my dipping sauces before opening others. I have a rather large collection. While I do make homemade sauces on a regular basis, I like to keep a variety of sauces on hand to use at any time. Below are a few that may be used with this recipe.
- Chicken dipping sauce (a generic version of Chick Fil A sauce that is available at Walmart in their brand or in the Sweet Baby Ray's brand.
- Ranch dressing or dip
- Barbecue sauce
- Sweet and Sour Sauce
- Garlic yogurt sauce
What Should I Serve with Pickle Brine Chicken?
Other than the obvious dipping sauces, you will want something on the side with this recipe. My favorite choices are my Canadian poutine recipe or baked macaroni and cheese. Those may not be the healthiest options, but they are my favorites.
Other options that we enjoy are baked zucchini chips, seasoned cottage fries, a nice cold pasta salad, or even my Persian shirazi salad that is packed with cucumbers. These all pair great with this chicken and can be kid-friendly if needed. French fries and chips are probably what kids will reach for, but you could serve this with any roasted vegetable, steamed vegetable, or even a nice garden salad if you wish.
Do I Use Chicken Breasts or Chicken Thighs for These Tenders?
I prefer using chicken breasts as I personally am not a huge chicken thigh fan. However, you can use either one. I find that chicken thighs are naturally moist compared to typically dryer breast meat. Both cuts of chicken will work great in tenders and should be cooked in basically the same manner.
If you are unsure about cooking these and want to make sure the pieces are cooked through, invest in a meat thermometer. Chicken should be 165°F internally for safety. If you will be serving at a later time and will be keeping warm, you can remove from the oven a few degrees earlier and cover then let them continue cooking up to temperature.
- Chicken breasts
- Pickle juice
- Black pepper
- Panko breadcrumbs
How to Make Pickle Brine Chicken
Cut the chicken into strips or cubes then season with salt and pepper and cover with pickle juice and place in an air tight container with a lid for 2-6 hours in the refrigerator.
Preheat the oven to 445°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
In a small bowl, whisk the eggs with water.
Using 2 more shallow bowls, fill one with flour and one with breadcrumbs.
Dip each piece of chicken into flour first, then eggs, then breadcrumbs.
Place them into a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 15 minutes or until slightly golden and cooked through.
Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.
More Tasty Chicken Recipes
Chicken is the focus of many of my recipes. I love how versatile it is, and of course, how easy to prepare. Chicken tenders are often served here, but we also love chicken in many other delicious recipes. So, below are some of my favorites that I know you too will enjoy making and serving your family.
- 30-Minute Thai Chicken Coconut Curry Recipe
- Savory Authentic Peanut Chicken Curry Recipe
- Roasted Greek Chicken Thighs Recipe
- Garlic and Herb Baked Chicken Breast Recipe
- Crispy Garlic Herb Chicken with Parmesan Cauliflower Rice
- Buffalo Chicken Enchiladas with Celery Fennel Salad
This bourbon molasses mustard sauce is a great option for serving as a dip alongside your pickle brined chicken tenders. It's sweet and sour and absolutely delicious.
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup pickle juice
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- Cut the chicken into strips or small pieces then season with salt, pepper, and cover with pickle juice then refrigerate for 2-6 hours;
- When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 445°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- In a small bowl, whisk the eggs with water.
- Using 2 more shallow bowls, fill one with flour and one with breadcrumbs.
- Dip each piece of chicken into flour first, then eggs, then breadcrumbs.
- Place them into a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until slightly golden and cooked through.
- Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.
Marinate for no less than 20 minutes but preferably at minimum 2 hours to 6 hours.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 400Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 126mgSodium: 1707mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 2gSugar: 10gProtein: 33g