A piece of chicken breaded and fried—what could be simpler? But in the hands of good Southern cooks, fried chicken is sublime. Today, people don’t have that kind of time. Now almost everyone heads to the joint, or diner for a fried chicken fix. Chef Ben White from “southern Carleton Place” this week shares his recipe of gluten-free fried chicken. It’s finger lickin good.
(Ben didn’t do the yogurt here we dredged it in GF flour then egg wash and then the coating)
About 4 pounds bone-in skin-on chicken parts (I used 2 split chicken breasts and 4 drumsticks)*
1 1/2 cups (12 fluid ounces) buttermilk 1 cup (224 g) plain yogurt (or you can use 1 cup buttermilk in place of the yogurt)
2 cups (280 g) basic gum-free gluten free flour blend (184 g superfine white rice flour + 62 g potato starch + 34 g tapioca starch/flour) (yes, you do have to use this blend!)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked Spanish paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
3 tablespoons (36 g) sugar
Neutral oil, for frying (peanut oil is ideal, but a mixture of half canola oil and half nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening works very well, too)
*F0r easier frying, and easier eating, try slicing each split chicken breast in half while it’s still on the bone. A large sharp knife and a swift motion will do the trick.
In a large, zip-top bag or large bowl, place the chicken parts, buttermilk and yogurt, and stir to coat the chicken parts fully. Squeeze out all of the air if using a zip-top bag before sealing the bag. If using a bowl, cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Place the chicken in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 4 and up to 16 hours.
Once the chicken has finished marinating, in a medium-size bowl, place the flour blend, pepper, salt, paprika, oregano, thyme, parsley, cumin, cinnamon, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, and sugar, and whisk to combine well. Pour all of the dry ingredients into a large, zip-top bag. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside. Remove the chicken parts from the marinade, about 2 at a time, and place in the bag of dry ingredients, seal the bag and shake to coat the chicken parts fully. Remove the chicken from the dry ingredients and place on the prepared baking sheet. Allow the coated chicken to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes to allow the dry ingredients to form a thick paste on the chicken. This will help the coating stick to the chicken during frying.
While the chicken is sitting, prepare the frying oil. Place about 3-inches of frying oil in a large, heavy-bottom pot or fryer. Clip a deep-fry/candy thermometer to the side of the pot or fryer, and place the oil over medium-high heat. Bring the oil temperature to 350°F. Place the coated chicken parts in the hot oil, taking care not to crowd the oil. To prevent the chicken from sticking to the bottom of the pot, hold each piece with tongs or a spider in the hot oil just above the bottom for about a minute to allow the bottom skin of the chicken to seal. Fry until golden brown all over, about 7 minutes on each side. Turn the heat down to bring the oil temperature to 325°F and allow the chicken to continue to cook until the internal temperature of each piece reaches nearly 165°F (about 10 minutes more). Place the chicken on a wire rack placed over paper towels to drain and cool before serving.
Some of you know Ben White as Blair and Teri White’s son. A few of you recognize him as the nephew of Bill and Bob White. I know him because he is my neighbour, Joyce White’s grandson. It doesn’t matter how you met him, you should be aware that the fourteen year old High-Schooler is an up and coming triple threat to the Food Network chefs.
Ben and his brother Emmett share my Celiac disease, so all Ben’s recipes are gluten-free. His Mother has also set up a Facebook page called Go Gluten Free so everyone can share their gluten free recipes. As he told his father, local plumber, Blair White,
“Dad, you fix peoples pipes, I fix up people’s tastebuds