Enjoy the mouthwatering flavor of this pickle juice marinated chicken – a perfect blend of tender meat and that classic dill pickle flavor that will leave your taste buds craving more! With just a small amount of leftover pickle juice, you can infuse any piece of chicken with tons of flavor, making it a delightful addition to your sandwiches or salads.
This pickle chicken recipe is great to make during the week because it cooks quickly. If you love cooking with dill, you should try this Pampered Chef Broccoli Chicken Braid. You can also marinate your chicken in yogurt to make this delicious Greek Yogurt Marinated Chicken! Or try Frozen Chicken Breast in the Air Fryer, made with pickle juice and a homemade Panko breading.
As a pickle lover, I can’t get enough of that salty, pickle-flavored brine leftover at the bottom of the jar. Instead of dumping it, use it to your advantage! You can add pickle juice to various savory dishes without making everything taste like a pickle – I promise!
You’ll be surprised to know the pickle flavor is mellow and not too overwhelming. If you want a more robust pickle flavor (perfect for pickle fiends), add this garlic dill pickle sauce (pictured below).
These make some of the best chicken sandwiches ever, just cut the chicken in half!
What is Pickle Juice Marinated Chicken?
Have you ever tasted the leftover brine in a jar of pickles? That vinegary, salty, flavorful liquid is the perfect way to tenderize and season your favorite cut of chicken. Many people use different types of acid to marinate chicken, like lemon juice or even buttermilk, which break down the proteins, resulting in tender, moist chicken every time.
However, the leftover juice in your pickle jar gives this recipe more than just a great texture: it’s delicious.
Once heated, the vinegar turns slightly sweet, and all of the spices & fresh herbs make it pop with flavor. It’s a great way to use up something that may otherwise get wasted and add tons of flavor to your next meal!
Pickle Brine Chicken Ingredients
- Dill pickle juice: This is the base of your pickle juice marinade; you want regular dill pickle juice.
- Garlic cloves: Minced fresh garlic will add a fragrant, savory flavor that balances out the tanginess from the brine.
- Chopped fresh dill: By adding fresh dill, this marinade will take on a nice herby flavor. You will also need more dill for serving the chicken.
- Black pepper: Add a little heat and spice with some pepper.
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts: Choose your favorite cut of chicken. I prefer skinless breasts, but you can also use skinless chicken thighs or chicken wings. Keep in mind that cooking time will be different from the breast.
- Olive oil: Use oil to keep the chicken from sticking to the pan.
- Butter: By cooking the chicken in two types of fat, each piece of chicken will have a great crust and buttery flavor.
- Garlic pickle sauce or ranch for serving.
How to Make Pickle Juice Marinated Chicken
- Prepare the marinade: In a gallon-sized resealable plastic bag or shallow bowl, add pickle juice, minced garlic, dill, and black pepper. Zip the bag closed and mix around the marinade.
- Marinate: Add chicken breasts to the bag or bowl, making sure it is completely submerged. Let marinate for 30-60 minutes.
- Rest: Remove the chicken from the fridge. Take the chicken out of the marinade and place on a plate or sealed container to come to room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Sear the chicken: Heat a skillet over medium-high heat, add in the oil. Once oil is hot, add in chicken breast to sear for 2-3 minutes.
- Add butter: Flip over the chicken and add in the butter. Once melted, spoon the butter over the chicken a couple times.
- Finish cooking: Reduce the heat to low and cover the chicken. Cook for 7-8 minutes or until the chicken reaches 165°F when checked with a meat thermometer. Let chicken rest for 5 minutes.
- Garnish: Serve with a sprinkling of dill.
Tips for Success
- Don’t marinate for too long. For best results, marinate your chicken for about an hour. Marinating it longer than 1 hour can result in chicken that is too salty, 30 minutes to one hour is the perfect amount of time. If it can’t be helped then your chicken will still be ok it just may be salty.
- You can easily cook this recipe in different ways. Although I like using a cast-iron skillet, you can also bake it in an air fryer basket or pop it on the grill to get some good grill marks. Oven baking the chicken is also a great way to cook a bunch of pieces at once.
- Serve it with a little dill pickle dip for even more flavor!
