This gluten-free fried chicken doesn’t call for buttermilk but instead relies on coconut milk plus cornstarch and a pinch of chili powder to make the best fried chicken. No one will even notice it’s gluten-free and dairy-free.
Gluten-Free Fried Chicken
- Quick Glance
- 25 M
- 45 M
- Serves 4
Special Equipment: Deep-fry or candy or instant-read thermometer
In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, eggs, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken, cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and, preferably, 8 to 12 hours.
About 45 minutes before you’re ready to sit down to a platter piled high with fried chicken, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large cast-iron skillet, heat 1 inch oil over medium heat until it registers 360°F (182°C) on a deep-fry or candy or instant-read thermometer. (No deep-fry thermometer? Test if your oil is hot enough by adding a pinch of gluten-free flour to the oil. If it sizzles and rises to the surface, you’re ready to start frying.)
While the oil heats, in a shallow bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, Old Bay, and baking powder.
Drain the chicken, discarding the excess marinade. Working with one piece of chicken at a time, dredge it in the flour mixture, turning to coat all sides, and then place the chicken on the baking sheet.
Carefully add the chicken to the hot oil, working in small batches so as not to crowd the skillet, and fry, turning occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through. The thigh meat should register 170°F (77°C) on an instant-read thermometer, which will take 20 to 25 minutes for large pieces such as the breasts and about 7 minutes for the small pieces such as wings. The exact timing will depend on the size of your chicken pieces.
Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a brown paper sack to drain on a brown paper sack. (The fried chicken can be kept warm in a 250°F (121°C) oven for up to 1 hour or served at room temperature.) Don’t forget the napkins. Originally published August 2, 2015.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
This is the most amazing fried chicken recipe! It made a crisp and light coating that wasn't greasy, and the meat was deliciously moist with just a hint of coconut flavor in the finished chicken. The seasoning in the coating was subtle but nicely so.
I used 3 1/2 pounds (1 3/4 kilograms) bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts cut in half to make 8 pieces. I chose to marinate the chicken overnight. Frying the chicken took me 30 minutes, as I wanted to ensure the chicken was cooked through. My instant-read thermometer wasn't reading correctly, so I chose to give the chicken a little more cooking time rather than chance a piece being underdone. The chicken was proclaimed better than the stuff from "that take-out place” by all my tasters. The fact that it was gluten-free was certainly a bonus. That meant as someone who is wheat-sensitive, I could enjoy it, too, without taking off the yummy crispy bits.
As a matter of fact, when I came downstairs this morning, my husband was rooting through the fridge looking for the leftover pieces. (I hid them for my daughter's and my lunch tomorrow.) He even tried to bribe me into telling with fresh coffee! There was a lot of dredging flour left over after making the chicken, almost a full cup, and that seemed a little wasteful. Next time I will probably only use 1 cup flour and maybe increase the Old Bay seasoning to 3 tablespoons to see if that makes any difference. I certainly won't be using regular flour to make fried chicken anymore as this was so much better.
"Moisture galore" are the first words that we all thought of when we tried this gluten-free fried chicken. Even the chicken breast was juicy as can be, and the outside crust was, indeed, nice and crisp. Not one family member did not like this fried chicken.
I let the chicken marinate for about 6 hours in the coconut milk mixture. It covered the chicken perfectly, so I did not have to move the pieces around throughout the day. Once I started frying, I decided to first fry the larger pieces, meaning the breasts, and leave the wings for last. I was timing the whole process in increments of 5 minutes. The breasts took about 20 minutes while the wings were more like 7 minutes. Even with so little oil, the flour didn't stick to the pot at all, and it also didn't fall from the chicken, which in turn created nice, crisp chicken.
I let the chicken rest on brown paper bags after being fried, as they soak up some of the oil yet leave the chicken crisp.