Keto Fried Chicken
This is the crispiest keto fried chicken you’ve ever had! Each piece of chicken is less than 2 grams of carbs and is coated in a spice mix that’s almost a KFC copycat for amazing flavor in every crispy crunchy bite!
1 chicken thigh
Creating the perfect, most crispy and flavorful low carb fried chicken recipe has been a labor of love (for you and for chicken!). Most keto chicken recipes rely on almond flour, like my parmesan crusted chicken, or pork rinds like my chicken strips, or simply keto breadcrumbs. While these methods are perfect for pan frying chicken, they just don’t cut it when it comes to fried chicken.
This recipe has key ingredients like keto buttermilk, whey protein powder, baking powder, and vodka to create the crispiest coating you’ve ever had on homemade fried chicken. And don’t get me started on the seasoning mix! If you love KFC chicken, this spice mix is a close alternative, and I’ve included directions if you want a real KFC seasoning copycat.
So, get that deep fryer out of storage and put it to work for a batch of the crispiest keto fried chicken you’ve ever had!
- How to make keto fried chicken
- Recipe Details
- Similar recipes others love
- Expert tips & tricks
- Tips for extra crispy chicken
- Best cuts of chicken to fry
- How to remove the thigh bone
- Other keto breading options
- Storage and reheating leftover chicken
- Nutrition information: facts & macronutrients
How to make keto fried chicken
- Prepare chicken – For the crispiest fried chicken, use chicken thighs, breasts, legs or wings with the skin on. Pat chicken dry with a paper towel. Then season all over with salt. Let the chicken sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator.
- Spice mix – This keto fried chicken recipe uses a copycat KFC spice blend. Season all sides of the salted chicken with this delicious blend of spices.
- Prepare buttermilk wash – Make keto buttermilk by combining heavy whipping cream with vinegar. After 30 minutes mix this will egg whites, vodka and baking powder.
- Keto breading – The best keto breading on fried chicken is made using protein powder mixed with baking powder. This creates flaky layers of crust on the outside of the juicy chicken.
- Dip & dredge – Dip a piece of seasoned chicken into the buttermilk wash. Then transfer to a plate with the breading mixture. Press the breading into the chicken to evenly coat.
- Immediately fry the coated chicken in a hot oil heated to 350 degrees. Let fry for 12-15 minutes.
Key ingredients & substitution suggestions
To make fried chicken you can use any cut of chicken – chicken thighs, wings, chicken breast or drumsticks. Ideally you want the skin on for the crispiest chicken. It’s up to you if you want boneless or bone-in chicken.
For the Seasoning
This seasoning blend is a KFC secret spice copycat without white pepper or basil. If you want to include these spices, add 2 tablespoons of white pepper and 1 teaspoon of basil to the mix.
- Seasoning mix – kosher salt, smoked paprika, garlic salt, ground ginger, black pepper, ground mustard, dried thyme, celery seed, dried oregano
The Buttermilk Wash
Making a keto-friendly buttermilk wash creates a thick paste that helps the breading stick to the fried chicken.
- Heavy whipping cream – Heavy cream is higher in fat and lower in carbs than traditional buttermilk, making it a better choice for a keto diet.
- White vinegar – Vinegar mixed with heavy cream will help to slightly curdle the cream, making a keto-friendly buttermilk.
- Egg whites – Egg whites are preferred over a whole egg wash because the fat in the whole egg can give too much moisture which might cause the crust to not be as crunchy.
- Neutral Spirit – Using a neutral flavored distilled alcohol like vodka helps to create flaky layers of breading.
- Whey protein powder – Use unflavored whey protein powder. It’s zero carbs (unlike all-purpose flour, which is usually used for fried chicken) and sticks onto the chicken throughout the entire frying process for an extra crispy coating.
- Baking powder – The addition of baking powder will help the skin get extra crispy as it helps to quickly dry the skin as it fries.
- Extra seasoning mix
Keto Fried Chicken Recipe Video
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Keto Fried Chicken Seasoning Ingredients
Buttermilk Wash Ingredients
Keto Breading Ingredients
Keto Fried Chicken Directions
Place chicken on a baking sheet lined with a paper towel. Sprinkle salt all over chicken. Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes or refrigerate overnight.
- chicken thighs, legs, wings or breast
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
Make spice blend
Make the spice blend, by combining remaining seasoning ingredients in a small bowl. Reserve half of the seasoning mix for the breading mixture.
- 3 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon garlic salt
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon ground mustard
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon celery seed
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
Pat the chicken dry on both sides with a paper towel. Coat the chicken all over with about half of the seasoning mixture.
Make keto buttermilk by adding white vinegar to heavy cream. Stir and let sit for 15-30 minutes.
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
Prepare oil for frying
Add enough avocado oil to a saucepan or large Dutch oven to cover the chicken completely. Heat oil over medium heat until the oil is about 350 degrees. Create a cooling station for the fried chicken by lining a baking sheet with paper towels and place a wire rack over on top.
Make buttermilk wash by combining keto buttermilk, egg whites, vodka and baking powder in a shallow bowl.
- keto buttermilk from step 4
- 2 eggs whites
- 2 tablespoons vodka, optional
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
In a large large or shallow bowl, make breading mixture by combining protein powder, baking powder, salt and remaining spice mix.
- 2 cups unflavored whey protein powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Remaining spice mix
Work with only enough chicken that will fit in your fry pot at one time. Dip one piece of chicken in the buttermilk wash to completely coat. Then place in breading mixture. Flip the chicken in the breading and press the breading in to create a thick layer to completely coat the chicken.
Deep fry chicken
Fry chicken in the hot oil bath until the internal temp is 165 (about 12-15 minutes). Flip the chicken in the fry bath occasionally to get all sides evenly cooked. Transfer chicken to the cooling rack. Repeat with remaining chicken.