I don’t remember how many years ago it was, but one of my friends brought Kentucky Fried Chicken to our monthly bookclub meeting. Prior to this, the height of decadence in bookclub came in the form of our local so, so bad-for-you Chinese restaurant. With the exception of our vegetarian member, everyone, after noting they hadn’t had KFC in years, dug into the chicken. And the biscuits.
Before long, fried chicken became a regular feature at bookclub. And I am not ashamed to say the one thing I regretted most about going gluten-free was…yes, no more KFC. Which meant I had to get over my fear of frying.
Needless to say, making fried chicken is a personal thing. Everyone has a recipe they swear by. The trick is to gussy up the flour mixture with herbs and spices and tasty stuff to give it lots of flavor. The other trick is to use really hot (350 degrees) oil to get a good seal on the chicken — that way the juiciness stays in while the oil stays out.
You can fry in a deep fryer, on the stove in a deep skillet or Dutch oven, or even bake this version of fried chicken. And, of course, make it your own by mixing up the seasonings to your own taste. And while you can use any and all part of the chicken, remember that breasts tend to dry out more than legs and thighs.
Gluten-Free Fried Chicken
By April 30, 2013Published:
- Yield: 6 Servings
- Prep: 15 mins
- Cook: 30 mins
- Ready In: 55 mins
Just because you're gluten-free, it doesn't mean you have to sacrifice old favorites. As a bonus, this recipe can be prepared fried or oven-baked. Extra bonus: it's just as good cold!
- 3 - 4 pounds whole chicken cut into pieces, breasts cut in half (or just legs, thighs, or breasts, remembering that breasts can get dry if overcooked)
- 1 quart buttermilk
- 3 large eggs
- Tabasco or other hot sauce optional
- 1 cup rice flour brown or white, your call
- 1/2 cup potato flour, tapioca, or corn starch
- 1/2 cup cornmeal optional
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste, plus more for seasoning chicken
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or to taste, plus more for seasoning chicken
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 -1 teaspoon chipotle powder or cayenne or to taste
- 1/2 - 1 teaspoon each ground coriander, oregano, sage, and thyme. Add some cumin to this blend if you like.
- vegetable oil for frying
- Rinse and pat dry the chicken, place in a large bowl, and cover with buttermilk. Use your hands to make sure all pieces of chicken are coated. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 2 − 4 hours (or more).
- Remove the chicken from the buttermilk, pat dry with paper towels, and season with salt and pepper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and hot sauce together.
- In a wide bowl or baking dish (I use a 9x9 baking dish), whisk the flour, starch, cornmeal, salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and other seasonings together.
- Dip a piece of chicken into the egg mixture, shake off the excess, and coat in the flour mixture. Repeat for the rest of the chicken. Then…do a second coating of the flour mixture.
- Fill the your deep fryer or frying pan with oil to 350 degrees. If you’re not using a deep fryer, use a candy/frying thermometer to make sure you are at the right temperature.
- Working in batches, carefully add the chicken to the oil. Do not crowd the pan. Make sure your temperature remains steady at 350 degrees (the oil will cool slightly when you add the chicken). Cook for 10 − 12 minutes on each side or until done; if you’re using a fryer, cooking time can be 20 or so minutes, particularly if you have large, thick pieces of chicken. Use an instant read thermometer to verify that your chicken is at 165 degrees at the thickest part.
- Place the cooked chicken on a wire cooling rack placed over a baking sheet (you can line the baking sheet with paper towels to catch drips, if you’d like). Keep warm in the oven while the rest of the chicken cooks.
- Alternative Cooking Method: Instead of frying your chicken, bake at 400 degrees for 35 − 45 minutes (until done). Your chicken with be golden brown and yummy. Some people suggest a light coat of cooking spray over the floured chicken before baking — I’ve never done this, but wanted to throw it out there as an option.
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