Buttermilk and Pickle Juice Brined Fried Chicken

  • Author: Tonja Engen



  • 1 (32- oz) jar dill pickles (Yield 1 1/2 cups of pickle juice)
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp tabasco sauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 8 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
  • 6 skin-on, bone in, chicken drumsticks
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • Louisiana hot sauce
  • Malden sea salt (optional)


  1. Pour 1 1/2 cups pickle juice from jar in large measuring bowl. Whisk together pickle juice, buttermilk, 1 tsp kosher salt, tabasco sauce and egg. Place chicken in a zip-loc bag and pour brine mixture over chicken. Seal and turn bag to coat thoroughly. Refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to overnight, turning bag occasionally.Slice 1 cup of pickles into round slices.
  2. Fill a large Dutch oven or pot with 2 inches oil. Heat oil to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
  3. In a shallow baking bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, 1 tsp. kosher salt and pepper. Working with one piece at a time, remove chicken from brine, shaking off excess. Dredge in flour mixture and set aside on baking sheet. When oil is hot, add chicken to the pot being careful not to crowd (usually 3 thighs and 1 drumstick at a time). Fry 8-10 minutes or until golden and done, turning to cook evenly. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with Malden sea salt and pour a few shakes of Louisiana hot sauce over each piece, if desired. Serve with pickles.