gluten free crispy fried chicken
for those of you who read last week’s post – shredded brussels sprouts coleslaw – i’m sure you have been anxiously awaiting this fried chicken post i promised! i just have to say again… the fried chicken i had while we were in scottsdale was out of this world good!! no one would have EVER known it was gluten free – it was light, crispy and not too greasy! i’m sure my family is reading this going, “but sara doesn’t like fried chicken (aka, shake and bake)”… well family, this stuff rocks!!!
thankfully i asked our server that fateful night what flour was used for the breading, to which she told me, rice flour. tomas has been begging me to make fried chicken for years now and i never have because i don’t really have much experience number one, and number two, like my family said, i’m just not a huge fan. after scottsdale that all changed so when i told tomas i wanted to make fried chicken this past weekend he simply smiled and gave me a high five!
the next test was actually making the fried chicken, something i’ve never really tackled. i did some research to find the best methods (i already knew buttermilk was a must) and set out on my mission. tomas was shocked when i came home with a tub of vegetable shortening (non-hydrogenated of course) and said that if bastyr knew i had bought that, they would kick me out ;) my response was that while i am a nutrition student, the blog is not a nutrition blog, it’s a food blog, and sometimes food isn’t always healthy – you have to have a balance in life!
i was completely nervous that i was going to royally mess the chicken up, but thankfully tomas and our friends, amanda and pablo, were there to cheer me on! after a few hours sitting in buttermilk, i prepped the chicken and set out to frying… the result, i must say for my first attempt, was finger lickin’ delicious that we served with yucca and the brussels sprouts slaw! tomas of course had a few critiques for the next round because the boy can not eat something and not put his two cents in (love you babe!), but overall, i’d give this fried chicken an 8/10!!
4 chicken breasts, skin on
2 chicken thighs, skin on
6 chicken drumsticks, skin on
1 pint buttermilk
1 T honey
6 dashes chahula sauce (or tobasco)
6 cups white rice flour
1 T paprika
1 T garlic powder
1/2 T onion powder
1/2 T salt
1/2 T ground pepper
3-4 cups vegetable shortening, non-hydrogenated (the amount will depend on the size of your pan)
whisk together the buttermilk, honey and hot sauce. put all the chicken into a large plastic bag that you can close once everything is in there (i used the plastic bags the butcher had put the chicken in). pour the buttermilk mixture into the bag and close the bag. set it into a large bowl (to prevent spills) and place the whole bowl into the fridge for at least four hours (overnight would be even better if you have the time).
while the chicken is in the fridge, you can toss together the breading mixture. whisk together the rice flour, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper in a 9 x 13 baking dish (the shallowness of the baking dish will make it easier to coat the chicken in the breading later).
since the chicken will still be in the fridge at this point, you can get your breading station ready as well… place two cookie sheets under wire racks next to your 9×13 baking dish.
when the chicken/buttermilk mixture has been in the oven for at least 4 hours, take it out and place the chicken and buttermilk into separate bowls (DO NOT THROW OUT THE BUTTERMILK!!!!). toss a few pieces of the chicken into the flour mixture at a time, making sure to cover all sides of the chicken thoroughly. dip each piece back into the buttermilk mixture, again making sure to cover all sides of the chicken. coat the chicken one last time in the flour mixture, shake off the excess and place on the wire racks and allow to sit for 30 minutes before frying.
when all the chicken is breaded, place the shortening into a large cast iron skillet with high sides and turn the heat to medium. allow the oil to come up to 325 F, then fry each piece for a total of 20 minutes (10 minutes each side). place the finished product on paper towel lined baking sheets to soak up the excess oil. serve warm and chow down!