As many of you know, I’m a southern girl. I love the South. I love the people, the mountains, the history, the football (go Vols!), and y’all. I love the food.
Biscuits and gravy, sweet tea, Moon Pies, huge pones of cornbread, every kind of casserole imaginable, Bundt Cakes galore…You get the idea. Unfortunately, Southern fare isn’t exactly health food, and it can be hard for a spoonie with dietary restrictions to enjoy all those yummy victuals without suffering the consequences later.
Fret not, all you lovers of Southern cuisine! I have perfected a gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free recipe for the king of all Southern comfort food: fried chicken! And in the process, I accidentally simplified it! A win-win!
Many fried chicken recipes call for soaking chicken in buttermilk, dunking it in eggs and panko and back in egg and then into flour. It is a really quick way to wear yourself out cooking a single meal, as well as dirty up every bowl in your kitchen. Not this recipe. I am all about keeping it simple.
I’m excited to share this recipe with you, as it is one of my favorites! It always takes me back to days spent with my mom and granny in the kitchen. Delicious memories!
A few quick notes about the ingredients:
Almond meal/flour—The consistency of your breading will change based on how fine of almond meal you use. I personally use Bob’s Red Mill super-fine almond flour, but you should definitely experiment and see what you like best!
And while we’re talking about the flour, coconut flour also works really well for this recipe! I prefer the almond, but if you can’t have almonds, or just want to mix it up, try the coconut!
Oil for frying—Tons of options here! Mom and Granny always use a mixture of Crisco and butter. I must admit that butter is one of my most missed foods, and this dish is one of the reasons why. It lends a great flavor that I have been unable to replicate. So if you’re not dairy-intolerant, throw some butter in the pan! But if you’re like me and avoiding dairy, don’t despair! There are plenty of other fantastic options! I use a mixture of equal parts red palm oil and coconut oil, but feel free to choose one or the other. These both have high smoke points and are suitable for frying.
- ~1 lb. chicken breast
- ~1 cup Almond flour
- ~1 cup red palm/coconut oil mixture, divided in half
*The amount of oil will vary depending on what size pan you use. This is how much I used frying in a 10-inch pan. You want enough in the pan to where each piece of chicken will be half-submerged in oil.
**Again, because I used a smaller sized pan, I couldn’t fit all my chicken in, so I made a second batch. If you’re only making one batch, no need to divide the oil!
- Salt to taste
- Heat the first half of your oil (if you’re cooking in two separate batches) in your pan over medium-high heat.
- While the oil is heating, slice the chicken into long strips or bite-sized nuggets.
- In a large bowl, coat chicken with almond meal. Make sure to get a thin, even coating on each piece! If it’s too thick, the breading may come out mushy.
- When the oil is hot and beginning to sizzle, begin placing the strips/nuggets in the pan, being careful not to splash hot oil on your hand!
- Fry 2-3 minutes, then flip each piece one at a time, and fry another 2-3 minutes. You may want to use a meat thermometer to check for doneness.
- If you’re cooking in two batches, scrape the debris out of the pan and replace the oil. Repeat steps 1-4.
- When cooked through, remove each piece of chicken and set out on a paper towel-lined plate (to absorb excess grease). Salt both sides of chicken to taste.
Serve this delicious diet-friendly fried chicken alongside other Southern comfort foods like collard greens, or make a fried chicken salad with it! Yum!
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