Olive Brine Is The Key To Juicy And Tangy Chicken

The best thing about being a waste-conscious cook is that ordinary meals and ingredients can be transformed into something more incredible even after they've been used. Leftover pasta can turn into a breakfast casserole or savory pie. Excess holiday food can become the most creative sandwich around. And that jar full of olive brine sitting in the fridge? Use it to create juicy, tangy chicken. Any home cook knows what a simple brine can do for chicken. A mix of water and salt with perhaps a sprinkle of sugar and a few herbs infuses chicken with flavor and keeps the bird moist. However, there's no need to turn to other ingredients when a perfectly good brine is available and waiting to marinate your chicken.

Slightly sweet and salty, olive brine is like a more sophisticated pickle juice brine. Plus, the acidity¬†tenderizes the chicken, giving you supple, succulent chicken. All you need to do is pour the olive brine into a bowl and submerge the chicken in it. Leave it in the fridge overnight or for at least a few hours. Drain the olive brine and season the chicken ‚ÄĒ although you may want to be conservative with the salt. After cooking, you'll be left with mouthwatering, tender chicken with a delicious hint of olives.

Does the type of olive you use matter?

Like the olives themselves, not all olive brines are created equally. After sitting in the salty brine for weeks or months at a time, the olives are sure to impart the liquid with their own individual flavor. At the end of the day, the leftover juice will hit the marks of salty water, which is exactly what one needs out of a brine. Still, you can choose the type of olive brine you use based on what you're making the chicken with.

For example, Castelvetrano olives are on the milder side with undertones of sweet, buttery flavor. Since the taste is lighter, they're best for a dish that enhances flavors rather than overpowering them. The zesty, crisp flavors of upscale chicken piccata are the best choice for green olives. However, Kalamata olives are often kept in a brine of red wine vinegar, giving them a dark, intense, fruity flavor. Marinate the chicken in its brine and serve alongside a rich, flavorful dish like oven-roasted Greek briam bake. Meanwhile, Beldi olives also offer an intensely rich flavor but with a slightly bitter bite. Balance the chicken out by serving it alongside Moroccan couscous. The sweet apricots harmonize with the bitter aftertaste, transforming into a pleasantly savory meal.