These juicy, flavorful chicken tenders are marinated in pickle juice then breaded and baked in the oven or air fryer!
While I was on set doing the photography for my next cookbook in Charleston, I was chatting with the food stylist and Helene, my photographer about (what else) food and we got to talking about Chick-fil-A somehow and Abbie mentioned the secret to their amazing chicken is pickle juice. What!!? My daughter Madison LOVES pickles, and we go through jars of them each month and I always hate tossing the juice, so I loved the idea of reusing it.
Helene shared a recipe she often makes from The Southern Made Fresh Cookbook where she brines her chicken breast and pan fries them, I was inspired to try this when I got home! I didn’t follow the recipe from the book, but I did brine my chicken for 8 hours as instructed in her cookbook. Glorious results, I loved this so much I even created a short video! This is a recipe I will be making again and again!
How To Make Pickle Brined Chicken Tenders
Pickle-Brined Baked Chicken Tenders
- 12 (1 & 1/4 lbs) chicken tenders or skinless breasts cut into strips
- 1- 1/4 cup dill pickle juice, enough to cover the chicken
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 large egg white
- 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup seasoned panko
- cooking spray
- Place chicken in a shallow bowl and cover with pickle juice (enough to cover completely). Marinate in the refrigerator 8 hours.
- After 8 hours, drain and dry the chicken completely on paper towels; discard marinade.
- Preheat oven to 425F. Spray a large baking sheet with generously with oil.
- Combine egg, egg white, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. In a shallow bowl, combine the bread crumbs and panko.
- Dip chicken in the egg wash, then into the breadcrumb mixture and shake off excess.
- Place the chicken onto the prepared baking sheet and spray the top generously. Bake in the lower third of the oven until the bottom is golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Turn and bake 6 minutes, until golden.
Air Fryer Directions:
- Preheat the air fryer to 400F. Spray the chicken on both sides with oil. Cook in batches in a single layer 5 to 6 minutes on each side.