Why It Works
- Using cold pickles straight from the fridge helps the batter to adhere.
- A spicy remoulade mimics the flavors in the marinade, providing the perfect foil for dipping.
Crunchy and briny with a nice, salty kick, fried pickles aren't that hard to make at home. While variations on this Southern fave abound, the straightforward execution works best.
Not all pickles are created equal—you need really crisp, cold ones so the breading will adhere. Kosher dills—the type found in your average grocery store refrigerated section—stand up throughout cooking, remaining crisp and garlicky until the very end. If you do opt for spears, however, I found using mid-size Milwaukee's Petit Kosher Dill Pickles produce superior results. They're crunchier than competitors.
To top it all off, a spicy remoulade mimics the flavors in the marinade, providing the perfect foil for dipping.
- For the Pickles:
- 2 cups kosher dill pickles (about 4 pickles), drained and sliced, plus 1 tablespoon pickling liquid, divided
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons hot sauce, divided use
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire
- 1 ¼ teaspoons cayenne, divided use
- 1 gallon vegetable oil for deep-frying
- For the Remoulade:
- ¾ cup prepared mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- For the Breading:
- 1 ½ cups self-rising flour
- 1 cup finely crushed saltine crackers, about ¾ of a sleeve
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 eggs, beaten
Combine pickles, buttermilk, 1 teaspoon hot sauce, Worcestershire and 1 teaspoon cayenne in a resealable container. Marinate in refrigerator until pickles are very cold and infused with flavor, about 1 hour.
While pickles are marinating, combine mayonnaise, mustard, reserved pickle juice, remaining 1 teaspoon of hot sauce, remaining 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne and green onion in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Combine flour, crackers, onion powder, black pepper and salt in a large bowl. Lightly beat eggs until frothy in separate, small bowl.
Preheat vegetable oil to 350°F in a deep-fryer or Dutch oven. Remove pickles from refrigerator and drain in a colander. Dip pickles in eggs, and plunk them in the flour mixture, taking care to thoroughly coat them. Shake off excess breading. Fry in batches until golden, 3-5 minutes.
Remove with a slotted spoon and set on paper towels to drain. Serve immediately with remoulade for dipping.
Dutch oven or deep-fryer