This gluten free fried chicken recipe uses simple ingredients for perfectly juicy chicken with an unbelievably crispy, seasoned breading. It’s every bit as good as traditional fried chicken but completely gluten free. Easy to make dairy free, too!
What Makes This Gluten Free Fried Chicken So Good
- The chicken stays incredibly moist while the gluten free breading gets unbelievably crispy. This is literally everything you could ever want in classic fried chicken – just made gluten free!
- The breading on this fried chicken is deliciously seasoned with a blend of garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, and cayenne. There’s a little hot sauce in the buttermilk marinade, too, but don’t worry. This isn’t a spicy recipe… unless you want it to be.
- No deep fryer needed! This recipe uses a dutch oven or a deep cast-iron skillet and the chicken comes out perfectly fried.
- Pair this gluten free fried chicken with a batch of gluten free cornbread with honey, air fryer okra (with gluten free flour), mashed potatoes, and green beans for an incredible gluten free comfort meal.
Key Ingredients for Gluten Free Fried Chicken
Chicken – We’re using drumsticks and bone-in thighs this time around, but the breading in this recipe will also work for chicken breasts and even chicken tenders.
Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour – This is the base of the breading. It gives the chicken a beautiful coating that fries up golden-brown and doesn’t flake off.
Cornstarch – Simple but effective. Cornstarch will make your gluten free fried chicken extra crispy and delicious. Don’t leave it out!
- The oil needs to be completely hot before you add the battered chicken to the pan. If it’s not, the breading will just soak up the oil, instead of turning crispy. Use a candy/deep frying thermometer so you’ll know when it reaches 350° Fahrenheit. You can also sprinkle a little flour on the oil – if it sizzles then it’s ready!
- Adding the chicken to the oil will make the temperature of the oil drop a little, so keep an eye on the thermometer and raise the heat on the stove as needed to keep the oil at 350° Fahrenheit. Don’t go higher than 375°F or you’ll run the risk of the chicken (or the oil) burning before it cooks through.
- Draining the gluten free fried chicken on a wire rack will give you crispier breading than if you just lay it directly on the paper towels, since they won’t be sitting in the excess oil. Make sure to lay a thick layer of paper towels under the rack, though, since they’ll drip oil.
- For even more flavor, salt and pepper the chicken before dipping it in buttermilk. You can also marinate the chicken in the buttermilk mixture for a few hours before dredging it and frying it.
- For really, really crispy chicken, you can try double dipping! Dip the chicken in buttermilk, dredge it in the flour mixture, dip and dredge again, then fry it in hot oil. Just make sure the chicken is cooked through before taking it out of the oil.
More Gluten Free Recipes You’ll Love
- Gluten Free Onion Rings
- Paleo Blueberry Muffins (Gluten Free, Grain Free)
- Healthy Authentic Seafood Gumbo (Gluten Free, Whole30, Paleo, Low Carb)
- Perfect Paleo Brownies (Fudgy, Crackly Top, Gluten Free)
- Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies
- Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls (Cinnabon Copycat)
- Paleo Carrot Cake (Gluten Free)
- Paleo Chinese Chicken Salad (Whole30)
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Gluten Free Fried Chicken
- Large bowls (2)
- Dutch oven (or deep cast-iron skillet)
- Wire cooling rack
- Paper towels
- Internal thermometer
- 4 chicken drumsticks
- 4 chicken thighs
- oil of choice for frying
For the Buttermilk Marinade
- 2 cups buttermilk see Notes
- 1 egg
- 1-2 tablespoons hot sauce to taste
- In one bowl, whisk together buttermilk, egg, and hot sauce.
- In separate bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and kosher salt.
- In dutch oven or cast-iron skillet, heat approximately 1" of oil to 350° Fahrenheit. Place wire cooling rack over thick layer of paper towels.
- One by one, dip each piece of chicken completely in buttermilk mixture, then dredge through flour mixture, fully coating all sides of chicken pieces.
- Place 3-4 pieces of chicken in hot oil, but don't overcrowd the dutch oven or skillet. Cook 15 minutes, turning chicken every 2 minutes, until breading is golden brown and chicken reaches internal temperature of 160-162° Fahrenheit.
- Use tongs to transfer fried chicken to wire cooling rack. Chicken will come to temperature as it rests. Repeat until all chicken pieces have been fried. Serve warm.
- Make it Dairy Free: Use a non-dairy milk + 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar instead of buttermilk.
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Jasmine Comer is a food photographer and recipe developer from North Carolina. She grew up in the kitchen watching her mom cook all types of delicious meals. In 2016 she established Lively Meals, a food blog where she creates healthy recipes. This led to creating recipes for other blogs as well. In her free time she enjoys exploring new places and spending time in nature. Ultimately she’s grateful to be doing work she loves—cooking good food and sharing it with people.