Weekly Winner:  In a Real Pickle With Pepper-Brined Chicken

This recipe just sounded too weird not to try.  First off, I’m a big fan of brining, be in wet or dry.  Then there’s the fact that I love any skin-on, bone-in chicken. Add to that hubby’s love and adoration of any kind of peppers, but pickled peppers in particular (say that three times fast!) and you have a recipe that was begging me to try it.

At first I was concerned that the chicken would taste a bit too tangy.  That concern turned out to be totally unfounded.  The only slightly disconcerting thing was the neon yellowish hue the chicken took on as it brined.  Luckily the browning and subsequent baking transformed the yellow into a lovely golden brown.

In the end – beginning color aside –  the chicken was fabulous.  Moist and succulent with very crispy skin and just the slightest hint of the pickled brine.  But the sauce?  Oh my!  Garlicky-buttery goodness.  The combination made for one easy, lovely Sunday Supper.

The recipe comes from Cuisine at Home magazine.  It is amazingly simple but tastes like you slaved away all day. The perfect pickle predicament to find oneself in.

Pepper-Brined Chicken with Honey-Garlic Sauce

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken hindquarters
  • Liquid from 1 16-oz jar of banana pepper rings
  • Black pepper
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 2 Tbsp peanut oil
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh garlic
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cubed

Procedure:

Submerge chicken in liquid from banana peppers jar in a large bowl; cover and chill, turning occasionally, 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Remove chicken from liquid and pat dry with paper towels; season with black pepper. Combine flour and thyme; dredge chicken in flour mixture.

Sauté chicken in oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat until browned on both sides, 8-10 minutes total.

Transfer pan to oven and roast chicken until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh or leg registers 170F. Transfer chicken to a plate and tent with foil. Carefully place pan on stove top over medium high heat.

Deglaze pan with broth, scraping up any brown bits. Add garlic and honey; simmer until broth reduces to about ¼ cup, 3-5 minutes.

Off heat, whisk butter into sauce a few cubes at a time until all butter is incorporated and sauce thickens. Serve sauce with chicken.

 

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