Extra crispy fried chicken. Gluten free. Need I say more? I'm a sucker for all things crunchy, crispy and salty so naturally this chicken was elevated pretty high on the list of foods I crave and love to make.
It all started when the gluteny eaters in our house decided they wanted fried chicken. I was heartbroken to see how disappointed my daughter with celiac was to miss out. Normally she handles these things pretty well and we do our best to find a suitable alternative, but missing out on fried chicken??? She was not happy. There were tears, lots of tears! And since she handles this disease and its constraints so well I knew finding a good gluten free recipe was top priority.
I love that I can say this does not taste or act gluten free. It fries so beautifully and tastes absolutely amazing!
I have fried chicken in both a large cast iron pan and a deep fryer. I prefer my deep fryer for a few reasons, but mostly because I can easily place a lid over the top to prevent my kitchen, clothes and floor from being covered in grease splatters, and second, it controls the temperature for me. I can set it to 350 degrees F and not worry about it getting too hot or cold and I kinda like having one less thing to keep track of.
Making extra crispy fried chicken is relatively simple, especially when you follow a few simple guidelines.
Rule #1: Don't burn your house down! You're working with hot oil so a healthy fear is in order. I want your homes, and your skin, to remain just as it is. I don't know why, but working with hot oil puts me on high alert to slow down and be cautious.
Rule #2: Soak your chicken. Chicken soaked in buttermilk for at least 4 hours does wonders for the tenderness in your cooked meat. It also provides a method for the flour to stick to the meat. Go ahead and soak for 24 hours if you need to do it ahead of time.
Rule #3: Double dip. That's right. I'm giving you permission (and you know who you are!) to take your chicken out of the buttermilk, dip in the flour, and then repeat. This adds an extra layer of flour that causes the chicken to be extra crispy.
Rule #4: Avoid food poisoning. Nothing turns my stomach quicker than biting into pink chicken. There are two ways to help ensure a full cook on your chicken. First, take your chicken out of the refrigerator about ½ hour before you start to bread. This will take the chill off the chicken so it can properly cook all the way through without burning the breading. Second, make sure you have a thermometer handy and that your chicken is fully cooked to 165 degrees F.
Rule #5: Keep the breading on your chicken, not the basket. I learned this one the hard way. I would place my uncooked chicken in the fry basket and lower it in the oil, only to find all of my crispy goodness fried around the fry basket. My fry basket was getting more breading than my chicken. How disappointing is that??? After a little research, I found that if I lower the chicken in the basket using thongs and allow the oil to fully envelope the chicken before releasing it works wonders. No more sticking to the fry basket!
Gluten Free Extra Crispy Fried Chicken
- 7-8 pieces of bone-in skin-on chicken (I used 4 thighs and 4 drumsticks)
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1 ½ cups corn starch or arrowroot starch
- 1 cup gluten free flour blend
- ½ teaspoon guar or xanthan gum omit if in blend
- 1 ½ Tbs kosher salt divided
- 1 ½ Tbs ground black pepper divided
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion poweder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 7-9 cups peanut or canola oil
- In a baking dish or bowl (non-metal), combine buttermilk and ½ Tbs kosher salt and 1 Tbs black pepper. Add chicken to buttermilk mixture and make sure the chicken is mostly covered. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours, or up to 24 hours.
- Remove chicken from refrigerator and allow to rest for ½ hour before preparing.
- Using a deep fryer or heavy cast iron pan, heat peanut or canola oil to 350 degrees F.
- In a large flat dish, combine corn starch, gluten free flour, guar gum, 1 Tbs kosher salt, ½ Tbs black pepper, baking powder, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika.
- Working with 1 piece of chicken at a time, remove chicken from buttermilk and lightly coat in the flour mixture. Place the chicken back in the buttermilk, coating all over and then place back in the flour mixture. Coat the chicken again heavily in the flour, making sure to get flour in the cracks. Repeat this process with each piece of chicken, but only coating with flour right before you're going to fry it.
- Carefully place the chicken in the oil and allow to cook for 6-8 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
- I typically have room for 2 pieces of chicken to cook at one time, but whatever space you have, be careful not to overcrowd your chicken.
- When the chicken is cooked, remove from fryer and place on a wire rack over a baking sheet. At this point I like to check and make sure my chicken is cooked all the way through by inserting a thermometer to make sure it's hit 165 degrees F.
- You can turn your oven on very low if you need to keep the cooked chicken warm while you finish. Try not to set your chicken on or under paper towels as this creates steam that will soften the crispiness you worked so hard to make!