Pickle Brined Chicken Wings
If I get my choice of any game day snack (or just party snack) I’m probably going with wings. To be honest, I’ve been known to make a meal out of them if I’m out at a bar. But, I really (really) like coming up with new ways to make them at home. I’ve fried, I’ve baked, I’ve even made boneless wings from scratch.
So, just trust me that I know a good wing when I try one and these pickle brined chicken wings are very, very tasty. Let me just get this out of the way to start: The end result doesn’t actually taste like pickles.
Well, it might have a tiny hint of pickles, but you wouldn’t pick it up unless you knew there was pickle juice in the brine. Instead the result is basically like a brined chicken: juicy, tender, seasoned perfectly.
You could fry these suckers, but I prefer to rub them with a dry rub and bake them for even easier prep. If you’re a chicken wing fan, these must go on your to-try list!
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Add raw chicken wings to a bag with pickle juice. Let sit for at least 30 minutes or up to a few hours. Overnight might make them too pickled…
- Drain off pickle juice and dry wings very well. Don’t rinse the wings.
- Add spices to a small bowl and stir together.
- Drizzle dried chicken wings with neutral oil. Then rub liberally with the spice rub.
- Lay out wings on baking sheets lined with foil.
- Bake for 55-60 minutes until cooked through and crispy in parts.
- Remove wings, let cool briefly, and serve with ranch or blue cheese dressing.
Pickle Chicken Wings
Okay, before we get to wings, let’s talk rubs. This is a pretty basic one. Nothing fancy. If you want it spicy, use a spicy chili powder or add some cayenne to the mix. If you just want it a little spicy and very savory then leave out the spicy elements. The recipe I listed above makes enough for 3 pounds of wings.
Brining the wings in pickle juice couldn’t be easier. Drain off the juice from a medium jar of pickles and pour it in a bag with wings.
It’ll look like a science experiment, but it’s not. It’s a kitchen experiment.
Most Important Step Alert: After your wings brine for an hour or so (at least 30 minutes), this is the most important part. Dry them off REALLY well. But, don’t rinse them with water. Pull away as much juice as you can though with paper towels.
Then toss them in a bowl with some neutral oil and the spice rub.
Lay them out on a few baking sheets and they are ready for the oven!
I like to bake mine for about an hour at 375 F. Don’t worry about turning them or anything. Just let them go. And yes, you could do my low and slow method with these. That would be very delicious as well.
When they come out, serve them up with some ranch or blue cheese plus the usual sides (plus a few pickles obviously).
Your crew is going to love these pickle chicken wings. If you have a friend with an excellent palette, they might be able to pick up the pickle juice, but otherwise your secret is safe with me.