Spicy Pickle-Habanero Brine

Use Carla Hall's flavorful brine to spice up your cooking
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Pickles in Brine
Photo: Meghan Uno

If you need another reason to save excess pickle juice, check out this amped-up brine. While you could make a basic brine with just water and salt, take a hint from Carla Hall and pop open the pickle jar for extra acidic liquid. Add in a tiny but powerful habanero, and you have a simple, go-to way to infuse heat and flavor into whatever you're cooking.

Use the brine to marinate any meat, fish or vegetable you like, or simply toss it with salad greens or liven up day-old rice.

Fire up Carla Hall's pickle-brined, chile-dipped Nashville-style hot chicken.

Spicy Pickle-Habanero Brine

Recipe adapted from Carla Hall's Southern Kitchen, Brooklyn, NY

Yield: 1¾ cups

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: N/A

Total Time: 5 minutes


1 cup sliced dill pickles

1 cup dill pickle juice

½ cup water

1 habanero pepper, stem removed

¼ cup kosher salt

2 teaspoons sugar


In a blender, combine the pickles, pickle juice, water, habanero pepper, salt and sugar, and mix on medium speed until smooth. Use as desired.

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