Who doesn’t love fried chicken?!
Few meat lovers can resist this dish’s perfect, delicious, and crunchy taste.
In addition, fried chicken is easy to make and requires little time and ingredients.
Besides the chicken, you only need the oil for frying and the ingredients for the breading mix.
And what is a breading mix made of?
Although there are different recipes, a traditional breading mix usually includes breadcrumbs, various spices, and a key ingredient – all-purpose flour.
Does this mean you can’t fry chicken without flour?
Fortunately, you can, and in a few different ways.
There are several methods of frying chicken without flour; choosing one depends mostly on why you want to avoid flour.
Are you allergic to gluten, trying to cut back on carbs, or just out of flour right now and craving fried chicken?
Whatever your answer is, you will find a flourless fry chicken recipe in this article that suits your situation.
Why Is the Flour Used for Frying Chicken, and Is It Necessary?
Let’s start by clarifying why people use flour to fry chicken in the first place.
The primary role of the flour is to help the coating stick to the chicken.
Flour is also partly responsible for fried chicken’s specific crispy taste and golden brown color, although you can achieve this color and crispness in other ways, which we will reveal later in the text.
The advantage of flour, especially all-purpose flour, which people use most often, is that it can withstand the high temperatures at which the chicken is fried and has a very neutral taste that allows the spices and herbs you add to come to the fore.
However, it is good to know that you can replace all-purpose flour with other types of flour.
If you just ran out of regular flour or want to avoid gluten, you can use other types of flour, like rice flour, semolina flour, or chickpea flour.
The result will not be identical to all-purpose flour, but it will be good, with additional specifics.
For example, rice flour and semolina flour make the fried chicken even more crispy. In contrast, chickpea flour, often used in Mediterranean and Indian cuisine, will add an unusual, earthy flavor to the dish.
The advantage of chickpea flour is that it is low in calories and does not contain many carbohydrates, so it can be a suitable substitute if you are looking for such an option.
Instead of regular flour, you can use barley or rye flour. These types of flour will give the chicken a rich flavor, but keep in mind that they contain gluten, so they are unsuitable for those on a gluten-free diet.
Most importantly, all these types of flour will help the coating you prepared stick well to the chicken and not fall off during frying.
You can fry chicken prepared with these types of flour in the same way as you would with all-purpose flour, and you can add all the spices and herbs you like.
Now that we’ve clarified that flour plays an important role in frying chicken, but it’s not indispensable, let’s see ways to make fried chicken without flour (all-purpose or otherwise).
Chicken Fried with Eggs and Breadcrumbs
One of the easiest ways to fry chicken without flour is to use eggs and breadcrumbs.
It’s also the closest thing to the taste of chicken fried with flour, but the meat will be less crispy.
This method is simple, but you must follow the instructions for good results.
To start, wash the chicken, pat it dry with a paper towel, and cut it into the desired pieces.
You can use chicken with the bones and skin removed, but some parts of the chicken, such as chicken drumsticks, can be fried with the bones.
Also, many people do not remove the chicken skin because they like its texture, which gives the dish an extra crunch.
Beat the eggs in a deep plate or bowl wide enough to fit the largest pieces of meat you have cut into it.
Two eggs should be enough for one kilogram of chicken. You can add a little milk to the beaten eggs (but it is not mandatory) and spices to your liking.
Pour the breadcrumbs into another deep plate.
Dip the pieces of meat first in eggs, then in breadcrumbs, then lower them into heated oil and fry.
Add grated Parmesan to the breadcrumbs, adding a creamy, buttery note to the chicken.
When the eggs and breadcrumbs are mixed, it makes a very sticky mixture, so a good tip is to use one hand to dip the meat into the eggs and the other to dip the meat into the breadcrumbs so you don’t end up with sticky, greasy fingers.
On average, chicken is fried for about fifteen minutes, that is, slightly shorter if it comes to chicken wings, but the frying time can vary depending on the size of the piece of meat and the temperature.
