Sunday, September 29, 2013

Best (Gluten Free) Fried Chicken EVER!

One of the things I dearly miss since going gluten free is fried chicken.  None of the commercial chicken strips/chicken nuggets are what I wanted.  I never made home made fried chicken before my diagnosis, why, when there's a KFC in every city and fried chicken in the deli at every grocer.

This recipe is NOT good for you!  But my philosophy is that, since I don't eat it that often, it's good to indulge cravings every once in a while. As a gluten free person,I can't drive through and get fries or fried chicken a couple times a week, so making fried chicken every 3 or 4 months is fine!  And if I say yes to the craving while it's small, I don't go crazy and over eat.

A couple years ago, I found this recipe.
The first time I made it, I followed the directions exactly (except the gluten flour)  He's right, it really is the Best Fried Chicken!  But it really took a long time, and clarifying the butter took FOREVER!  So I have taken some of the bits and discarded some of it, and changed some of it so that I can make it without it taking too much time (but you do need to plan ahead).

The first change I made is to use boneless skinless chicken breast strips.  Cut up 3 chicken breasts into 1/2 inch strips. 

Make a brine solution using 1/4 cup kosher salt and 1 quart of cold water.  Pour the brine over the chicken strips and refrigerate over night.  I like to use Ziplock bags for this but bowls are fine.

In the morning, pour the brine solution out and add 1 quart of cultured buttermilk.  Refrigerate for 8 hours (or until you are ready to cook dinner).

When ready to cook, strain off the buttermilk and stir in 1/2 cup of ranch dressing.  I really like Lighthouse jalapeno ranch, it's thicker and has a kick.  Mix it around until the chicken is well coated.

In a large Ziplock bag, combine 2 cups gluten free all purpose baking mix 2 teaspoons Steak Seasoning, 2 teaspoons paprika.  Mix well.

Add the chicken to the flour blend in the bag a few strips at a time.  Shake it up and gently squeeze the strips in the flour mixture.  This will make sure the coating is well adhered.

In a large frying pan, heat shortening to about 365°.  I usually use butter flavored Crisco, it gives the butter flavor without having to spend the time clarifying it.  In my experience, while the shortening is not as good for you as a cooking oil, the texture and final result are much better.  I also add some bacon grease to the shortening.  Whenever I make bacon, I pour the fat off into a cup and keep it in the fridge for things like this.

Fry the chicken for about 3 minutes on each side. The coating should be golden brown.  Refrigerate the leftovers.  I even love these cold, so when I make it I will make lots of extra and then use them in my lunches and on salads for a few days.

Please don't save any leftover solutions, once they have had chicken in them, they are a food hazard, and unless you are planning to make more within 2 days, it would be very very bad!  I do put the left over flour mixture in the freezer to use again next time.