How to Make Gluten-Free Fried Chicken

Everyone Can Enjoy this Southern Favorite 

Fried chicken holds a special place in the hearts of many, bringing up memories of family gatherings, summer picnics, and the comforting warmth of home-cooked meals. The sizzle of chicken frying in the kitchen can be a symphony of anticipation, a prelude to a feast that brings everyone together. The crispy, golden exterior, seasoned to perfection, bursts with flavor in every bite. 

You’ll find fans of this beloved dish, from its Southern roots to its global variations, everywhere you go. There are more than a few people who grew up looking forward to their grandmother’s fried chicken every week who, because of dietary restrictions, may not be able to enjoy it anymore. 

That’s where Dare to Be Different comes in.

With the help of our Cauliflower Crumbs, available online and in Walmart stores, you can make gluten-free fried chicken! This recipe is made with the Classic flavor, but don’t be afraid to mix it up with Chili Lime or Italian Crumbs.

A bowl of Dare to Be Different Cauliflower Crumbs

Let’s Talk about Substitutions

Dietary restrictions come in many shapes and sizes. There can be a biological reason you can’t eat certain foods (like a gluten allergy). You might have restrictions on what you eat because of religious observances (such as a kosher diet). Or, you might adjust your food intake in order to achieve specific goals (putting your body into ketosis on a keto diet). 

When you’re dealing with dietary restrictions in the kitchen, you’re going to inevitably rely on substitutions. Some of these substitutions are simple swaps – like using Dare to Be Different Cauliflower Crusts to make a pizza instead of ordering a take-out flour-based pizza from your local pizza shop. Other substitutions may be a bit more complicated, as you’ll see in a moment when we make gluten-free fried chicken.

Buttermilk is a key part of fried chicken. It’s the secret to making sure your chicken does not dry out while being cooked. Cooks use buttermilk, which is a fermented dairy product, with fried chicken instead of regular milk because of its acidity. Chicken marinades better in buttermilk because those acids break down the proteins in the chicken, making it extra tender. Unfortunately, buttermilk and chicken are not kosher together. The good news is that there is a relatively simple kosher-friendly way to substitute buttermilk. All you have to do is mix together almond milk (or oat milk) with white vinegar. The vinegar will slightly curdle the almond milk, approximating the texture and effects of buttermilk. This is particularly helpful because not many people keep buttermilk in their refrigerator, but many households have almond milk and white vinegar. Note: if you want to make gluten-free fried chicken and do not need your dish to be kosher, you can use 2 cups of buttermilk instead of almond milk and white vinegar. 

Hand breading chicken with Crumbs

Ingredients

For the Chicken

  • 4 chicken drumsticks
  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

For the Coating

  • 1 cup Dare to Be Different Cauliflower Crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
Finished gluten free fried chicken

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, combine the almond milk and white vinegar. Stir to combine and let sit for five minutes. (This serves as a kosher substitute for buttermilk, which is traditionally used when making fried chicken).
  2. In a large bowl, combine the almond milk and white vinegar mixture with hot sauce (if using), salt, and black pepper.
  3. Add the chicken pieces, ensuring they are fully submerged. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. For best results, let the chicken marinate overnight.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Spray broiler with cooking spray (we recommend avocado oil spray).
  5. In a large, shallow dish, combine the Dare to Be Different Cauliflower Crumbs, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.
  6. Remove the chicken from the marinade and allow excess to drip off. Dredge each piece in the seasoning mixture, pressing as needed to ensure an even coating. Then, add chicken to the broiler pan. 
  7. Bake 45-55 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken has reached 165ºF. Let the chicken rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.
  8. Enjoy!

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