That’s why it’s best to pay attention to the appearance of the chicken and finish frying it when it turns golden brown.
Place the chicken on a paper towel or wire rack to drain the excess oil when it is done.
Many people are concerned about whether the coating will slide off the chicken if they don’t use flour.
The fact is that without flour, it is more challenging to stick the other ingredients to the meat, but they can still stick well and stay on the chicken if you’re careful.
To begin with, before placing the chicken in the pan to fry, gently pat each piece of meat to remove any excess coating.
Also, don’t turn the chicken too often while frying, as this increases the chance of pieces of coating falling off the meat.
Instead, turn each piece of meat you fry just once.
Finally, putting too many pieces of meat in the pan at a time is a big mistake.
Instead, add enough chicken pieces to the pan so that all the parts have room and do not collide. It’ll prevent pieces of coating from falling off the meat during frying.
Chicken Fried with Cornstarch
Another easy way to fry chicken without flour is to use cornstarch.
It’s a method that many people might like because cornstarch gives the chicken an exceptional crunch and absorbs significantly less oil than flour, so your dish will be healthier and less greasy.
Also, although the taste is slightly different from fried chicken with flour, the dish is delicious and reminiscent of Korean chicken.
Mix cornstarch and water in a 2:1 ratio, then season the resulting mixture using salt, pepper, and other spices and herbs you like.
Coat the chicken with this mixture and fry it in hot oil.
Don’t forget to drain the excess oil before serving this crispy chicken with your favorite side dish.
By the way, it’s good to know you can use cornstarch to fry any food. For example, cornstarch is the ingredient to reach for to fry vegetables and make them extra crispy.
Chicken Fried with Baking Powder
Another way to get crispy and delicious fried chicken while avoiding gluten is to use baking powder.
There are two ways to prepare chicken like this. The first is to marinate the meat a few hours (or a whole day) beforehand, store it in the refrigerator, and then roll it in baking powder.
Another way is to mix baking powder with herbs and spices and cover the chicken with that mixture.
You will get a delicious dish, whichever of these two methods you choose.
You can prepare chicken with baking powder traditionally – deep-fried, but there are also healthier options.
The oven-fried chicken will have fewer calories and fat, and an even healthier option is to prepare the chicken in an air fryer.
If you opt for an air fryer, you can boil the meat before frying to get a better texture and juicier chicken flavor.
Frying chicken with baking powder gives the best results if you don’t remove the skin from the meat.
Instead of baking powder, you can use baking soda or mix these two ingredients.
Chicken Fried with Potato Starch
Like cornstarch, potato starch can also be used as a substitute for flour when frying your chicken.
These two starches have very similar properties, so expect similar results.
Along with the crispness, the neutral taste is one of the advantages. Use this as an opportunity to add your favorite spices to make your fried chicken perfect for your taste.
There are several ways to fry chicken with potato starch.
The simplest way is to mix potato starch, water, and spices, then coat the chicken with that mixture and fry it.
You can also coat the chicken with potato starch and eggs.
The third method is somewhat more demanding but gives excellent results, and the dish’s taste is reminiscent of Japanese fried chicken, i.e., karaage.
Dark meat is more suitable for this preparation method, so it is better to use chicken wings and legs, but you can also use white meat.
Make a marinade for meat from spices and vegetable oil. We suggest you use cooking wine, olive or sesame oil, onion, garlic, and salt, but of course, you can adjust this mixture to your taste.
Cut the meat into pieces, put it in the marinade, then leave it in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
When you remove the meat from the fridge, roll it in potato starch and fry it.
The trick that will make the chicken prepared in this way more crispy and less oily is double frying.
Heat the oil to 160°C (325°F) and deep fry the chicken for about three minutes, or until it takes a pale golden hue.
After that, transfer the chicken to a paper towel or drying rack for a few minutes to cool slightly and drain the excess oil.
Increase the temperature of the oil to 190°C (375°F) and return the chicken to the oil to fry until desired golden brown. The second round of frying should only take a minute or two.
