Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Gluten Free KFC Fried Chicken Copycat

If you happen to be one of the countless people that have asked me to make a gluten free KFC fried chicken copycat, well folks it’s finally here.  

This crispy delicious fried chicken is so close to KFC’s original recipe that my taste testers had a hard time telling the difference.  Did I mention that these a fore mentioned tasters don’t follow a gluten free diet so their memories of KFC are a lot fresher than mine?

Let me start by apologizing for how long it took me to fulfill this request but I wanted to get it right.  While fried chicken seems simple enough, making a recipe that mimics Colonel Sanders original and dare I say one of a kind fried chicken was a bit more daunting. 

Since none of us has his secret recipe, nor do we have his patented pressure fryer in our home kitchens, I needed a few little tricks to getting the recipe just right.  It took me several tries but I can now say with confidence that if you follow all the steps I've laid out in the recipe you won’t be disappointed. 

So now all my gluten free friends can kiss their KFC envy goodbye.    

Gluten Free KFC Fried Chicken Copycat
Prep time: 10 min active (6 hrs brine time, 1 hr rest time)
Fry time: 15-20 min per batch (cooked in 2 batches)
Servings: 4

  • (1) 4lb chicken cut into 10 pieces, backbone removed and wings tucked
  • vegetable oil (enough to fill a 12 inch cast iron skillet to ¾ inch deep)
Ingredients for the Buttermilk Brine
  • 2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp hot sauce
Ingredients for the Seasoned Flour
  • 2 cups gluten free rice flour blend flour (I used Betty Crocker’s blend)
  • 1 cup corn starch
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground sage
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp old bay
  • 1 tsp black pepper
Video Tutorial

  1. In large bowl whisk together the buttermilk, egg, salt, and hot sauce until well combined.   
  2. Add the chicken pieces to the buttermilk brine and try to get them fully submerged then allow them to soak, refrigerated for 4 - 6 hours or even overnight.   
  3. To make the seasoned flour in a large baking dish whisk together the gluten free flour, cornstarch and all the spices listed in the ingredients list. 
  4. To dredge the chicken let the excess buttermilk drip from each piece then toss it around in the seasoned flour to get it well coated on all sides and place each piece on a wire rack. 
  5. Once all the pieces are coated once coat them again by dipping each piece into the buttermilk then into the flour again.
  6. Once they've all been coated twice leave them undisturbed on the wire rack for about an hour so that the coating adheres well and the chicken comes fully down to room temperature.    
  7. To fry the chicken, in a 12 inch cast-iron skillet, heat ¾ of an inch of vegetable oil to 350°.  
  8. Have a clean wire rack over a baking sheet ready and waiting to drain the chicken after frying.
  9. Add the chicken to the hot oil in batches of 4 to 5 pieces at a time. 
  10. Turn the chicken every 3 or 4 minutes to keep it from getting too dark before it’s fully cooked.  I started the frying at 350° then maintained a lower temperature of about 320° for the rest of the cook time.
  11. The wings usually take about 10-12 minutes for wings and the other pieces take about 15-20 minutes depending on size.
  12. Once the pieces have a deep golden skin and an internal temperature of 165° they’re done.
  13. Drain the chicken on a wire rack so the air can circulate and the skin will stay crispy then serve.  


  1. Just tried this recipe. The flavors are fantastic! However the batter came out a little tough instead of crisp. My dining partner could tell it was gluten free. Overall it was successful, but I might try something else for the batter (I used Red Mill 1-to-1 gluten free flour)..

    1. I'm pretty sure I used Betty Crocker's flour blend for this recipe so that might account for the difference in texture. Keep experimenting until you find what works best for you. And once you have perfection, write it down so you can recreate it.

  2. This recipe is exceptional. I've tried multiple recipes, including expensive pre-packaged gluten free friend chicken box mixes, and this recipe is the bets by far. The exterior is very crispy and adheres while frying. The leftovers are wonderful cold or re-heated in the oven (just as crispy). For my 2 cups of flour, I used 1 and 1/2 cups rice flour, 1/2 cup potato starch, and 1/4th cup tapioca starch 2 and 1/4th cups total). Thank you for this wonderful recipe and the great video. I don't often leave comments, but this recipe is such a success and I've made it so many times I had to say thank you!

    1. Thanks so much for the kind words and the detailed explanation of the flour combination you used. That is always helpful for future readers.

  3. Sorry for the typo, just to be clear I used 1 and 1/2 cup rice flour, 1/2 cup potato starch, and 1/4 cup tapioca starch. This was 2 and 1/4 cups total, even though the recipe only calls for 2 cups. And I used the full 1 cup of corn starch. Came out great.

  4. I used your recipe and cooked the chicken in my new air fryer. Delicious! I tried one other recipe one time that called for sugar in the coating. It was a major fail. This one is 15-year-old celiac approved.

  5. Will try this recipe sometime this week.

  6. Can't wait to try this fried chicken! Sounds delicious.


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