Pickle Brined Fried Chicken Sliders on Cheddar Biscuits

Chicken & Biscuits
Serves: 4
Ingredients for Chicken:
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 4 ounces each)
  • 24 dill pickle coins (about 3/4 packed cup), plus 1/2 cup pickle brine
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 teaspoons drained capers, chopped
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • canola oil or other neutral oil, for frying (4 to 6 cups)
  • pickles (for garnish)
Procedure for Chicken:
  1. Add the chicken thighs and 1/2 cup pickle brine to a resealable plastic bag and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours, turning the bag occasionally to marinate evenly.
  2. While the chicken marinates, prepare the pickle mayonnaise.  Finely chop 8 dill pickle coins. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, capers and chopped pickles; season generously with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. When ready to cook the chicken, pour the buttermilk into a wide shallow bowl. In a separate wide shallow bowl, add the flour, cornstarch, onion powder and 1 tablespoon each salt and pepper; whisk to combine.
  4. In a large Dutch oven or deep cast-iron skillet, add 2 inches of oil and, over medium-high, heat to 325 F, about 5 minutes.
  5. Working with one piece at a time, remove the chicken from the brine, transfer to the buttermilk and turn to coat. Lift chicken from the buttermilk, allowing the excess liquid to drip off, then add it to the flour mixture and turn to coat, patting extra flour mixture on top to ensure the chicken is well coated on all surfaces. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken.
  6. Working in two batches, add the chicken to the hot oil and cook, turning every 1 to 2 minutes, until crust is deep golden and chicken is cooked through, about 6 minutes total. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to cool and season with salt and pepper. (An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the thickest part of the thigh should read at least 165 F) Repeat with the remaining chicken, adjusting the heat to ensure that the oil maintains a temperature of 325 F.
  7. Serve with biscuits, garnished with pickles.
Ingredients for Biscuits:
  • 2¼ cups (324g) all-purpose flour
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 6 ounces cheddar, coarsely grated (1½ cups)
  • 4 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 cup well-shaken buttermilk (sour cream or yogurt works well too)
Procedure for Biscuits:
  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a bowl, then blend in butter with your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in cheddar and scallions. Add buttermilk and stir until just combined.
  3. Drop dough in 12 equal mounds about 2 inches apart onto a buttered large baking sheet. Bake in middle of oven until golden, 18 to 20 minutes.

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