Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Southern Fried Chicken that’s Perfectly Crispy

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My friend Sarena of The Non-Dairy Queen shared this Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Southern Fried Chicken recipe with us back in 2010. She’s a trained chef, so it doesn’t surprise me that this comfort classic has been made and loved in countless households.

Over the years, this crispy, flavorful recipe has become buried in our news section. Since it’s National Fried Chicken Day tomorrow, I’m giving the post a big update and adding it to our recipe section. Now it’s easier for you and your family to find and enjoy. Take it away Sarena …

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Southern Fried Chicken Recipe - perfectly crispy, flavorful, and everyone approved!

I made gluten free dairy free fried chicken. I am pretty sure my husband will stay with me forever now. Yes, I know Southern fried chicken is not the healthiest thing in the world for you, but it has been a year since my husband was diagnosed with Celiac disease, and consequently since he has eaten fried chicken. His southern boy gene was starting to go through withdrawals.

I have to admit that I have not fried chicken since I was in culinary school, so this was kind of a big deal for me. I won’t be doing this all the time, but as anyone who has dietary restrictions knows, living without your favorites forever is not fun! To make it a touch healthier, I did use boneless, skinless chicken breasts. But the recipe is also delicious with bone-in, skin-on, and dark meat chicken.

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Southern Fried Chicken Recipe - perfectly crispy, flavorful, and everyone approved!

The Secrets to Perfect Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Southern Fried Chicken

There are a few important details behind the success of this recipe:

The Temperature Must be Spot On. The chicken is fried at exactly 350 degrees and then placed on paper towels to drain.

Choose a Good Frying Oil Specifically. I used peanut oil, which is a nice odorless selection that is great for frying. Vegetable oil (can contain soy), canola oil, and rice bran oil are great alternatives, but avoid oils with a low smoke point or strong flavor. They might seem “healthier” but burnt oil is far worse, and it will leave a bad taste in your mouth, literally.

Season it Well. Coating the chicken in enough salt and pepper is also key to good results. For extra flavorful chicken, I sometimes add 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder to the flour blend too.

Coat it Twice for Crispy on the Outside, Tender on the Inside. Double-flouring helps to lock in the juices and create a nice crunchy coating.

Let it Rest, If You Can. Allowing the fried chicken to sit and cool before eating enables the crust to stick to the chicken. The middle image in the pictures below shows how the crust is separated right after frying (my husband could not wait to eat some). But the last image shows how perfectly the crust stays on the chicken when it is allowed to sit for a little bit. My husband actually likes his fried chicken cold, and from the nibbling that occurred later, I can confirm that the crust was still crispy and stayed on the chicken!

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Southern Fried Chicken Recipe - perfectly crispy, flavorful, and everyone approved!

Special Diet Notes: Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Southern Fried Chicken

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, gluten-free, optionally nut-fee, optionally peanut-free, and soy-free. But please note that the flour blend Sarena uses is processed in a facility that handles tree nuts and soy.

For egg-free Southern Fried Chicken, I recommend trying aquafaba (about 6 tablespoons), or you can try one of the other options in my Egg Substitute Guide. Please note that we have not tested this recipe egg-free yet. Leave a comment to let us know how it works out if you do!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Southern Fried Chicken
 
Prep time
Cook time
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This crispy, classic, comfort food is sure to win over even the pickiest eaters.
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8 to 12 servings
Ingredients
  • 4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
  • Kosher salt
  • Cracked black pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup unsweetened dairy-free milk beverage (Sarena uses almond milk)
  • 2 cups Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour (see Flour Note below)
  • Peanut oil (see post above for other options)
Instructions
  1. Heat enough oil to 350ยบF in an electric skillet or fryer to cover the chicken pieces.
  2. Cut the chicken breasts in half or strips. I cut mine in half in the pictures, but strips also work well. Generously salt and pepper the chicken.
  3. Mix the eggs and milk beverage in a bowl, and place the flour in a separate bowl.
  4. Dip the chicken in the flour, then dip it in the egg mixture and then back in the flour to evenly coat each piece. Place the coated pieces on a sheet pan as you work and while you wait for the oil to come to temperature.
  5. Place chicken pieces in the hot oil and cook until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 170 degrees on an instant read thermometer (your best friend while cooking meat). Flipping halfway through. It took about 25 minutes for a half chicken breast. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and place it on a paper towel lined platter. Let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Notes
Flour Note: Sarena originally made this recipe with Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour. She has also successfuly made it with Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour. Your favorite gluten-free flour blend might also work well.

Recipes to Enjoy with Southern Fried Chicken

About Author

Sarena is a graduate of The School of Culinary Arts in Atlanta, and she has worked in various fields in the culinary industry since 1995. Sarena discovered that she was lactose "challanged" in 2005, and soon after began creating recipes for her dairy-free (and now gluten-free) blog, The Non-Dairy Queen.

24 Comments

  1. I made this last night for my husband and I. And we BOTH LOVED IT!! I didn’t change a thing about the recipe except for the fact that we were out eggs so I used flaxseed meal as a substitute and far as I can tell, you couldn’t even tell that you were missing anything! Thank you for the wonderful share for this yummy recipe! It was so delightfully crunchy and so nice that I could indulge in some yummy fried chicken (i’m the gluten free one). Anyway, the world needs to know that they all need to try this recipe. SUPERB!

  2. Great recipe, thanks so much for sharing it. My 12 year old son has a lot of allergies and restricted food diet so this was a nice change of venue for him. I used authentic foods flour mix which has Brown rice, tapioca, and potato starch and added some xantham gum. Also, I used canola oil and the chicken strips fried up in 6 to 8 minutes.

  3. Anyone know how to do this without egg? Our family of four is all allergic to white and yolk, and we are having a horrible time as most palatable gluten free recipes contain egg.

    • Hi Rose, we haven’t tested this one without egg yet, but what I would do is replace the egg with unsweetened dairy-free yogurt. This will offer a slight “buttermilk” vibe, too. Otherwise, you can simply use milk beverage or coconut milk (for thicker, clingier).

  4. I am anxious to try this chicken recipe since my daughter and I are both highly sensitive to gluten. Since we are also highly sensitive to egg white, I will have to try using only the egg yolks. My daughter is also highly sensitive to peanuts, so I was wondering if you know of an acceptable oil that I can use instead of the peanut oil (FYI, she cannot have soy, sesame or corn).

  5. This is seriously the BEST fried chicken ive ever had!!!! It’s been at least 7 years since ive tasted fried chicken, and lately ive been craving it. By the grace of God I found your recipe and it was a win!! This is going in my recipe box. My girls have declared me the best mom ever, and I don’t even know if I’ll ever share this w them again… It’s just SO freakin good!!!!

  6. Omg, thanks a million, you saved me arse! It was so easy to make and it’s soooo delish! No one guessed it was gluten free and dairy free, they just gobbled it up.

    Also, I just wanted to add that if you don’t have a stove that tells you the temp then you can boil it on 6 for 11 minutes on each side. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks again!

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