December in the kitchen – Pickle marinated chicken leg quarters

December in the kitchen – Pickle marinated chicken leg quarters

I have to admit it; I am still kicking myself over the loss of that pickling brine from the red beets. Do you remember, I poured the extra brine down the sink just as the deliciousness of it sunk in?! I cannot seem to get it out of my head. Would you say my brain is pickled? Maybe if you know me!

So, when we recently finished a jar of pickled asparagus, I didn’t make the same mistake. I saved it. Pickled asparagus is delicious with softly scrambled eggs and goat cheese, that’s how we finished off the jar last weekend. The big asparagus season comes in March and April here in California, but there have been some tiny thin ones in the store. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised as it has been sprouting in my garden as well. I usually pass by the thin ones, preferring the larger and more flavorful stalks. But, asparagus pickle juice and fresh asparagus hmm; the combination caught my imagination.

Pickle brine

Pickle brine

“Bon appetite” had an article for pickle brine marinated fried chicken a few months ago. I don’t do a lot of frying but thought I could use that idea for some roast chicken thighs. The asparagus could roast at the same temperature, maybe some sweet potatoes as well. They would add a sweet note to the sharpness of vinegar.

I made a simple version of a blender mayonnaise to go with the chicken and asparagus.

I was very happy with the results.

Pickle brine marinated chicken thighs

  • 4 chicken leg quarters
  • 1 ½ to 2 cups of left over pickle brine (mine was asparagus brine, recipe below)
  • Olive oil
Pickle brined chicken leg quarters

Pickle brined chicken leg quarters

  1. Pat the chicken pieces dry and place in a large bowl. Add the pickle brine, it should cover them. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 1 to 3 hours.
  2. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F
  3. At the end of the brining, pat the chicken dry and put in a roasting pan, skin side up.
  4. Place into the preheated oven. You can add the sweet potatoes at this same time if you are baking them to go with the chicken.
  5. Roast for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until brown and juices run clear. You will put the asparagus into bake at the 1 hour mark.
  6. Trim and the asparagus, put into a baking pan in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt and grated parmesan. Place in the oven for the last 15 minutes (if your asparagus is thicker, it could need 20 minutes).

Roast asparagus

Asparagus sauce – blender mayonnaise with pickled vegetables

Blender mayonnaise with pickles

Blender mayonnaise with pickles

  • 1 cup of salad oil, I used ½ cup canola and ½ cup olive
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon dry powdered mustard
  • 2 tablespoons of pickle brine
  • 4 tablespoons of chopped pickles (asparagus, green beans, golden beets, cucumber pickles). Same as were in the brine.
  1. Into the container of a blender put the egg, mustard, pickle brine, and ¼ cup of the oil.
  2. Cover the container and blend at low speed.
  3. Immediately uncover and add the remaining oil in a steady stream (try to do this in about seconds).
  4. Switch the blender to high for 5 seconds.
  5. Add the chopped pickles and blend until a smooth puree.
  6. Serve with the chicken and roast asparagus.
roast chicken quarters with asparagus and sweet potato

roast chicken quarters with asparagus and sweet potato

You could use brind from any kind of pickle although I’m not sure about sweet ones. Let me know if anyone tries it.

Brine from Pickled Asparagus with Tarragon and Garlic (from Saving the Season by Kevin West).

  • 1 1/2 cups white-wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns, cracked
  • 2 allspice berries, crushed
  • 1/2 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • six 4 inch sprigs of tarragon
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  1. Bring all the ingredients to a boil, remove from the heat and steep for 15 minutes.
  2. Cool if using as a marinade.

If you are interested in the full pickle recipe, I can send it to you.

I’ll be taking this to Miz Helen’s Country Kitchen, Full Plate Thursday.