After that, drain the chicken again and serve it.
Chicken Fried with Cereals
Some recipes for fried chicken without flour will give you a very close taste as if you had used flour, while others will open up new horizons.
Corn-based flake cereal is one way to coat the chicken before frying and get crispy bites.
Chicken prepared this way will have a significantly different taste than the one you are used to, but many people will like it.
All you need is to crush the cereal flakes. You can do this with a blender or simply pour them into a ziplock bag and then crush them with a rolling pin.
Roll the chicken pieces in the egg mixture first, then the crushed cereals, and then fry them.
Although the preparation process is similar to when you use eggs and breadcrumbs, the taste differs.
Chicken Fried with Pancake Flour Mix
Another recipe that might sound strange is fried chicken with pancake flour mix.
However, if you’re just out of flour and craving fried chicken, this might be a good enough choice.
So, if you have pancake flour mix at home, feel free to reach for it.
The chicken might taste a bit sweet and doughy, but that’s nothing you can’t solve by adding the right spices to pick up the flavor.
Also, chicken like this might lack a bit of a crispy texture, but if you’re willing to give that up, try this method.
Cover the pieces of chicken, which you previously washed and dried with a paper towel, with a thin layer of the pancake flour mix, and then fry it in oil.
Chicken Fried Just with Marinade
If you’ve been wondering if it’s possible to fry chicken without flour without using any substitute ingredients, the answer is yes, it is possible.
The flour serves to help the mixture that creates the crispy crust on the chicken stick to the meat more easily.
However, neither flour nor other ingredients are mandatory.
If you don’t remove the skin from the chicken, it will become crispy during frying.
You can marinate the chicken with the skin and fry it without additional ingredients.
Prepare the marinade to your taste. First, marinate the meat and leave it in the refrigerator for 24 hours or longer. After that, take the chicken out of the fridge and fry it as usual.
Another handy trick is to fry the meat directly from the freezer.
Unthawed meat will react to the high heat of the frying oil, and a greasy crust will form on the surface.
Can You Fry Chicken Wings Without Flour?
You may have wondered if you can make delicious fried wings without flour.
Luckily, the answer is that you can, so if you’re out of flour or trying to cut down on carbs or avoid gluten, go for it!
You can fry any chicken part without flour; all the methods we mentioned suit chicken wings and other chicken pieces.
Choose the method that you like best or that suits your diet and try it.
What Oil to Use for Frying Chicken?
Another important thing when frying chicken is the choice of oil.
It is essential which oil you use as you won’t have the same success with different types of oil.
The best oils for frying chicken are vegetable, sunflower, peanut, and canola.
The advantages of these oils are their high smoke points and neutral taste.
Also, considering that you need a lot of oil for deep frying, you shouldn’t ignore the price.
Therefore, choose cheaper options for frying chicken.
Never fry chicken in olive oil.
While olive oil, especially extra virgin, is an excellent ingredient for many dishes, it’s the wrong choice for frying chicken.
Apart from the fact that it would be a waste of high-quality food, it can also be dangerous because olive oil does not withstand the high temperatures required for frying chicken.
Like olive oil with a low smoke point, the same applies to toasted sesame, hazelnut, and flaxseed oil.
Therefore, use these oils only in dishes not heated or prepared at low heat.
If you are one of the many fans of fried chicken, you may have wondered if you can prepare it without flour.
With so many different options for replacing this ingredient, there’s no need to give up your favorite dish just because you’re out of flour.
If you’re on a keto diet, trying to lower your carb intake, or don’t eat gluten, there are also ways to make fried chicken that will work for you.
Some ways to replace regular flour are to use other types of flour, cornstarch, potato starch, baking powder, or a mixture of eggs and breadcrumbs.
Also, there are some slightly unusual substitutes like pancake flour mix or cereals.
Finally, you can fry the chicken without any substitute for flour, just covered with marinade or even without it.
Choose the method that suits you best and enjoy your fried wings, drumsticks, or white meat.
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