Gluten-Free Fried Chicken

November 11, 2021
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Photo by MJ Kroeger, prop styling by Veronica Olson, food styling by Yossy Arefi
  • Prep time 40 minutes
  • Cook time 12 minutes
  • makes 6 pieces
Author Notes

All my life fried chicken has been a staple, whether going to cookouts, holidays, or get-togethers. With all that being said, I can honestly say I’ve never come across a gluten-free fried chicken. Mind you, this was a few years ago, before gluten became a buzzword, I and a lot of people didn't even know gluten was a real word! (Yes, I will take others down with me in my lack of knowledge.).

When I started working in restaurants in New York, the year had to be early 2012, and we started to get an influx of tickets asking to remove bread from sandwiches, croutons from salads, and front of house asking if we fried any breaded things in the same fryer we made the French fries in. I didn't go to culinary school, so everything I learned was from kitchens I worked in and any cookbook I could get my hands on. So I was not familiar with gluten and didn't even know people could be allergic to it.

Gluten is a protein found in many grains, including wheat, barley, and rye. It's common in foods such as bread, pasta, pizza, and cereal. It can be really hard to avoid. People with a condition called celiac disease can start to have an adverse reaction if they consume a food which contains gluten or if a food has been in contact with anything containing it. It’s serious stuff! It would often come into question when we would be reading tickets asking for a gluten-free opinion if people were actually affected by celiac disease or going along with this “fad” that seemed to come out of nowhere to some of us.

Since my discovery of what gluten is and how it affects people's bodies, I've been trying my best to be very inclusive in recipe development, and if you love fried chicken, you shouldn't have to sit on the sidelines and watch people munch down on delicious crispness and not partake. With this recipe, you would never know the chicken is gluten-free. I mixed gluten-free flour with instant potato mix to add a crunch you wouldn’t believe could be achieved. I hope you all enjoy it! —Romel Bruno

What You'll Need
  • 6 chicken pieces (breast, thigh, drumstick, etc.)
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt, plus more
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1 cup instant potato mix (I used butter flavor)
  • 3 cups buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 8 cups canola or other neutral oil
  1. In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with 2 tablespoons of the salt, the paprika, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder until well coated. Let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 5 hours or up to 24.
  2. In a shallow bowl, mix the flour and potato mix. In a medium bowl, mix the buttermilk and egg well until incorporated.
  3. In a Dutch oven or large cast-iron skillet, heat the oil until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350°F. Set up a dredging station in this order: chicken, buttermilk mixture, flour mixture. Dredge the chicken in the buttermilk mixture, letting any excess drip off, then coat in the flour mixture. Transfer to a wire rack and let sit for 5 to 6 minutes to help the flour to adhere to the chicken.
  4. Working in batches if needed, fry the chicken on one side for about 5 minutes, then flip and continue to fry for 6 to 7 minutes more, depending on the size of the chicken, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165°F. Transfer to a wire rack and immediately season with salt.

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