Pickle-Brined Fried Chicken


Adding pickle brine to a traditional buttermilk marinade helps infuse every bite with flavor and a gentle sweetness. Bonus? You can serve the pickles left in the jar alongside the fried chicken. Patience is essential to guarantee the crunchiest, juiciest results, so be sure to marinate the chicken for at least 8 hours so it has a chance to fully permeate the bird, and allow the breaded chicken to rest before frying so that coating adheres to the skin.Related: Fried Chicken RecipesSouthern Fried Chicken

Active Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
9 hrs 20 mins


  • 3 cups whole or low-fat buttermilk

  • 1 1/2 cups dill pickle juice, plus drained pickles for serving (from a 16-ounce jar dill pickle chips)

  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce (such as Tabasco)

  • 2 teaspoons, plus 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt, divided, plus more for sprinkling

  • 3 bone-in, skin-on chicken split breasts (12 ounces total)

  • 2 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (6 ounces total)

  • 4 chicken drumsticks (about 1 1/4 pounds total)

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder

  • 2 teaspoons onion powder

  • 2 teaspoons paprika

  • Peanut oil, for frying


  1. Whisk together buttermilk, pickle juice, hot sauce, and 2 teaspoons of the salt in a very large bowl or a large pot. Place chicken breasts, thighs, and drumsticks in mixture; cover with plastic wrap, and chill at least 8 hours (or up to 12).

  2. Set a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet. Stir together flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons salt in a large bowl. Remove a chicken piece from buttermilk brine, letting excess drip back into bowl. Place chicken in flour mixture, and toss well to coat. Transfer breaded chicken to wire rack. Repeat process with remaining chicken. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200°F; set a clean wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet and place alongside stove. When chicken is ready to fry, pour oil to a depth of 2 inches in a large Dutch oven, and heat over medium-high until oil reaches 350°F on a thermometer.

  4. Working in three batches, carefully add four chicken pieces to hot oil; fry until deeply browned and a thermometer inserted into thickest portion of meat (avoiding bone) registers 165°F, about 12 minutes for drumsticks and thighs and 15 minutes for breasts, turning chicken once halfway through cook time. (Adjust heat as needed to maintain oil temperature between 300°F and 320°F.) Remove chicken from oil, and place on the prepared wire rack. Sprinkle all over with salt. Place baking sheet in oven to keep warm while repeating frying process with remaining chicken. Serve fried chicken with pickles.

    Easy Fried Chicken Recipe
    Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Food Styling by Rishon Hanners
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