Being stationed in Germany has quite a few perks. Travel, new cuisine, fantastic culture and a serious lack of Fast Food. From the top of my head I can think of about 3-4 locations around my city that serve fast food, unlike back home where it was on every corner. At the same time, I miss Chick-Fil-A. Although, it always seemed that the days I really craved it was on Sundays…go figure.
This recipe was dreamed up by a combination of my old diet and now my new one. Pickle-brining chicken was something I used to do in restaurants I worked in, it makes the meat super moist and perfectly seasoned with a hint of dill-pickly yumminess. It also utilized something people normally throw out-pickle juice.
I’ve also seen tons of recipes out there for using crushed pork rinds as a zero-carb breading for meats and veggies. I’ve tried it before with mozzarella sticks, and the pork rind flavor was a little too over powering for me. This recipe is perfectly balanced, the pickle flavor masks the pork rind flavor so you are left with a crispy chicken tender very reminiscent of Chick-Fil-A.
I’m also paring this with a recipe for Chilpotle Aioli. The hubby likes everything spicy, so I figured this would add to the Chick-Fil-A allure by making it more like a spicy chicken sandwich, but without the bread.
I recommend making your own mayonnaise, it’s just THAT much better tasting and you can choose a healthy oil to make it with. But, you can use store-bought as well…especially if you don’t have a few extra egg yolks just lying around.
I normally have a jar of these chilpotle peppers in adobo in my pantry. The left overs I usually put in small plastic baggies separatly and freeze them. Then you can thaw as you need them. Almost every grocery store has these in the International section for about a buck or two.
Low Carb Pickle-Brined Fried Chicken
- 3 large chicken breasts
- 16 oz. jar of pickles, just the juice (try finding one with 0-1 carbs per serving)
- 2 cups peanut oil (or whatever oil you prefer to fry with)
- 4 oz. plain pork rinds, finely crushed
- 2 whole eggs, beaten
- Place chicken breasts and pickle juice in a freezer-sized ziplock bag. Store in fridge overnight to brine.
- Drain pickle juice from bag.
- Slice chicken breast into tender or nuggets, whatever you prefer.
- One at a time, place a strip of chicken in egg wash and then in the bowl of crushed pork rinds. Press down to get the coating to stick-the wetness of the pickle juice on the help the crumbs to stick.
- Place on a plate until you are ready to fry.
- In a medium sized fry pan, heat peanut oil over medium-high heat. You don’t need a lot, just enough to cover half the chicken tender.
- Fry on each size of chicken for 2-3 minutes, until golden brown.
- Place chicken tenders cool on a paper towel-lined plate until all are fried.
- Serve with Chilpotle Aioli *see recipe below.
- 1 cup mayonnaise, homemade or store bought
- 2 whole chilpotle pepper in adobo
- 1 clove of fresh garlic
- Place mayo, garlic and peppers in a food processor.
- Blend until fully combined, about 30 seconds.