Fried Chicken ThunderbirdThe fried chicken plate at Thunderbird with house made apple butter

Fried Chicken in Pickle Brine, recipe from Andrew Whitmoyer at Thunderbird

Serves 2 to 4 people


1 whole Chicken – broken down into 2 legs, 2 thighs, 2 breast (off bone), If not comfortable butchering chicken ask your butcher to cut it down for you

2 Gallons of water – 1 gallon hot as the tap can get, the 2nd gallon as cold as the tap can get

4 fresh stalks of fresh dill

6 garlic cloves smashed or 2 garlic bulbs cut in half

2 Cups of Salt

3 C of White distilled vinegar

3 C AP flour

3 T Garlic Powder

5 T Paprika

2 c buttermilk

3 T Tabasco

3 T Dried Thyme


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Take the first gallon of hot water and add in the garlic, dill vinegar, and 1 ½ C salt, mix together with a whisk until salt has dissolved
  3. Add in a couple handfuls of ice cubes to help cool down the hot water, and add in the cold water as well, stir till most cubes have dissolved, place chicken in brine for two hours but no more than 4 hours
  4. While chicken is brining mix, Mix Flour, Garlic Powder, 2 T Paprika and remaining salt in a bowl
  5. In a separate bowl mix together Buttermilk, Tabasco, Remaining paprika and thyme together
  6. Get a fryer or deep pot with oil up to the temperature of 350 degrees
  7. After chicken is done in brine, take out, wash under cold water and dry with a towel
  8. place chicken in flour, cover, take out shake off loose flour, dredge in buttermilk mix and then back into the flour
  9. take breast out of the flour first and drop into fryer oil for about 3 minutes, then add in your legs and thighs, let those go for about 10 more minutes in fryer.
  10. Take out of fryer and put onto a sheet tray and place into oven for about 10 to 12 minutes, check meat with a thermometer, it should read 165 degrees
  11. Sprinkle with salt before serving.