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Gluten-free fried chicken pieces stacked on a wooden plate.

Gluten-free Crispy Southern Fried Chicken

Sara Vaughn
This gluten-free fried chicken recipe makes the best southern-style chicken that is flavorful and juicy on the inside with an extra crispy breading. No one will believe this is gluten-free chicken.
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 2 hrs
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 45 mins
Course chicken, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 425 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 10-11 Pieces Bone-in-Chicken Pieces I tend to use thighs and legs,

For the buttermilk chicken brine

  • 3 Cups Buttermilk See note for making this a dairy-free brine.
  • 1 Cup Pickle Juice I use Bubbies Brand.
  • ½ Tablespoon Paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon Sage
  • 2 Teaspoons Celery Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt
  • ½ Tablespoon Pepper

For the gluten-free breading.

  • 2 ½ Cups 1:1 Gluten-free Flour I use King Author 1:1.
  • ¾ Cup Cornstarch You can use potato starch or tapioca starch to keep this grain free chicken.
  • 1 Cup Potato Chips Crushed to about ½ pea sized pieces.
  • ½ Teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 Teaspoon Sage
  • ¼ Teaspoon Celery Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • ½ Teaspoon Pepper

For Frying

  • Hight Smoke Point Oil Enough to fill pot about 3 inches deep.

Instructions
 

Marinate the chicken in the buttermilk brine.

  • Combine the buttermilk and the remaining ingredients for the buttermilk brine into a large bowl.
    3 Cups Buttermilk, 1 Cup Pickle Juice, ½ Tablespoon Paprika, 1 Tablespoon Sage, 2 Teaspoons Celery Salt, 1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder, 1 Tablespoon Onion Powder, 1 Tablespoon Salt, ½ Tablespoon Pepper
  • Add the pieces of chicken into the bowl. You want to ensure that all the chicken is submerged in the buttermilk brine.
    10-11 Pieces Bone-in-Chicken Pieces
  • Cover the bowl of chicken with the brine and place it in the fridge to marinate for at least two hours or overnight.

Make the gluten-free breading to coat the chicken.

  • Combine the gluten-free flour, the cornstarch, and the crushed potato chips with the remaining spices into a shallow dish or ziploc bag.
    2 ½ Cups 1:1 Gluten-free Flour, ¾ Cup Cornstarch, 1 Cup Potato Chips, ½ Teaspoon Paprika, 1 Teaspoon Sage, ¼ Teaspoon Celery Salt, 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder, 1 Teaspoon Onion Powder, 1 Teaspoon Salt, ½ Teaspoon Pepper
  • Carefully remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and place them directly into the breading.
  • Make sure to press the chicken breading into the chicken and set it aside to allow the breading to dry on the chicken.
  • Let the chicken rest while you prepare the hot oil.

Fry the chicken.

  • Add your oil of choice to your pan and bring the temperature up to about 350 degrees.
    Hight Smoke Point Oil
  • Carefully place 2-3 pieces of chicken into the hot oil, making sure not to crowd the pan.
  • Turn the chicken over about every 3-4 minutes until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches at least 165 degrees. Each batch of chicken should take about 15-18 minutes, depending on the size of the pieces of chicken.

Let the chicken rest.

  • As you pull the chicken out of the hot oil, place it on a baking sheet with a rack on it. You do not want to lay it on a flat surface. The chicken breading will steam and soften if it doesn't have air while it is cooling.
  • Let the chicken pieces rest as you cook the remaining chicken and then serve warm.

Notes

Can you make this a dairy-free fried chicken recipe?
  • This recipe calls for 3 cups of buttermilk so use 3 cups of your dairy-free milk and 3 tablespoons of vinegar.
  • You will want to let this mixture sit for at least 5 minutes to let it start to curdle a little bit before adding the rest of the chicken marinade ingredients.
I have found that coconut milk and apple cider vinegar make a good base to make this a dairy-free fried chicken.
How do you keep breading from falling off fried chicken?
  • Press the breading into the chicken - Do not shake off any excess breading. If you need to dunk the breaded chicken back into the marinade and then back into the breading to stick more, you can.
  • Let the breading dry on the chicken - Allowing the breading to dry on the chicken before frying it allows the breading to adhere to the chicken better and keeps the breading from falling off when you fry it.
  • Do not overcrowd the pan when frying - Only frying a few pieces at a time helps to keep the chicken from bumping into each other, which can knock breading off. It also helps to keep the oil temperature more regulated, so the oil temperature does not drop, making the breading fall off the chicken.
  • Be careful moving the chicken - Use togs and only touch one part of the chicken when moving it around. The more you touch the chicken, the easier the breading can fall off.
  • Let the chicken rest on a cooling rack - Do NOT place the fried chicken pieces directly onto a flat surface to cool. The chicken will steam where it comes in contact, and the breading can get soft.
How do you store fried chicken?
This gluten-free fried chicken is best served the day it is fried. If you have leftovers, you can store them in the fridge for 2-3 days. The skin will lose some of the crispiness as it cools.
What is the best way to reheat fried chicken?
  • You can reheat fried chicken in the microwave, but you won't get the crispy skin that you had on it coming out of the fryer.
  • A better way to reheat fried chicken is to place it on a rack over a baking tray and bake the fried chicken at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes.
  • The best way to reheat fried chicken is in the air-fryer. I don't recommend making fried chicken in the air fryer initially but reheating this fried chicken in the air fryer gets the crispiest crust that is the closest to coming right out of the hot oil.
Keyword buttermilk chicken marinade, chicken brine, gluten free breaded chicken, gluten free chicken breading, gluten free fried chicken