Pickle-Brined Thighs


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  • Yield : 10 pices
  • Servings : 4 to 6
  • Prep Time : 6:00 h
  • Cook Time : 30m
  • Ready In : 6:30 h

by Rebecca Lang

This recipe and following excerpt is from the book Fried Chicken: Recipes for the Crispy Crunchy, Comfort-Food Classic.
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Book Review

Never throw out the juice left behind in a dill pickle jar. It’s a bit like liquid gold, flavored by the pickles and perfectly salty for brining. This recipe delivers juicy meat with a zingy tang encased in a crispy coating.


  • 10 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 5 pounds)
  • 2 cups dill pickle brine (juice from a jar)
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 cups Southern self-rising flour, homeade or store-bought (such as White Lily brand)
  • 1 Tablespoon pickling spice, finely ground
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Step 1

Combine the chicken thighs and the pickle brine in a large zip-top bag. Seal and refrigerate for 6 hours.

Step 2

Remove the thighs from the brine and pat them dry with paper towels, discarding the brine.

Step 3

In a large cast-iron skillet, heat 1 1/2 inches of vegetable oil over medium heat to 325F. Set a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet.

Step 4

Pour the buttermilk into a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, wish together the flour, pickling spice, salt, and pepper. Working in batches, dip the chicken in the buttermilk and then dredge in the flour mixture.

Step 5

Carefully place the chicken in the hot oil. Fry, turning often, for 10 to 14 minutes, or until brown and juices run clear. Maintain a frying temperature of 320F to 325F. Drain the pieces on the wire rack. Repeat with the remaining chicken.

SOUTHERN SELF-RISING FLOUR: Stir together 1 Cup cake flour, 1 Cup national brand all-propose flour, 3 teaspoons baking powder, and 1 teaspoon salt.
Recipe Type: Ingredients:

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