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This pickle brine chicken is flavorful, juicy, and tender with an incredibly crispy crust. It's the tastiest oven fried chicken and the perfect way to use the leftover juice in a pickle jar!
Brine chicken in pickle juice
Stop throwing away the juice from an empty jar of pickles! Use it to marinate chicken; you'll be so happy that you did!
The pickle juice imparts a nice little twang of flavor. But most importantly, it makes it super tender and juicy.
Once it's lightly breaded then baked in the oven until crispy, it becomes a healthier version of your favorite fried chicken. We like to serve it with those little sweet pickles for a nearly real fried chicken experience.
How to make pickle brine chicken
Pickle brined oven fried chicken is a fairly simple recipe. The only part that is a little time-consuming and messy is breading the chicken, but even that step only takes about 10 minutes.
- Put the chicken pieces into a bowl and pour the pickle juice over the top. Now put the bowl into your fridge until you're ready to finish making the recipe.
- Set up three bowls – one for flour, one for the egg, and one for breadcrumbs. Now dip each piece first in flour, then in the egg, then in the breadcrumbs. It's easiest to work with 3-4 pieces at a time and use one hand for the egg dip and the other hand for the flour and breadcrumbs dips.
- Now put the breaded chicken on a baking sheet, spray or drizzle with oil, and bake until it's nice and crispy.
That's it! You've just made pickle brine chicken!
How long can you brine chicken in pickle juice?
For the best flavor, the chicken should marinate in the pickle juice for at least two hours. But make sure that you don't leave it for longer than 24 hours or the texture of the meat can change.
Can pickle brine chicken be frozen?
Yes, it can! You have two options for freezing pickle brine chicken:
Option #1: Freeze the chicken submerged in pickle juice in bags (we love these reusable Stasher freezer bags!) When you're ready to finish making the recipe, thaw the chicken in the fridge overnight then continue to bread and bake it.
Option #2: Bread the brined chicken but do not bake it. Instead, freeze it on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Once the chicken is frozen, you can move it to a freezer bag for storage. Cook the chicken from frozen, adding 10 minutes to cook time.
What to serve with pickle brine chicken
Even though this chicken is baked in the oven, it will remind you of your favorite fried chicken and goes amazing with all the traditional fried chicken sides. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Smoky Parmesan Corn on the Cob
- Sweet Apple Bourbon Baked Beans
- Classic Broccoli Coleslaw with Lemon Buttermilk Dressing
- Garlic Dill French Fries with Lemon Dill Yogurt Sauce
When we make pickle brine chicken, we usually opt to serve it beside a big green salad tossed in our lifesaving lemony dressing.
- 4 chicken breasts
- 2 cups dill pickle juice (from a jar of pickles)
- 1 ½ cups breadcrumbs (gluten-free, if needed)
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (gluten-free, if needed)
- ½ teaspoon EACH: sea salt and pepper
- 1 large egg + 1 tablespoon cold water
- Spray oil
- 1 cup sweet pickles (bread and butter pickles)
Marinate the chicken
- Cut the chicken tenders away from the breasts (see notes) then pound the chicken breast so they are ½-inch thick. You can use a rolling pin or give them a few good smacks with the palm of your hand. Then cut each breast in half so that you have 8 smaller pieces + 4 chicken tenders.4 chicken breasts
- Place the chicken into a mixing bowl and pour the pickle juice over top. You want the pieces completely covered. Put the bowl into the fridge and let the chicken marinate for 6-24 hours.2 cups dill pickle juice
Prep the chicken
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. While your oven is warming, put the breadcrumbs onto a baking sheet and put them into the oven to toast for 5-6 minutes. When they're golden, pour them into a shallow bowl. Line the same baking sheet with parchment paper and spray it well with oil.1 ½ cups breadcrumbs
- Add the flour, salt, and pepper to another bowl and mix well. Whisk the egg with the water in a third bowl.1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, ½ teaspoon EACH: sea salt and pepper, 1 large egg + 1 tablespoon cold water
- Remove the chicken from the pickle juice marinade and dip the pieces first in the flour, then in the egg, and then in the breadcrumbs. Lay the breaded chicken onto the baking sheet then spray the tops with more oil.
Cook the chicken
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until it is golden, crispy, and cooked to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Serve with sweet pickles on the side.1 cup sweet pickles
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.