It seems like every time my wife has a baby, she has to cut something else out of her diet. For one reason or another. After our first daughter was born, bye-bye gluten. And after our second, bye-bye dairy. Well, how in the heck am I ever supposed to eat fried chicken for dinner at home ever again? So, it has become one of the callings of my life to create delicious gluten- and dairy-free food. And in this case specifically… dairy- and gluten-free fried chicken. But still using the buttermilk I so desperately love!
Dairy-Free Buttermilk. Possible? Yes.
It’s super simple to make. The ratio is 1 part lemon juice, 15 parts soy milk. So for this particular recipe, what I do is this: Add 2 oz / 4 Tablespoons / 1/4 cup (it’s all the same) of lemon juice to a measuring cup. Then fill to the 4 cup mark with soy milk. Let sit for 10 minutes. And that’s it – dairy-free buttermilk. Then soak chicken for at least 2 hours. It’s a buttermilk brine. Not absolutely necessary, but totally worth the wait.
Yes, Most Gluten-Free Flour is Ew.
But Not This One!
Why I Use an Electric Skillet
I think the biggest mistake people make when cooking friend chicken is to have the oil at too high of a temperature. It’s a tricky thing. And while I’m always looking for any excuse to use my Cast Iron Skillet, which is actually perfect for fried chicken, I also like to take out the guess work in cooking as much as possible. So I opt for an Electric Skillet when it comes to frying chicken. And here’s why…
The only way to fully cook fried chicken on the stovetop without having to transfer it to the oven is to keep the temperature low. In my opinion, the ideal temp is 350F. This will allow the internal temperature of the chicken to come up before the flour begins to brown. Or worse, burn. But if your flour browns too quickly, you will definitely need to transfer it to the oven to complete the cooking process. Otherwise, it will be burned for sure.
This is why I’m a big proponent of an electric skillet for this gluten-free fried chicken. It will regulate the temperature for you, leaving you time to focus on another element of you meal. Or even better, the sauce for your chicken!
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Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Buttermilk Fried Chicken
- 4 lbs. chicken pieces
- 4 cups soy milk
- 2 oz. lemon juice
- 3 Tbsp. sea salt divided
- 1 tsp. black pepper divided
- 2 cups gluten-free flour
- 1 Tbsp. paprika
- 2 quarts canola oil
- Make dairy-free buttermilk - Mix together lemon juice, soy milk, 2 Tbsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper; let sit for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes - in a large bowl, add buttermilk and all chicken pieces and allow to marinate for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator, mixing a few times.
- Take a brown paper bag (or double bag plastic bags) - add flour, 1 Tbsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, and paprika. Mix well!
- Add chicken to bag (in 3 or 4 piece batches) and toss well until fully coated. Place chicken on a sheet of parchment paper and allow to sit until coating has a paste-like consistency.
- Heat oil to 400F in electric skillet until hot. Add as many pieces as skillet can hold. Then once back up to temp, reduce heat to 350F and cook (turning occasionally) until crispy and golden brown on all sides. About 30 minutes.
- Remove chicken onto paper towels and allow to drain and cool for about 10 minutes. Then, if needed, transfer to a warm oven.
- Serve and enjoy!
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