Fried pickles make me think of my friend, Stephanie, who I met in Chicago, but she was Southern as the day is long. She had a beautiful lilt to her voice, she was so comfortable in her skin (I still envy her that), and she’d been through some awful times (her father passed away, and she had some serious health issues) but I kid you not, she was the happiest, bubbliest, most vivacious person. You couldn’t help but be happy around her. Maybe she was so happy because she ordered exactly what she wanted at restaurants? Hm…read on.
We were at a restaurant in Chicago one day and she ordered friahhed pi-yuckles. Say what? I’d never had them, sheltered person that I was. I remember thinking how weird that sounded, and being surprised at how much I liked them. Are they more of a Southern thing? Apparently. So…here’s a really simple recipe for fried pickles, snack on them, like Liesl, or slap them on a burger for surprise crunch and unsuspected depth! Why not?
You will need…
- at least an inch oil for frying (I used vegetable)
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 16 ounces dill pickle slices, drained and dried on paper towels
The first, most important step is to drain the pickles on paper towels until they’re as dry as possible. I let mine sit out for about an hour or so. In the meantime…
Heat an inch or so of oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Before you fry the pickles, drop a drop of water in to see if it sizzles. If it does, it’s ready!
Whisk together the flour, seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Whisk in the water and hot sauce. Adjust if you’re sensitive to spice. Old Bay and the hot sauce are hot…obviously.
When the batter is well combined, dredge the pickle slices in and coat generously. One could use a fork, but sometimes your fingers work just as well. Lay the pickles on a wire rack as you dredge the rest of the batch.
Using tongs or a fork, lay the pickle chips gently in the oil and fry for about 3 minutes, then turn for another 2 minutes. They’re done when they’re a light golden brown. Remove the pickles with a spider and drain on another wire rack.
Allow the pickles to cool for 3-5 minutes. Then consume them with ranch, ketchup, or layer them in a Lowcountry burger for extra pizazz!