Pickle-Brined Fried Chicken
Author: The Blue Jean Chef, Meredith Laurence
This is a delicious fried chicken recipe that uses up the brine left in the pickle jar when you’ve finished all the pickles. This recipe calls for legs, but if you prefer white meat, feel free to substitute bone-in chicken breasts instead. From Air Fry Everything! by Meredith Laurence.
- 4 chicken legs (bone-in and skin-on), cut into drumsticks and thighs (about 3½ pounds)
- pickle juice from a 24-ounce jar of kosher dill pickles
- ½ cup flour
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
- 1 cup fine breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground paprika
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- vegetable or canola oil in a spray bottle
- Place the chicken in a shallow dish and pour the pickle juice over the top. Cover and transfer the chicken to the refrigerator to brine in the pickle juice for 3 to 8 hours.
- When you are ready to cook, remove the chicken from the refrigerator to let it come to room temperature while you set up a dredging station. Place the flour in the a shallow dish and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Whisk the eggs and vegetable oil together in a second shallow dish. In a third shallow dish, combine the breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, paprika and cayenne pepper.
- Pre-heat the air fryer to 370ºF.
- Remove the chicken from pickle brine and gently dry it with a clean kitchen towel. Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour, then dip it into the egg mixture, and finally press it into the breadcrumb mixture to coat all sides of the chicken. Place the breaded chicken on a plate or baking sheet and spray each piece all over with vegetable oil.
- Air-fry the chicken in two batches. Place two chicken thighs and two drumsticks into the air fryer basket. Air-fry for 10 minutes. Then, gently turn the chicken pieces over and air fry for another 10 minutes. Remove the chicken pieces and let them rest on plate – do not cover. Repeat with the second batch of chicken, air frying for 20 minutes, turning the chicken over halfway through.
- Lower the temperature of the air fryer to 340ºF. Place the first batch of chicken on top of the second batch already in the basket and air fry for an additional 7 minutes. Serve warm and enjoy.