Hearty, creamy, and offering just the perfect touch of briny tang, this chicken chowder is the most delicious use for pickle juice you’ve never thought of.
Place bacon in a Dutch oven over medium; cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon, reserving drippings in Dutch oven; drain on paper towels. Add carrots, celery, and onion to drippings in Dutch oven; cook, stirring constantly, until onions begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Add garlic, jalapeño, bell pepper and 1 teaspoon of the salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add stock and 1/4 cup of the pickle juice and stir, scraping bottom of Dutch oven to loosen browned bits. Add potatoes and bring mixture to a boil over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
Uncover Dutch oven and add chicken, cheese, and cream; stir until cheese is melted and soup returns to a simmer. Stir in pickles, cayenne pepper, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, remaining 1 tablespoon pickle juice, and bacon.