Thursday, June 25, 2015

Grilled Pickle Chicken

Hello, everyone!  Thursday has once again snuck up on us, so I figured I'd do a post on a light and healthy (and quick!) supper option!
I know that the title of this post doesn't sound very yummy...grilled pickle chicken.  What is that?!  However, it's something that my family has been doing for years, and years.  Although we usually bread it and fry it, I wanted something lighter this time around.
So, I grilled my chicken breast on a little grill pan inside, and put it along side a lovely quick salad, which I put together while the chicken was cooking.  Boom!  Supper in about 15-20 minutes!
Like I said, I have been making chicken this way for a really long time, and aside from the flavor, one of the things I like most about it, is how simple it is to make.  Just throw some pickle juice in a zip-top bag, put the chicken breasts in, a few other herbs and spices if you feel like it, and the next day, you have amazing chicken!
It really is that simple!

Here's your grocery list for this one:
1 1/2 C pickle juice*
2-3 chicken breasts
1 tsp garlic powder (optional)

That's it.  Yep.  I think this may be impossible to mess up.  I have had someone ask me if it matters what kind of pickle juice, and I don't think it does.  I only like dill pickles, so that's all I've ever used, however, I suppose if you liked bread and butter pickles, or a hot and spicy pickle, that would be fine, too.
As long as you like the flavor of the pickle, it should be just fine on the chicken, I would think.  As for obtaining the pickle juice, I just save it after I've eaten all of the pickles out of the jar.  Finished the pickles, but not ready to make the chicken?  I'd put the juice in a zip top bag/plastic container, and stick it in the freezer until I was ready for it!

Now then, let's get started!  Like I said, put the chicken in the zip top bag, sprinkle with garlic powder (if you want), and pour the pickle juice over all of this.

Squeeze out as much air as you can, zip the bag up, place in a bowl (just in case the bag leaks...you don't want that mess in your fridge!), and put it in the fridge for at least 4 hours, up to 24 hours.  Any longer than that, and the vinegar in the pickle juice will break the meat down too much, and you'll have a weird texture in the end.  You could also, at this point, stick this zip top bag in the freezer, and so it'll be ready to go if you want to cook it in the next few weeks.  Just pull it out of the freezer, and let it marinate as it thaws out.
I do this all of the time with other marinades....works beautifully!






Yep, after 24 hours, your chicken and the pickle juice will look white.  Doesn't that look yummy?  No?  Well, it will taste yummy (once it's all cooked, of course...don't go licking raw chicken, or else bad things will happen...)!





Alright, pull that pasty looking chicken out of the zip top bag, and pour out the marinade, we don't need it anymore.  I like to ever so slightly pound out the chicken breasts, so that they're an even thickness all of the way around, so it cooks evenly.  Once it's pounded out (if you choose to do so), pat it dry with paper towels (and, as always, be sure to disinfect your work surface after working with raw chicken...I'm just going to throw that out there....), so that your chicken will sear, and not just steam on the grill/grill pan.





Once it has been patted dry, give side A a quick spray with some non-stick spray (if you spray it on the pan, the pan will just smoke like crazy.  Spraying it on the chicken helps cut the smoke down a ton, if not entirely), and preheat your grill pan over medium heat, for a few minutes.  To be more efficient you can do this while you're pounding out your chicken.

Lay your chicken in the pan, and leave it alone for about 7-8 minutes, then flip it over, and grill for another 7-8 minutes.  It really is that simple.

Let your chicken rest for about 6-10 minutes, and then you can either slice it up, or serve the whole breast, however you wish to serve it!  This chicken has a mild pickle flavor, but it really does have a lot of flavor packed in it!  Even my husband, who isn't the biggest fan of pickles, loves this chicken.  It stays juicy through the cooking process, and is just a crowd pleaser every time!  This is certainly a summer staple in this house!  Enjoy!