If you look at my life (living with my boyfriend/fiance, not married yet and no near wedding plans, went back to school as an adult) I would not really look I am into rules, order or tradition. I think I’ve just realized that I am happy to figure it out, whatever it looks like.
Joel could eat Mexican food, like, always. When he wants to go out to eat, he almost always picks Mexican food (our favorite place in Salem, OR is La Hacienda). But mostly, the Mexican food we eat is the food we make ourselves. Some of our favorites are homemade tortillas, enchiladas, tacos and, of course, margaritas.
Years ago, I started making my own “refried” black beans. I put that word in quotes because these are not fried at all, and especially not refried. But they are the best black beans ever. Joel isn’t normally a huge fan of black beans, but we both agree, these we could eat by the bowl full.
This fried chicken has been a craving since I saw it in a recent cook book purchase, Party Like a Culinista. These ladies are full of fun tips and recipes for throwing major parties, small parties, or just cooking up some delicious food!
Take this fried chicken, for example. It’s crispy, juicy, you can make it ahead, and it’s gluten free! HELLLO! Genius.
Brown rice flour does wonders here, as does a buttermilk soak (I’m currently obsessed with buttermilk) and a spice mix they call in their book “The Colonel.” HA.
I love the fry/bake method. I want to try this with bone-in chicken wings and a spicy asian style sauce next time!
Here’s how you do it. You want to start the chicken a day ahead or at least let it marinate for 4 hours (you could easily throw this together before work in the morning and come home to some chicken dinner!)
Make the spice mixture: combine garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne…basically this is your secret spice blend and you’ll use half your cabinet, but it’s awesome.
You use the mixture in the marinade for the chicken, the flour coating AND the gravy. I loved this idea, it really made the spices stand out! Below: buttermilk and spices get mixed together, spices and brown rice flour get mixed together.
Put the buttermilk in a ziptop bag and pour the buttermilk mixture over it.
Let this sit at least 4 hours or overnight. When you are ready to cook, get your station ready! Preheat the oven and heat the oil to 350. Then take the chicken out of the buttermilk and toss it, a piece at a time, with the flour mixture. Delicious, delicious fried chicken.
This goes (on the rack) into the oven and is baked for 10 minutes. The result is delicious, crispy, flavorful chicken. It’s chicken breast! It’s gluten-free! It’s make-ahead! It’s completely perfect for summer or your next picnic.
We had this with roasted fingerling potatoes and gravy (recipe below). I also made a romaine salad with cucumber, avocado, blue cheese, sunflower seeds and a homemade kefir ranch dressing! A salad like that goes perfect with this comfort food chicken.
Crispy Gluten Free Fried Chicken
Recipe Type: Dinner, Main Dish
Serves: 4 servings
Gluten Free Crispy Fried Chicken
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
For the chicken:
1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
2 cups buttermilk
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in half (or thighs, left whole, or a mix of both)
vegetable oil for frying
For the gravy:
6 tablespoons ap flour (or brown rice flour, if you want to do this gluten free)
3 tablespoons butter
1 garlic clove, minced
3 cups low-sodium or homemade chicken stock
2 teaspoons reserved spice mix
Mix up the spices. In a small bowl measure and mix up the spice blend. Measure out the rice flour and place in a small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of the spice mix to the rice flour and whisk together or stir with a fork. Set aside.
Marinate the chicken: In a ziptop bag set inside of a glass bowl, set the chicken in the bottom of the plastic bag. In a small measuring cup, add the buttermilk and 1/2 the remaining spice mix and blend together. Save the remaining spice mix for the gravy. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the plastic bag with the chicken. Seal the bag and gently massage it so that the chicken is coated with the spicy buttermilk. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
To cook the chicken, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Find a rack and a baking sheet that will fit the rack inside of it. Fill a cast iron skillet or large pot with at least 1” of the vegetable oil and use a candy thermometer to heat to 350 degrees over medium heat.
When the oil is right around 350, you are ready to fry the chicken! Take the marinated chicken out of the fridge, and dump the flour and spice mixture on a large plate or small tray. You want it big enough to fit a few pieces of chicken at a time. Take one piece of chicken out of the buttermilk mixture, pausing over the bag to let the excess buttermilk drip off the chicken. You can gently shake the chicken to help it drain. Place the chicken into the flour mixture and toss to coat it with flour, then gently shake to remove excess flour. I found it helpful to coat three pieces of chicken at a time, then add them to the oil at once. Carefully drop each piece into the hot oil, standing back from the oil a bit as you drop them in. Fry until crispy on the bottom side, about 4-5 minutes, then check the bottom by flipping them over with long handled metal tongs. If they look golden brown, flip them, and fry on the other side 3-4 minutes. When they are crispy and lightly brown on all sides, remove the pieces from the oil and place on the rack that is set over a baking sheet. This allows the excess grease to drip away from the chicken, and they won’t get soggy. Repeat with the remaining chicken, frying it all up and putting it on the rack.
When all the chicken has been fried, bake in the oven for 10 minutes. If you want to make this ahead, keep warm in the oven at 300 degrees until ready to serve, but not for too long!
The gravy is simple. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, over low heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 2 minutes, until it is smooth and blended. Add in the garlic and let it cook for 1 minute.
Slowly stir in the chicken stock until smooth. Add the reserved spice mix, about 2 teaspoons (you might have extra spice mix to save for another time). Cook on medium, whisking occasionally until the gravy thickens up. If you used brown rice flour, you can blend with an immersion blender after 10 minutes to make sure it is smooth.