My idea was to use the same sort brine I would to make deli dill pickles to give the chicken the dill pickle flavor. Then instead of deep frying (something I don't really like to do at home), I'd do a faux-fry in the oven since I'd had success with it in the past. I had no idea whether Matt and I would like this or not but, we like dill pickle potato chips so, I thought why not.
Total success! The chicken had a good dill and spice flavor just like a good pickle. The crust came out brown and crispy plus, it's a little better for you without the skin or deep frying. The only thing I would do different next time is add a little dried dill to the brine to boost the dill flavor even more. Matt thought the chicken with the brine was good enough that it didn't even need the crust. He thinks we should use this brine on some boneless chicken, grill it and then serve it on a sandwich. Sounds good to me too!
Dill Pickle Faux-Fried Chicken
4 bone-in skinless chicken thighs
Dill Pickle Brine
(You could use the brine from a jar of your favorite pickles instead of making this brine if you have some on hand.)
1 c water
2 T white vinegar
2 T kosher salt
1 bunch fresh dill fronds (about 1/3 c)
1 clove garlic, chopped or crushed
1 small bay leaf, crumbled
1 t pickling spice, crushed a little
1/8 t ground cinnamon
1/8 t red pepper flakes
1/8 t ground cardamom
1/8 t ground all spice
1/8 t ground cloves
1/8 t ground mustard
1/8 t ground ginger
Put the water, vinegar and salt in a bowl or baggie big enough to hold your chicken. Stir or shake until the salt is dissolved. Stir in all the remaining ingredients. Add your chicken and let brine 1 1/2 - 2 hours. Rinse and dry the chicken thighs.
Preheat oven to 400 F.
6 T fine bread crumbs
2 T grated parmesan
1/4 t dried thyme
In a shallow bowl mix the bread crumbs, parmesan and thyme together.
Put the egg in another shallow bowl and beat it.
Dip the chicken thighs into the egg and then into the breading coating all sides. Place bone-side down on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with a little cooking spray. Bake for 35 - 40 minutes or until done, turning the thighs over at about 30 minutes.
Makes 4 thighs
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