Fried chicken is a family-favorite food. Though not the healthiest thing out there, it sure is tasty. In the summer it’s one of my standards for taking down to the beach for evening picnics with guests. I was stymied a couple of times last summer when I learned too late that a couple of our guests had developed food sensitivities – one to dairy and one to gluten. My favorite fried chicken recipe has plenty of both in the buttermilk marinade and flour dredge. Clearly I needed variations to accommodate my guests, but what?
Gluten-free fried chicken
Finally this winter I found the answer. I saw a recipe for a fried chicken that had been marinated with Asian flavors and used rice flour for the dredge. A ha!
I thought, “This has opened up a whole new world of possibility!” But first, I needed to taste the variation to see if it was any good. Oh, my, was it ever. While the saltiness was quite up there from the fish sauce in the marinade, the rice flour dredge before frying was really good. In fact, I think the rice flour crust made a crispier and longer lasting crust on the chicken. The kids loved it, my husband loved it. We will make it again, and we will be trying many variations.
The basic technique is the same. The chicken parts are marinated, drained and dredged in flour before pan frying. Just the specific ingredients vary. Here is a classic fried chicken recipe followed by variations that turn into finger-licking good fusion food.
Fried chicken recipes
Traditional Fried chicken
4 to 8 servings
Directions:1. Soak the chicken in the buttermilk at least 8 hours. Drain in a colander over a bowl. Put the flour, some salt and ground sage in a gallon-sized plastic bag. Put the drained chicken in the bag a few pieces at a time and shake to coat.
2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a wide frying pan to 325 degrees F. Cook the chicken for 11 minutes on each side. Do not let the oil go above 325 degrees F. Drain on a cooling rack over a cookie sheet. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Fusion variations on traditional fried chicken
Once you have the basic fried chicken recipe down, it’s time to mix it up with Asian flavors.
Here are a few delicious twists to try:
- Coconut milk instead of buttermilk for the marinade.
- Asian-inspired marinades instead of buttermilk. This could include marinades with fish sauce and oyster sauce, cilantro and other spices, or teriyaki sauce. Be careful when using these ingredients, however. They can add quite a bit of saltiness.
- Five spice powder in the dredge instead of sage.
- Rice flour instead of wheat flour for the dredge. You could even go “healthy” and use brown rice flour.
- Sesame oil instead of canola oil for the frying.
Our Asian-inspired fried chicken made with a fish and oyster sauce marinade and rice flour was just as tasty the next day – and even still a bit crispy! – when we ate it chilled for a picnic. Enjoy!