Wherever you travel to in the world, each country has their own version of fried chicken; from super spicy to extra crunchy – the choices are endless. I hope to cover as many variations as possible in my blog as I LOVE chicken and I know many of you out there do too.

So, where did fried chicken originate from? Yes, you guessed it…Scotland! Basically, the Scottish immigrants who lived in the southern parts of the U.S. had a tradition of deep-frying chicken. They would share this technique with African slaves who would later – as cooks – introduce it to many southern American homes. Thankfully, they introduced spices and herbs to liven up the flavour and there you have it, it became a popular staple snack/meal in the U.S. since the 1700’s. Eventually, Colonel Saunders (the KFC founder) perfected the KFC crust and mastered the pressure frying technique; cooking the chicken in half the time it normally takes – qualifying it as fast food.

I was excited about making this gluten-free buttermilk fried chicken recipe as it has been years since I last ate KFC or anything close to that. I discovered how important it is to follow these four important steps:

1. Brining the chicken in buttermilk: Soak the chicken pieces (wings, drumsticks, thigh, breast) in buttermilk and the spice/herb mixture for at least 6 hours, though 24 hours is perfect. Why? This acts as a brine which tenderises, keeps the meat juicy, enriches the flavour and allows the breadcrumbs to stick well to the chicken.

2. Breading the chicken correctly: Don’t skip any steps about breading the chicken. Double-dipping the chicken in the buttermilk gives it that extra crispiness.

3. Frying it at the right temperature: If you have a food thermometer, use it to test your cooking oil for the ideal frying temperature of 170 C/325 F. Otherwise, test the oil using a bread cube; if it fries golden within 30 seconds, the oil is ready for frying.

4. Keeping the chicken crispy: Most fried foods are normally drained on paper towels once the frying is complete, but I have learnt that the best way is to drain them directly on a wire mesh with a tray underneath. They really do stay crispy as any excess oil drips away instead of smothering the chicken and making the crust soggy. I reckon this will be my new golden rule for all my fried foods. Goodbye, paper towels!

Gluten-Free Buttermilk Fried Chicken
Ingredients:

For the brine:

  • 12 pieces of chicken (wings, drumsticks, thigh-bone-in)
  • 500ml buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried sage

For breading the chicken:For the flour:

  • 500g corn flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • 300g store-bought gluten-free breadcrumbs or homemade gluten-free breadcrumbs
  • 500ml-1 litre sunflower oil

Step by Step Instructions

1. Mix the chicken pieces with the dried herbs and spices before adding them to the buttermilk mixture.

2. Refrigerate from 6 hours to 24 hours.

3. Mix the flour with the seasoning.

4. Start the breading by removing the chicken from the buttermilk and dipping each piece into the seasoned flour. Shake off the excess flour, return back to buttermilk mixture for an extra dip.

5. Finally, finish off by coating the chicken in the breadcrumb mixture, shaking off any excess.
6. Pre-heat the oil to 170 C/325 F in a deep-frying pan.
7. When the oil is ready for frying, fry 3 to 4 pieces of chicken at one time to avoid over-crowding the pan, otherwise the oil temperature will lower and cook unevenly.

8. Once the chicken has reached a golden, crisp exterior, remove and drain on the wire mesh tray while continuing to cook the rest of the chicken. Frying times vary. Allow 5 minutes for breasts; 8 minutes for wings; 10 minutes for drumsticks or thighs.

9. Sprinkle the cooked chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Do this straight away. The seasoning adheres better on the crispy, warm crust.

10. Enjoy serving with mashed potatoes, coleslaw and gravy, just like KFC!

Unable to buy gluten-free breadcrumbs? Toast slices of store-bought gluten-free sandwich bread, allow to cool, break into small pieces and process until broken down into breadcrumbs.

CHICKEN TENDERS – KIDS’ #1 FAVOURITE MEAL

Now that you know how to make a crispy, gluten-free coating for chicken, make these chicken breast fillet strips into CHICKEN TENDERS, the all-time favourite kids’ dinner treat. Using chicken breast eliminates any messy bone or ligament battles, plus the lean meat cooks in a flash compared to its bone-in relatives. Jazz up the dish with steamed vegetables, pieces of corn, potatoes and/or rice, and you are ticking all the boxes for a completely nutritional meal. Best of all, this gluten-free meal will delight any child who has been missing out on a breaded, crunchy chicken treat without worrying about the health consequences. Another added health bonus, these tenders turn out just as well when baked in the oven for 15 minutes.

CHICKEN TENDERS RECIPE

Ingredients:

For the brine:

  • 500g chicken breast, sliced into 3cm width strips
  • 250ml buttermilk
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For breading the chicken:For the flour:

  • 250g corn flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • 200-300g store-bought gluten-free breadcrumbs or homemade gluten-free breadcrumbs
  • 4 tablespoons sunflower oil

Step by Step Instructions

1. Mix the chicken tenders in the buttermilk and seasoning.

2. Refrigerate from 30 minutes to 1 hour.

3. Mix the flour with the seasoning.

4. Start the breading by removing the chicken from the buttermilk and dipping each piece into the seasoned flour. Shake off the excess flour, return back to buttermilk mixture for an extra dip.

5. Finally, finish off by coating the chicken in the breadcrumb mixture, shaking off any excess.
6. Either shallow fry in 4 tablespoons of oil (5 minutes for each side) or bake in a 180 C/ 350 F oven for 15 minutes in an oil-brushed tray.
7. Enjoy serving with mashed potatoes, potato salad, coleslaw, steamed vegetables, corn, rice and/or wrapped in lettuce leaves with honey mustard dipping sauce.
HONEY MUSTARD DIPPING SAUCE:
Ingredients:
For the brine:

  • 3 tablespoons runny honey
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream or light mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon or yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Tamari* (gluten-free soy sauce)
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped or spring onions, very finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 lemon, quartered (as a garnish)

Step by Step Instructions

1. Blend the honey, mustard and sour cream/mayonnaise together.

2. Add the Tamari.

3. Add the pepper and chives.

4. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

5. Serve in a bowl with the chicken tenders and a lemon wedge.

Tamari* soy sauce is made from fermented soybeans, but without the roasted wheat grains that are normal present in regular soy sauce. In fact, Tamari is higher in protein, contains more antioxidants, has less additives & preservatives and has a smoother taste.

by | Oct 14, 2020 | Kids' Recipes, Meals | 0 comments