The Recipes

Pickle-Brined Chicken

First of all, happy birthday to my big sister if she's checking the blog today!  I hope you're doing something mellow and luxurious at the same time.

I saw a recipe using pickle juice as a brine recently, and I thought, "That's amazing!"  Brined meat means juicy goodness, and as we've discussed probably a hundred times, I love, love, love me some pickles.  In fact, anything pickled and briney will do.  SO up my alley.

Note that you should put the chicken in the brine the day before you want to eat to really get all of that pickly goodness out of it, so you do have to plan ahead a little bit.  Worst-case scenario, let it brine for just an hour.

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Pickle-Brined Chicken

Ingredients:

- 2 c. of pickle juice

- 1 chicken breast

- 1/4 red bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed and thinly sliced

- 1 clove garlic, minced

- 1/2 c. chicken stock

- 1/2 russet potato, peeled and thinly sliced

- 1 slice bacon, cooked and crumbled

- 1/4 c. parsley, chopped

- 1 T. dijon mustard

- salt

- pepper

- blended oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large skillet, heat 1-2 T. of oil.  Remove the chicken from the brine, making sure it is room temperature. Season it with salt and pepper.  Add it skin-side down to the oil.  Cook for 3-4 minutes on the first side and 2-3 on the second side to get a nice golden-brown sear on the chicken.  Remove the chicken and set it aside.

Add the red pepper and garlic to the skillet, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom.  Add the stock and some of the pickle brine.  Season with salt and pepper and nestle the chicken back into the pan.  Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season with salt.  Add the potato slices and cook for 6-7 minutes (depending on thickness).  They should be easily pierced with a fork, but not as tender as you'd want for mashed potatoes.  Drain.  Put the potatoes, parsley and bacon in a bowl.

Remove the chicken from the oven.  Set it aside to rest and spoon out the red peppers.

Put the pan back on the burner and whisk in the mustard.  Simmer for 6-7 minutes to let the sauce reduce.  Toss the sauce with the potato mixture.

Remove the skin and bone from the chicken and discard.  Top the chicken with the bell pepper.  Slice the chicken breast and plate it.  Serve with the warm potato salad.