When someone talks about comfort food, very near the top of that list is my favorite meal of homemade fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, a side of fried okra and a buttery biscuit. When I was a kid, we had this or a combination of this several times a month. We may have switched out the okra for peas or corn, but the star of the show was the crispy, crunchy, fried chicken.
This crunchy, Gluten Free Fried Chicken is sure to soar to the top of your favorites list too!
The version of fried chicken I grew up on, was the version you will likely find in the South. My grandma was from Oklahoma, so she showed my mom how to make it the way she was shown, I in turn learned the same. However, as I have gotten older, for whatever reason, I have become a little more sensitive to gluten (or whatever protein in wheat they think is the culprit). I am aware of it in as much, if I have too much (meaning gluten several days in a row) I don’t feel well. So, because of that and a daughter-in-law who avoids gluten altogether for her own health issues, I decided it was time to take the bull by the horns and transform some of our favorites into “gluten free favorites.” First up on my list, was Gluten Free Fried Chicken.
When I first started making this crunchy, Gluten Free Fried Chicken, I made it in my electric skillet, because that is how I normally made fried chicken (you can also use a skillet on the stove top if you prefer and it turns our wonderfully crunchy). I still often make this chicken in my electric skillet or in my iron skillet on the stove top, but only if I am making a smaller quantity. However, I usually make A LOT when I make it now and it was becoming more time consuming to make so many batches. I decided I needed to find an oven fried method that allowed me to use the same recipe, but avoid the results of the previous oven fried recipes I had tried in the past (which i just called “baked chicken” because the skin was soft, not crunchy like I wanted).
After experimenting a few times, I found if I used a cookie sheet, lined with heavy duty foil, it allowed me to cook several sheet pans at a time and solve the quantity issue in one fell swoop. The one big difference from previous oven fried recipes I had tried in the past, I did NOT use Pam spray or other similar spray. I went old school and melted a fat in the microwave (like lard, leftover bacon grease, goose fat, ghee etc.) then poured a liberal amount onto the cookie sheet and then placed my dredged chicken onto that oil and immediately put it in the oven to “fry.” This produced the crispy, crunchy skin that I was looking for.
When I oven fry this chicken, clean up takes just a minute! I just let the foil on the cookie sheet cool, then fold it up and toss it in the trash. That’s it! If you want gravy, then all you have to do is use the grease from the cookie sheet the chicken cooked in, add any brown bits or “scrummies” as we call them and add it to a small sauce pan and proceed like you normally would to make gravy.
Gluten Free Fried Chicken
- 3/4 cup Cassava flour (I use Otto's Cassava Flour)
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp salt for flour * (you will need extra to salt chicken before dredging)
- 1 Tablespoon cracked black pepper
- 1 pkg skin on chicken thighs (8-10)
- 1 cup melted fat (lard, ghee, bacon fat etc.)
- Mix together flour, cayenne pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt in a shallow bowl.
- Place heavy duty foil on cookie sheet to cover entire surface of the sheet pan. If you are frying on stove top, melt fat in skillet.Melt fat, pour onto foil lined cookie sheet
- Salt raw chicken, front and back, making sure to stretch out the extra skin that is tucked under the chicken. This will get extra, extra crispy. Dredge chicken pieces in flour mixture and place onto the oil on cookie sheet or into skillet.When all chicken is dredged, I use some of the extra cassava flour mixture and sprinkle more flour onto the top of the chicken (for added crunch later).Grind, cracked, black pepper onto chicken before placing in oven.
- Place chicken into a preheated 375 degree oven.Bake for 35 minutes, then turn chicken and bake for another 30-35 minutes depending on how thick your chicken is.
- When done cooking, take out of skillet or off of pan and place on paper towels or metal rack to drain for about 5 minutes.Serve and enjoy!!!
This is a recipe that you can alter to suit your own tastes or even make to taste like the chicken you grew up on. Obviously for gluten free chicken, you cant use all-purpose flour and I found I didn’t care for the gluten free flours I had tried in the past. So, I use cassava flour, more specifically, Otto’s Cassava Flour, mixed with a variety of spices. It has a wonderful taste and texture and reliably produces a really good piece of crunchy, fried chicken. Whether you fry this chicken in a skillet on the stove top or pop it in the oven, give this Gluten Free Fried Chicken a try and once again, enjoy the crunchy, goodness you may have thought was a thing of the past!
Does your family have a favorite recipe you would like to make gluten free, like we did this Gluten Free Fried Chicken?