Bread crumb coated chicken is a perennial favorite and now there’s a gluten and dairy-free version from Sweet Laurel Savory using coconut milk, cassava flour, and arrowroot powder. Quickly fried and finished off in the oven, they’re pretty snappy to prepare, too. Everybody’s happy.
Adapted from Laurel Gallucci & Claire Thomas | Sweet Laurel Savory | Clarkson Potter, 2021
For those looking to cut gluten—or any other ingredient—out of their diets, my advice is simple: plan ahead. I keep tons of healthy breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack options at home, ready to easily prepare or grab and go. Always remember, when there’s a will, there’s a way. There are tons of options on the market that are free of gluten, dairy, and sugar. And if you can’t find something you love, don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty in the kitchen—or in my case, the bakery.–Laurel Gallucci
HOW DO I GET BREADING TO STICK TO CHICKEN?
Actually, the technique you’ll find in this recipe is probably the best way to go. That’s to say—the triple threat of flour, then egg, then breading. The ingredients may change, but the process is the same. It’s in numerous recipes on the site and always seems to get the best results. We know what we’re doing.
Bread Crumb Coated Chicken
- Deep fry thermometer
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (1 1/2 lbs | 680 g) butterflied and halved (4 pieces total)
- Himalayan pink salt and freshly ground white pepper
- 3/4 cup cassava flour
- 1/4 cup arrowroot powder
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons full-fat canned coconut milk stirred well
- 2 cups unseasoned grain-free or regular bread crumbs homemade or store-bought
- Coconut oil or olive oil for frying
- Lemon wedges for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF (177°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Have ready a wire rack and a paper towel-lined plate.
- Working with one piece at a time, place the chicken in a large zip-top bag, or between two pieces of plastic wrap or wax paper, and pound until 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick. Place the chicken on a large platter and season well on both sides with salt and pepper.
- In a medium shallow bowl, combine the cassava flour and arrowroot. In a separate medium shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs and coconut milk. Place the bread crumbs in a third medium shallow bowl.
☞TESTER TIP: Leftover coconut milk can be frozen in ice cube trays and used for another recipe.
- Fill a large, deep cast-iron skillet with coconut oil to a depth of 1 inch (25 mm). Attach a deep-fry thermometer to the side and heat the oil over medium heat to 350ºF (177°C).
- Working with one piece of chicken at a time, dredge the chicken in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess, then dip them in the egg mixture, allowing any excess to drip off, and finally dredge in the bread crumbs, pressing to coat. Set the chicken on the wire rack while you coat the remaining pieces.
- Working in batches, add the chicken to the oil and fry, gently moving the skillet in a circular motion on the burner, until the coating looks bubbly and starts to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip and cook until browned on the other side, 1 to 2 minutes more.
- Move the fried chicken to the paper towel–lined plate to drain and repeat with the remaining chicken, letting the oil return to temperature between batches.
- When all of the chicken has been fried, move it to the prepared baking sheet, and bake until golden brown, and the internal temperature registers 165°F (74°C) on a thermometer, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Serve the chicken garnished with lemon wedges.
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We’d love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
There are very happy bellies in my house tonight. This bread crumb coated chicken was awesome. I rarely fry chicken, so when I do, it’s an event, and everyone gets very excited. You can imagine then, there is a lot of pressure for it to be good! I was curious to see how the cassava/arrowroot and coconut milk/egg combos would affect the flavor and texture, but rest assured, they worked perfectly.
If you’re gluten/dairy-free – this is the fried chicken recipe for you. They’re crisp, juicy, and delish. I served it with roasted potatoes and steamed rapini.
This relatively simple dish drew surprisingly positive comments from a crew of testers that thrives on spicy heat. Each one commented on how much they enjoyed the bread crumb coated chicken both for its flavor, augmented with lemon juice, and how juicy it turned out. I also appreciated how little spattering there was to clean up after frying the pieces and the fact that using panko breadcrumbs added a little additional crunch.
Each piece emerged from the pan with a firm golden-brown exterior that unfortunately lost a bit of its crispness in the oven, but even with that the results were still worth it and worth repeating. I served the chicken with roasted broccoli and the lemon wedges. My testers all thought the chicken would work well with other condiments and/or sauces as well, ranging from Asian-influenced to Italian.
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
This bread crumb coated chicken was amazing! So much so that my kids gobbled it up. This will now be my go-to recipe for making chicken cutlets. I was planning on making chicken sandwiches and the recipe came at the right time. I loved the fact that it used arrowroot and cassava flour and coconut milk, as I like to cook with those ingredients. And no one could tell the difference. For me, the chicken pieces were huge. I started with 2 breasts, butterflied into 4 pieces and then cut them in half to make 8. I started with 2.8 pounds of chicken, which was 2 chicken breasts.
Because I made them into sandwiches, it served 8. But as a main dish it would probably serve 3 to 4. I served with roasted potatoes and veggies.