Pickled Cherry Pepper Chicken

January 10, 2020
1 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten. Prop Stylist: Veronica Olson. Food Stylist: Samantha Seneviratne.
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 35 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Pickled cherry peppers are the perfect addition to pretty much anything; sandwiches, salads, or even straight out of the jar as a snack. Since I tend to fly through a jar pretty quickly, it’s not uncommon to find a container half full of brine in the fridge with no peppers in sight. Instead of pouring it down the drain, which I fear too many people do, I use the spicy, salty, acidic brine in clever ways because the liquid is equally as delicious and even more versatile than the pickled peppers themselves.

The brine can be used for a ton of different things. It’s a delicious base to a vinaigrette, can add a spicy kick to a batch of Bloody Marys, or can be the secret ingredient that makes your queso the greatest of all time. But, my favorite way to use the piquant liquid is by quick-brining roast chicken and chickpeas for a sheet-pan supper.

In this recipe, the chicken is tossed with a can of chickpeas, finely chopped cherry peppers, some of the pickled pepper brine, a fat pinch of salt, pepper, and olive oil. After marinating for at least an hour, but preferably overnight, everything is roasted on a sheet tray until the chicken is cooked and the chickpeas are crisp. The hot, spicy chicken served over top a cool, creamy frisée salad that’s tossed in an herbaceous crème fraîche dressing.

If you find the chickpeas or chicken aren't browning to your liking, pop them under the broiler for the last few minutes of cooking to crisp the chickpeas and brown the chicken skin.
Grant Melton

What You'll Need
  • For the chicken:
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken legs
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1 (14-ounce) can chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup sliced pickled cherry peppers, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup pickled cherry pepper brine
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • For the salad:
  • 1/4 cup crème fraîche
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped chives
  • 1 large bunch frisée, washed, dried, and roughly chopped
  1. Place the chicken, chickpeas, chopped cherry peppers, brine, salt, and olive oil into a bowl and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour or up to eight.
  2. When you’re ready to cook, preheat the oven to 425°F. While the oven preheats, arrange the chicken and chickpeas on a foil-lined sheet pan. Pour any remaining brine over top of the chicken. Sprinkle the chicken with an extra pinch of salt. Roast for 35 minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked and chickpeas are crisp.
  3. While the chicken roasts, prepare the salad. In a large bowl, whisk the crème fraîche, apple cider vinegar, salt, sugar, and chives. Set aside.
  4. To serve, add frisée to the bowl and toss to dress. Plate the frisée and serve with a spoonful of warm chickpeas and a piece or two of chicken.

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1 Review

twinchell April 20, 2023
Made this with Chicken Hind Quarters (as our grocer has them at an unbeatable price compared to individual legs and thighs). The flavors are good and the dish is simple to prepare (as is the flavor). I might add some shallots next time if I make again.