- Add a jalapeno to the brine or a tablespoon of red chili flakes for spicy chicken.
- Use your favorite cuts of chicken, like chicken legs or wings. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time and use a meat thermometer to know when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
- After marinating, bread and fry the chicken for the best fried chicken ever!
Frequently Asked Questions
What does soaking chicken in pickle juice do?
Since pickle juice is acidic, it’s a perfect way to make meat tender while infusing so much flavor. Plus, chicken and pickles are a perfect match since chicken can be a little bland unless you find a way to soak seasonings into every bite. That’s where the pickle juice comes in.
Brining in pickle juice is the best way to add flavor to your chicken breast while also gently breaking down the meat. Plus, it adds moisture, making your chicken sandwich so tender!
What can leftover dill pickle juice be used for?
Once you finish off a jar of dill pickles, save the brine! You can use it to soak fresh cucumbers for a quick crunchy snack or even cook it into creamy, tangy soups.
My favorite use for leftover pickle juice is to use it as a brine for chicken or other meats. It adds so much flavor that it really works well with the mild flavor of the chicken. Once you try it, you’ll start buying pickles just for the brine!
Does pickle juice make chicken taste like pickles?
This is the main question I get! Whether you love pickles and want every bite of your chicken to be tangy and salty or can’t stand the taste of vinegar, you should still try brining your chicken with pickle juice!
Especially if you only marinate your chicken for an hour or so, the chicken just starts to absorb all those flavors like fresh dill and garlic. It will have a tanginess but won’t be overly sour or mouth-puckering. It’s more like marinating with lemon or another citrus: bright, refreshing, and perfectly juicy.
How to Store & Reheat
How to refrigerate pickle juice marinated chicken? Once the chicken has been cooked, store leftover chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days.
How to keep it at room temperature? Any cooked meat needs to be refrigerated within 2 hours of cooking to keep it fresh. If you want to keep the chicken warm for a party or event, try keeping them in a shallow dish or baking sheet in the oven at a low temperature.
How do you reheat pickle brine chicken? Either microwave, grill, or bake the chicken breasts until they are fully warmed. In the microwave, this typically takes 2-3 minutes.
Can I Freeze Pickle Brine Chicken?
How to freeze pickle juice chicken recipe? You can easily freeze leftover chicken by allowing it to cool in the fridge, then storing it in a freezer-safe ziplock bag for 1-3 months.
Try these other chicken recipes!
- Air Fryer Chicken Breast – No Breading
- Air Fryer BBQ Chicken
- Air Fryer Honey Garlic Marinated Chicken Thighs
- Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels
- Almond Flour Chicken Tenders
If you’ve tried this pickle juice brined chicken recipe, don’t forget to give me a star rating and leave me a comment below in the comment section. I love to hear from people who have made my recipes!
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Pickle Juice Marinated Chicken
- 1 cup dill pickle juice
- 3 large garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh dill weed chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 3 small boneless skinless chicken breasts 6 ounces each or two 8 ounce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- fresh dill for serving optional
- dill pickle dip or ranch for serving optional
- In a gallon sized resealable plastic bag or shallow bowl, add in pickle juice, minced garlic, dill, and black pepper. Zip bag closed and mix around the marinade.
- Add chicken breasts to the bag or bowl making sure it is completely submerged. Let marinate for 30-60 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the fridge. Take the chicken out of the marinade and place on a plate or sealed container to come to room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Heat a skillet over medium high heat, add in the oil. Once oil is hot, add in chicken breast to sear for 2-3 minutes.
- Flip over the chicken and add in the butter. Once melted, spoon the butter over the chicken a couple times.
- Reduce the heat down to low and cover the chicken if you have a lid. Cook for 7-8 minutes or until the chicken reaches 165°F when checked with a meat thermometer. Let chicken rest for 5 minutes.
- Serve with a sprinkling of dill and ranch.
- Don’t marinate for too long. For best results, marinate your chicken for about an hour. Marinating it longer than 1 hour can result in chicken that is too salty, 30 minutes to one hour is the perfect amount of time. If it can’t be helped then make sure not to marinate it for more than 24 hours, the chicken may be salty but still good.
- Add a jalapeno to the brine or a tablespoon of red chili flakes for spicy chicken.
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