This might just be the best low carb fried chicken recipe you will ever eat. No breading at all, just crispy skin and perfect seasoning! Perfect for the keto diet.
You know when you are eating food so good, you just can’t sit still? It’s like that little wiggle of happiness starts deep down inside you and you’ve just got it let it out. You dance around a bit in your chair. You tap your toes and snap your fingers. You may even get up from your place and do a little boogie. That food is so good, you just gotta move, you know what I’m saying? Well this here recipe is exactly that kind of food. This is the best low carb fried chicken I’ve ever made and believe me, it doesn’t have even the littlest bit of breading on it. It’s totally naked and it’s shake-your-groove-thing delicious!
When I lived in Massachusetts, there was a surprisingly good Chinese restaurant not too far from my house. We didn’t have much in the way of good restaurants in our suburban area so it had relatively decent patronage. If you didn’t want to head into Boston, you had your choice of multiple mediocre Italian places or you could go to Mandarin Reading (pronounced “Redding”). There was plenty to choose from, including sushi (I guess they were trying to be Pan-Asian!), and it was all fresh and flavourful. But what always had me coming back for more were the Chinese chicken wings. Oh my god, they were good. Sometimes I would put in a huge take-out order just of the wings, and we would feast on them. They were incredibly crisp and perfectly seasoned. I could have eaten them every day.
I tried to perfect those deep-fried wings numerous times at home to varying degrees of success. I did my research and it was clear that double-frying was the way to go. A first initial fry to get out much of the moisture in the wings and then a second fry to really crisp them up. Let’s be honest…total pain in the ass and a lot of work for not nearly enough reward. I gave up for a while and figured I’d just have to make do with ordering them from Mandarin Reading.
Then I moved clear across the country and Mandarin Reading became a wee bit more difficult to access. And although Portland is the land of amazing food, I haven’t found a very good replacement for my beloved Chinese chicken wings. So I decided it was time to tackle them again, but this time I approached them a little differently. First, I got myself a really good deep saute pan and a proper frying basket. Unlike a deep fryer, a saute pan is multi-purpose so it’s useful for more than just frying. Secondly, I went out on a limb and tried crisping the chicken up in the oven before frying. Remember my popular Crispy Baked Buffalo Drumsticks? It occurred to me that if I crisped the skin up that way, I could skip the double-frying method.
I. AM. BRILLIANT! Totally, totally worked and I am overjoyed. I’ve done it a few times now with wings, but they get devoured so quickly I never have a chance to take photos. I also thought it would make for a really great fried chicken recipe. Who needs breading anyway? No matter what kind of low carb “flour” you put on there, it falls to pieces the minute it hits the hot oil in a deep fry. But this method gives you gorgeously browned, perfectly crisp chicken skin every time. Let’s get naked!
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/8 to 1/4 tsp cayenne
- 3 lbs bone-in chicken pieces (thighs and drumsticks)
- 2 tbsp baking powder
- 2 quarts frying oil (I used light olive oil)
In a small bowl, whisk together the paprika, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne.
Preheat the oven to 250F. Set a baking rack over a large rimmed baking sheet. Spray the rack with coconut oil spray.
Pat the chicken VERY dry with paper towels. Place half of the chicken in a plastic bag and sprinkle with 1 tbsp of the baking powder. Shake vigorously to coat, then arrange the chicken on the baking rack. Repeat with remaining chicken and remaining baking powder. The chicken can be crowded onto the rack to make it fit.
Bake the chicken in the lower half of the oven for 25 minutes. Increase the heat to 425F and place the rack in the upper half of the oven. Bake another 20 to 25 minutes, until the skin is crispy to the touch.
Add the oil to a large 6 quart pan, so that it's at least 2 to 3 inches deep (or use a deep fryer, if you have one). Heat over medium high until the oil is at least 350F.
Add half the chicken to the pot, skin side down, and quickly cover (it will spit and splatter like crazy!). If you have a frying basket that fits in the pot, that works really well to submerge the chicken. Let cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until the chicken is golden brown. Scoop out the chicken with a slotted spoon (or lift the frying basket) and transfer to a large bowl. Sprinkle with half the spice mixture and shake to coat each piece.
Bring the oil back up to 350F and repeat with the remaining chicken.
Serves 8. *Please note that it is very hard to calculate the fat in this recipe, based on how much the chicken absorbs during frying. My research indicates that it is actually very little so I have estimated only about 1 to 2 tsp per serving.
Food energy: 366kcal
Total fat: 26.16g
Calories from fat: 235
Total dietary fiber: 0.13g