There’s so much innovation happening in the fried chicken space, and today’s diners are eating it up, responding to this trend’s comfort-food appeal and flavor-forward approach. Chef Heather Terhune of Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants wanted to draw upon what she liked about fast-food fried chicken—especially the salty and crispy elements—so she developed her Pickle Brined Fried Chicken Thighs by brining the chicken in pickle juice. “It is simple fried chicken, but with a twist. Chefs brine all kinds of protein, but rarely do they use vinegar. It was a way to utilize all the extra pickle juice we had laying around. It seems like it wouldn’t work to ‘pickle’ chicken, but it does,” says Terhune. The brininess of the chicken and the crispy breading work well together. “Guests loved it and were really intrigued by how I got the chicken to ‘taste like pickles.’” It ended up being one of the most popular dishes at BDK in San Francisco. Because of the success of this dish, Terhune plans on experimenting with pickle-brining other proteins.