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chicken brine in a pot and plate

Pickle Brine Chicken

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 522kcal


Pickle Brine:

  • 6 chicken thighs bone-in, skin-on
  • 2 cups pickle juice (note 1)


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 celery ribs thickly sliced
  • 2 carrots thickly sliced
  • 3 medium onions thickly sliced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (note 2)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (note 3, 4+5)


  • 4 ounces pancetta
  • 2 bunches kale
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 2 cloves garlic minced


  • Brine chicken. Add chicken thighs and pickle juice (note 1) to a large resealable plastic bag. Press out any air, seal, and place in the fridge for at least 12 hours. (I like to nestle my bag inside a large bowl).
  • Saute. Preheat oven to 425 F. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a large dutch oven, or oven-safe pan. Once shimmering, add the celery, carrots, and onions. Saute until softened (about 8 minutes). Add wine (note 2) , bay leaves, and peppercorns -- stir to combine. Add the chicken broth and chicken thighs (skin side down), making sure to fully submerge the thighs.
  • Braise. Bring liquid to a boil, then turn off the heat of the stove. Place dutch oven in the preheated oven (without a lid), and bake for 40 minutes. Once braised, remove from the oven, and crank the oven heat to broil.
  • Sauce. Set cooked chicken thighs aside on a plate. Strain the sauce using a mesh strainer nestled inside a large bowl. Discard the onions, celery, carrots, bay leaves, and peppercorn. Pour strained sauce into a small saucepan and bring to an aggressive simmer. Sprinkle xanthan gum (note 4) over the top while whisking at the same time to ensure it doesn't clump. Whisk until it fully dissolves into the liquid. Allow the sauce to simmer until it thickens to your liking (for me this was about 10 minutes), then keep warm while we cook the veggies.
  • Broil. Return chicken thighs, skin side up, to the dutch oven and broil until the skin becomes golden and crispy -- should be about 5 minutes, but you'll want to watch carefully, as they can burn easily at this temp. Once golden, remove from the oven and set aside on a plate. Tent with tin foil and allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes.
  • Saute. Once cool enough to handle, use a paper towel to wipe clean the dutch oven. Add pancetta and saute for 4 minutes. Add the kale and garlic, season with salt. Cook over medium-high heat, tossing, until tender and the pancetta is crispy, about 5 minutes.
  • Plating. Spoon the kale onto plates and top with the chicken thighs. Drizzle sauce over your chicken and serve right away. Enjoy!


  1. Pickle juice. This recipe has been testing with both Mt Olive (sugar-free) and Famous Dave's spicy chips (sugar added). We preferred the complexity the sweet/spicy pickles added to this dish. You can grab them on Amazon.
  2. Dry white wines include sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio, or a riesling.
  3. Why xanthan gum? It helps thicken soups and sauces with a cleaner flavor (than flour).
  4. The technique when adding xanthan gum is important, as you don't want it to clump. Be sure to lightly sprinkle on top, while whisking the liquid until everything dissolves.
  5. If you don't have xanthan gum, you can make a roux with 3 tablespoons of butter and 1/4 cup of flour.
  6. Carbs in this recipe: The nutritional information for this recipe isn't totally accurate, as we aren't eating the onion, carrot, and celery, rather, they are infusing our sauce. Sorry, I wish there was a better way for me to calculate!


Calories: 522kcal | Total Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 33g | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Net Carbs: 12g

Delicious recipe from Lindsey Hyland // www.thelittlepine.com