Pickle-Brined Air Fryer Chicken

This is a pretty darned nifty method for getting tasty, moist fried chicken, without all the muss and fuss of deep frying.

Soaking the chicken in pickle juice (and a wee, tiny bit of hot sauce) adds a nice flavor, and goes a big part of the way toward that moistness one wants in their crispity (air) fried chicken.

I used boneless, skinless thighs, because I think thighs have more flavor than breasts, but feel free to use your preferred cut.

•6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
•1 cup pickle juice*
•1 tbsp Cajun Power Spicy Garlic Pepper Hot Sauce – or your fave hot sauce, to taste
•1 egg, lightly beaten
•Cooking spray

Seasoned Flour:
•1/2 cup flour
•1 tbsp powdered sugar
•1/2 tsp paprika
•1/2 tsp Seasoned Salt
•1/4 tsp black pepper
•1/4 tsp garlic powder
•1/4 tsp dried basil
•1/2 tsp Cayenne

*I used the juice from a jar of Famous Dave’s Spicy Pickle Chips, but plain old dill or sweet pickle juice will work a treat, too.

Whisk the hot sauce into the pickle juice, then add to a gallon sized zipper bag with the chicken pieces.

Close and flip the bag a couple of times to evenly coat the chicken with the pickle juice mixture, then place flat in a rimmed plate (for to catch any drippage) and stash in the fridge for four hours, or, always more better, overnight, flipping the bag whenever you think to.

When ready to cook, heat your air fryer to 400º and whisk the seasoned flour ingredients together in a small bowl.

Lightly beat the egg in another small bowl and arrange next to the seasoned flour.

Remove the chicken from the pickle juice mixture (discard this mixture) and dip each piece in the egg, turning to coat both sides well, and then dip in the seasoned flour, again, turning the chicken to coat both sides.

Arrange the chicken pieces on the air fryer rack and apply cooking spray.

Cook the chicken pieces for five minutes, then turn over, apply more cooking spray, and cook for another three minutes or so, until the chicken is browned and crispity and cooked through.

Pretty nice as a main course – here with Baked Jalapeño Cheddar Risotto – but don’t miss out on using it as your new fave ‘fried’ chicken sammich – with mayonnaise and a nice pickle slice.

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