Sunday, September 20, 2015

Pickle-Brined Chicken Thighs - 52 Church PotLuck Dishes

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Scroll down for the recipe... But first -

Never Throw out the juice left over 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 crunchy crispy coating.

The above quote is from the book, "Fried Chicken" by Rebecca Lang about this recipe.  The book is a fantastic labor of love collecting dozens and dozens of recipes for the southern classic that Rebecca Lang grew up with (and has been perfecting for years).

An irresistible cookbook featuring more than 50 family-friendly fried chicken recipes--including classic Southern, globally influenced, and skillet- and deep-fried variations.
Fried chicken is comfort food at its finest. Served alongside a biscuit, atop waffles, or just on its own, fried chicken is one of the most universally loved foods around. In Fried Chicken, Southern chef Rebecca Lang collects 50 of the most tantalizing, crowd-pleasing variations on the classic. There are perennial favorites like Buttermilk-Soaked, Bacon-Fried Chicken Smothered in Gravy; Tennessee Hot Chicken; kid-friendly Chicken Fingers; and even Gluten-Free Southern Fried Chicken. Also featured are internationally inspired recipes, such as Saigon Street Wings, Chinese Lollipop Wings, Mexican-Lime Fried Chicken Tacos, and Korean Fried Chicken with Gochujang Sauce. All of these recipes are impeccably tested, foolproof, and will have the whole family singing the praises of perfectly fried poultry.

I chose to make the pickle brine recipe for a couple of reasons.  First, I had the brine.  It's been a pretty full summer of BBQ and Burgers so I used a lot of Dill Pickles.  Next, I heard a rumor, confirmed on many web links that the distinctive taste of a Chic-Fil-A Chicken sandwich comes from pickle brine.  Sure enough, pretty similar.

BUT, what I really liked was the moistness of the chicken.  Nothing over cooked and dried out.  Just deliciously moist tender and yeap, Deliciously uniquely flavored.

I learned a great deal from the book and plan to make quite a few more southern treats.

BTW, the addition of the waffles and Honey were my contribution.  Not in the book but a terrific way to serve them up.

Here's the legal stuff... "I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review." But the review and opinions are 100% accurate and mine!".  Love this book and highly recommend it!

 OK... Here's what I did...

Pickle-Brined Thighs

  • 12 Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • 2 Cups Dill Pickle Brine (Juice from a jar or two)
  • Shortening for Frying (enough to raise level in a Cast Iron Skillet about 3/4 Inch)
  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 2 Cups Buttermilk
Cooking Directions
  1. Combine the Chicken Thigh and the Pickle Brine in a large ziplock bag. Seal and refrigerate for 6 hours.
  2. Remove the thighs from the brine and pat them dry with paper towels. Discard the brine.
  3. In a large cast iron skillet, add enough shortening when melted to raise the level to a little less than an inch. Heat over medium heat to 325 degrees. Set a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet.
  4. Pour the Buttermilk into a medium bowl. In a separate larger bowl, whisk together the Flour, Baking Powder, salt and pepper. Working in batches, dredge each chicken thigh in the flour mix, then dip to coat in the buttermilk and finally, back to the flour mix for a thicker even coat.
  5. Carefully place the chicken in the hot oil. Fry, turning often for 10-14 minutes until brown and the juices run clear. Drain the chicken over the wire rack. Maintain frying temperature and level of shortening between batches, repeat with remaining chicken.
  6. Served warm over Jalapeno sour cream waffles with Honey Garnish and ENJOY!


Double Click the photo above to see
My HUGE and GROWING list of
well over 100 PotLuck worthy Dishes
This recipe has been added to my growing list of "52 Church PotLuck Dishes"!

A list of something NEW worthy of being shown off at a neighborhood BYODish (Bring Your Own Dish) Party, a Family special occasion dinner, Any Big Holiday Gathering or of course that glorious day when you bring a dish to share with your Church family...

Ages ago, literally almost a half century ago I was listening to our pastor talking about a PotLuck Dinner. It happened to be scheduled around a church work day when we were expected to weed, polish and do general cleaning and maintenance around the church (you know, back in the day when there were no no-wax floors and church pews smelled of Old English furniture polish). I am of course paraphrasing, but as I recall the pastor said,

"A potluck, like a church requires work. At a potluck everyone is expected to contribute.. At a church no one should come empty handed and no one should leave unfed".
I will confess that in my youth I brought more store bought plastic spoons and forks than I ever brought covered dishes and crock pots of fresh made love and caring delights. But now that I have become a hobbyist cook, I occasionally am reminded of those days and people from my youth. I reminded and I do wish that I could drop a dish of some new creation on those old tables at my fondly remembered Liberty Baptist Church.  Tables covered with newspapers and loaded with God's bounty prepared with love and caring... Enjoy


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