Green olive jar on a white background
Why You Should Stop Throwing Out Olive Brine (And Add It To A Marinade Instead)
By Betsy Parks
Instead of dumping that salty, vinegary liquid left behind after you eat all the olives and pickles in a jar, save it for brining chicken, pork, or even tofu for a flavorful weeknight supper. Marinating a few small pieces of meat in olive juice only takes a few hours, and it's also a great way to use up everything in your fridge, which will cut down on food waste and save you a little money.
Using your leftover olive and pickle juice as a brine is a great way to add flavor to meat, denature the proteins, and trap water in the muscle, making the meat juicer. Brining is great for turkeys and big cuts of pork to prevent dryness, but you can also use this technique for small cuts, like a couple of chicken breasts or a pound of wings — plus, smaller cuts take a lot less time to brine.
To brine with olive juice (or any other leftover briny liquid), simply transfer it from the original jar into a container with whatever meats, herbs, and spices you want for at least a few hours. If you're already planning to marinate/brine your meat overnight, you can pull a bit of a culinary twofer by thawing meat from the freezer in the brine overnight.