This easy gluten free fried chicken recipe is seriously the best ever. One bite of this crispy, juicy gluten free fried chicken and you will be hooked! Follow all of my tips and tricks to get the best gluten free fried chicken ever!
When the owner, Ari, of Proposition Chicken in San Francisco, told me he was going to share his exclusive gluten free fried chicken recipe with us, I thought about how incredible this was. How often do you feel safe eating fried chicken at a restaurant? It is one of those things I truly miss.
Comfort foods like these rarely happen in the gluten free realm, or if they do, they are rarely any good. (Looking at this photo of gluten free fried chicken is really making me hungry!) This recipe for fried chicken will bring back those memories of real crispy fried chicken. The kind your grandma made!
Is there gluten in fried chicken?
Unfortunately, traditional fried chicken does contain gluten. Not only do they coat the chicken in flour, but the fryers in many restaurants become contaminated because they also fry other gluten foods in the fryer.
Well, now our family can get its gluten free fried chicken fix at Proposition Chicken. As I mentioned in my interview with Proposition Chicken, they have a dedicated gluten free fryer to prevent cross-contamination. (They take a lot of other steps to keep things safe that you can read about in the interview link above.)
- Chicken - You can use any cuts of chicken for this recipe, bone-in or boneless.
- Tapioca starch - This is the hero of the recipe. It is grain free and adds the crispiest of coatings!
- Buttermilk - This adds flavor and juiciness. If you don't have buttermilk on-hand, you can mix 1 cup of milk to 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to make it.
- Red wine vinegar - Most vinegar is gluten free but always read the labels!
- Cayenne - This adds a hint of spice, it is optional.
Recipe step by step directions:
Step 1: Add all of the ingredients (except the raw chicken) to a large bowl. Whisk it until it is frothy, about 2 minutes. Add the raw chicken and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
Step 2: Soak the chicken in the buttermilk overnight or for 12 hours.
Step 3: In a Dutch oven or large cast-iron skillet, heat a high heat tolerance oil to 350-375º F. Gently drop the chicken into the hot oil.
HINT: I recommend using either canola oil or avocado oil because they are good at high heat. Do NOT use olive oil or other low heat oils or the flavor will turn out rancid.
Step 4: Use tongs to flip the chicken over so both sides cook evenly. Cooking time will vary by the cut of chicken, and whether it is bone-in or boneless. Be sure the internal temperature of the cooked chicken is 165º F.
Please note you can also use this recipe to make gluten free chicken tenders and gluten free chicken nuggets!!
If you want to try one of my old Texan favorites...you need to try this easy Gluten Free Chicken Fried Steak recipe!!
Easy frying tip:
Our outdoor Weber grill has a side burner attached. I use this to make my fried chicken. I hate when hot oil splatters all over my kitchen, and that hot oil smell permeates EVERYWHERE! Avoid all of this if you can and cook this outside.
I am sure you have tons of questions if you have never made fried chicken. I will do my best to answer them all.
The best gluten free flours to use for frying gluten free fried chicken, and other savory dishes like eggplant parmesan are Tapioca Starch (the star of this easy chicken recipe), Cassava Flour, Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Flour Blend (in the red label bag), and Gluten Free Bisquick. Any of these gluten free flours make great fried chicken breading.
The short answer is no, you do not need a fryer to make fried chicken. You can use a cast-iron skillet as I did. I have also heard from readers that this simple gluten free fried chicken recipe works in an air fryer!
The length of time to cook fried chicken depends on whether you cook it in a frying pan, air fryer, or deep frying. You want to make sure the internal temperature of the chicken is 165º F when cooked. A deep fryer like this recipe calls for takes about 18 minutes. Cooking this fried chicken recipe in a skillet with an inch of oil will take about 25 minutes. You will need to turn the chicken often so all sides get crispy.
I have not tried this recipe in an air fryer yet, but one of my readers has tried it. She said the fried chicken will take around 25 minutes to cook in an air fryer. This Air Fried Chicken Drumsticks Recipe is made a little differently, but tastes amazing!
Yes, you can with this recipe because this recipe calls for tapioca starch. There is no flour in this fried chicken recipe!
Buttermilk definitely adds to the flavor profile of this recipe. If you don't have buttermilk on hand, why not make some with milk and lemon juice? For this recipe, use regular milk and add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Let it sit for 10 minutes then you are ready to go :-). If you want a delicious baked fried chicken, try this Gluten Free Buttermilk Oven Fried Chicken recipe!
This super easy fried chicken recipe makes chicken moist and flavorful.
We hope you enjoy this recipe and can get to Proposition Chicken to try their chicken dishes out. The owner is cool and even better, this restaurant "gets" gluten free. I feel safe going here to eat their crispy fried chicken.
- Deli-Style Gluten Free Macaroni Salad
- Loaded Baked Potato Salad
- Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes with this easy Gluten Free Gravy
- The Best Kale and Apple Salad
Learning how to eat gluten free is easy AND delicious when you have fried chicken recipes like this one. And if you love chicken as much as we do, you will want to check out ALL of my deliciously easy Gluten Free Chicken Recipes.
- Tapioca flour. This fries up to make the crispiest skin.
- Large cast-iron skillet. My favorite skillet for frying.
Best Gluten Free Fried Chicken Recipe
- 8-10 pieces Bone-in chicken of your choice
- 1 cup buttermilk (*see note)
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ tablespoon red wine vinegar
- dash of salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup tapioca starch (*see note)
- 2 cups hot oil for frying (*see note)
- Put all ingredients (except chicken) into a bowl and whisk until fluffy.
- Put the raw chicken into a large dish and pour the marinade over the butchered chicken.
- Move chicken around to make sure all of the raw chicken is all covered in the marinade.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 12 hours.
- Drain marinaded chicken in a large strainer.
- Place chicken in the tapioca flour and toss it around to cover the whole piece of chicken.
- Let the chicken rest 2-3 minutes on a baking pan.
- Gently heat oil in a pre-seasoned cast iron skillet. If you have a deep fryer, that is great! I would use that instead. The oil should be 350-375 F degrees before adding the chicken pieces.
- Fry the chicken for 10 minutes on one side. Flip the chicken to cook the other side another 10 minutes. (Do this if you are not fully submerging your chicken in the hot oil. After you cook each side of the chicken, check the internal temperature of 165 F degrees. The total cook time would be around 20 minutes, but it depends on the cut of chicken you are using. If you are deep frying the chicken it will take less time for your chicken to cook.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
- Many ask if you can use cornstarch instead of tapioca, this should be okay.
- If you do not have buttermilk, you can make your own by mixing 1 cup milk with 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
- If you like your chicken extra crispy, double-dip it! After doing one dip in the tapioca starch, put back into the buttermilk, then redip into the tapioca starch.
- Use an oil that is made to tolerate high heat. Canola, avocado, and coconut oil are all great high heat oils for frying. (Note if you use coconut oil it will impart a flavor where canola and avocado oil are tasteless.)
- You want your hot oil temperature to reach between 350-375 F degrees before adding the chicken.
- This fried chicken will keep up to 3 days in the refrigerator in an air-tight container. To reheat, put onto a baking sheet, cover with foil (to prevent burning the crispy coating), and bake in the oven at 325 F degrees for 20 minutes. Check to see if it is heated all the way through.
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