This Baked Buffalo Chicken is a crowd pleaser. You get tender, juicy meat and crispy skin without the hassle of deep frying. And with only 5 basic ingredients, it’s an easy keto meal for the whole fam. With only 1.2g carbs per serving!
We are a family of Buffalo chicken addicts. My son loves it so much that he orders it any chance he can get. I can’t even fathom how many Buffalo wings he’s eaten in his short life so far. It numbers in the thousands, easily.
Knowing how much he loves them, I have racked my brains to find a way to make a Keto friendly version at home. And I am delighted to say that this easy Baked Buffalo Chicken lives up to the promise.
It has crispy skin and succulent, tender meat, with plenty of that tangy, buttery flavor. And there’s no need to drag out the deep fryer and make your house smell like fried food for days!
There are so many wonderful ways to make Keto Buffalo Chicken. If you love it like we love it, check out Buffalo Chicken Soup as well!
Why you must try this recipe
When it comes to cooking chicken, baking often can’t hold a candle to frying. You just can’t get the skin crispy enough. Unless, of course, you know the baking powder trick.
I would love to tell you that this amazing hack was my own discovery, but it was not. I came across it on another blog called RecipeTin Eats. And I could hardly believe that a simple pantry staple was the magic ingredient for crispy Keto Buffalo Chicken.
I know that dusting chicken with baking powder seems mighty strange. But it really works, believe me. And I’ve used this same hack on Keto Chicken Wings too.
How does it work? Well, baking powder is mostly sodium bicarbonate and the salt helps draw moisture out of the chicken skin as it bakes. The baking powder also becomes a gas during the baking process, which leaves tiny bubbles on the chicken skin, creating a crunchy texture.
My kids adore drumsticks (or “chicken on the bone”, as they like to call them), and they provide an easy and inexpensive meal for my hungry family. So I often use drumsticks for my baked Buffalo chicken. But thighs work nicely as well.
Simple, easy, and seriously crispy. This is my favorite way to make Baked Buffalo Chicken and I think you will love it too.
“My family absolutely LOVES this recipe! I never dreamed that a baked chicken recipe could be this crispy, but also falling off the bone at the same time. I don’t even typically like drumsticks but these are so dang good that I ate 6 of them all by myself.” — Erin
“I am originally from upstate NY (aka Buffalo, NY- home of the first chicken wings) and am admittedly a bit of a chicken wing snob, so I was skeptical. Baking powder? Really? Well,i made them last night for New Years Eve and they were a hit! I’ll be making them again!” – Liz
“I made these tonight and just had to tell you how good they were! My husband and I both loved them! I had never heard of the baking powder tip and I was amazed by how crispy the skin got! Thanks so much for the great recipes!” – Bethany
Ingredients you need
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- Chicken pieces: This crispy baked method works best on skin-on, bone-in chicken like drumsticks and thighs. My kids love the drummies but I prefer the thighs. They take about the same time to cook. You can also do this with chicken wings, but they don’t need as much time in the oven.
- Baking powder: Make sure you use baking POWDER, rather than soda. I also recommend aluminum free baking powder, to avoid that strange metallic taste.
- Butter: Classic Buffalo wings take butter in the sauce, so I use that here as well. For a dairy free version, you can use coconut oil or avocado oil.
- Buffalo sauce: The original Frank’s Hot Sauce is keto friendly, but make sure you don’t purchase the wing sauce, which has some additives like canola oil and butter flavor. For super clean ingredients, check out the sauce from The New Primal. It’s my absolute favorite!
- Salt and pepper: Go lightly with the added seasoning until you taste the chicken, since baking powder adds salt as well.
1. Pat the chicken dry and place half of it in a large ziploc bag. Add half of the baking powder, salt, and pepper and shake vigorously to coat. Lay the chicken on the prepared rack and repeat with the remaining chicken, baking powder, salt, and pepper
2. Place the rack in the lower third of the oven and bake at 250ºF for 30 minutes.
3. Increase temperature to 425ºF and move the tray to the upper middle rack of the oven. Bake another 30 to 40 minutes, flipping the chicken partway through, until the skin is crisp.
4. In a small bowl, whisk the Buffalo sauce and melted butter together. Brush over the chicken. At this point, you can return them to the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes, if you like the sauce to be baked on.
Make sure you pat the chicken very dry. Any amount of surface moisture will make the baking powder clump in that spot, instead of dusting the chicken lightly. I also recommend tossing the chicken with the baking powder in batches, to ensure more even coverage.
The first stage of baking at a lower temperature helps render some of the fat from the chicken, allowing it to crisp up more easily.
Air fryer method: This Keto Buffalo Chicken recipe can easily be made in an air fryer and you don’t need the baking powder at all. Just air fry with some salt and pepper on about 400ºF for 25 to 30 minutes. I recommend starting them skin side down and flipping them at the half way point. Then brush them with sauce after they are done.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, many buffalo sauces and hot sauces are keto friendly. Just be sure to read the labels and use the regular hot sauce that has no carbs, rather than a pre-mixed wing sauce. The wing sauces often contain additives that raise the carb count. The New Primal makes a fabulous keto and paleo Buffalo sauce that comes in mild, medium, and hot.
As long as they aren’t breaded in high carb coating, deep fried foods are generally keto friendly. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they are healthy, however. Much depends on the oils used for frying. Steer clear of inflammatory canola and soybean oil, and choose high heat oils such as lard or light olive oil.
There really is no shame in deep-frying, as far as I am concerned. The only reason I don’t do it much myself is that it’s a lot of work and uses huge amounts of oil. And it makes your house smelled like fried food for at least 24 hours!
This recipe for crispy baked Buffalo chicken has only 1.2g of carbs per serving.
Baked Buffalo Chicken Recipe
- Preheat the oven to 250ºF and set a wire cooling rack over a large baking sheet. Spray the rack with cooking oil.
- Pat the chicken dry and place half of it in a large ziploc bag. Add half of the baking powder, salt, and pepper and shake vigorously to coat.
- Lay the chicken on the prepared rack and repeat with the remaining chicken, baking powder, salt, and pepper. Place the rack in the lower third of the oven and bake 30 minutes.
- Increase temperature to 425ºF and move the tray to the upper middle rack of the oven. Bake another 30 to 40 minutes, until the skin is crisp. You can flip the chicken halfway through, if desired.
- In a small bowl, combine the Buffalo sauce and melted butter. Brush over the chicken on both sides. At this point, you can return them to the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes, if you like the sauce baked on.