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I may have “tested” this recipe a few extra times than was necessary in the past month, simply because I can’t get enough of this keto fried chicken. It’s basically perfect. Juicy and tender chicken with a perfectly crispy breaded skin. And it’s oven fried, so you don’t have to mess around with any deep frying. It’s so easy and has less than 1 carb per serving! It’s also perfect if you’re on a carnivore diet.
I could really go on and on about how much I love this chicken. But you’re probably more interested in how to make it.
Keto Fried Chicken
Conventional fried chicken is full of high-carb grains, and is often fried in inflammatory seed oils. This keto fried chicken is completely grain and gluten free and is made with good old fashioned butter.
I adapted this recipe from an oven-fried chicken recipe my husband used to make back before we got married. It was easy enough for a college-aged male who wasn’t super confident in the kitchen, but also tasty enough for a well-versed cook like me to heartily enjoy.
I was really happy that it worked perfectly to swap out the breading with a low-carb alternative!
Let’s Talk Ingredients
Ok, so what are we making this with? To get this amazingly crispy skin on this keto fried chicken, I went with pork rinds. They really lend themselves to this application just perfectly. They don’t add much in the way of flavor themselves, but the texture is marvelous.
I used Pork King Good’s pork rind crumbs. I had previously been making my own in a food processor, but when I actually compared the price based on weight, I realized I wasn’t saving any money making it myself and it was a lot more work. And what I love about Pork King Good is that they cook all their pork rinds in pork fat, so I’m not worried about adding any seed oils to my diet in the process.
I also like this option because it’s nut-free. That makes it lower carb and suitable for anyone with a nut allergy. However, I realize that some people need to avoid pork products. While I haven’t tried it, I think you could substitute almond flour here and still get a halfway decent result. Given that almond flour browns more easily, I’d watch them closely and maybe turn the oven down to 350° if needed.
To the pork rinds, I add salt, pepper, and some garlic & herb seasoning blend. You can very easily swap out the seasoning for whatever makes you happy. I like this blend because it doesn’t have any questionable ingredients and adds just enough flavor to the chicken without taking away from it.
But because this seasoning has garlic and onion in it, it does add a little bit of carbs. It’s still less than 1 carb per piece of chicken, but if you’re wanting to keep carbs lower, or you’re on a cleaner carnivore diet, leave it out entirely.
Ok, yes, we’re obviously using chicken here. But you can use thighs, drumsticks, or breasts (or any combination you prefer) as long as they’re bone-in, skin-on. If you’re using very large chicken breasts, you may need to increase the cook time a little.
I use a beaten egg to help adhere the pork rinds to the chicken. If you can’t have eggs, you can just press the pork rind mixture onto the chicken. It may not stick quite as well, but it should still stick somewhat.
This keto fried chicken is oven fried in butter. This makes for a really phenomenal flavor. If you’re fine with butter, I would suggest not switching that out for anything else.
But if you can’t do dairy for whatever reason, I would suggest using ghee (not entirely dairy-free, but free from milk solids, so some people can tolerate it when they can’t tolerate dairy) or another animal fat like duck fat, bacon grease, or beef tallow. I don’t think that avocado oil or coconut oil would really give a good flavor here, but you’re welcome to try it.
Let’s Make It
Making this recipe is stupid easy. Let’s walk through the few steps it takes.
First we dredge the chicken. I line up two plates, one with the beaten egg, and one with the seasoned pork rind mixture. Coat the chicken in the egg, then the pork rinds. Make sure to cover it completely.
While you’re dredging the chicken, put the butter in a 9×13 pan and place in the hot oven until it’s melted and bubbly.
The original recipe said to put the pan with the butter into the cold oven and let it melt while it preheats. But I found that it’s way too easy for me to end up burning the butter this way. It takes about the same time for the butter to melt as it does for me to dredge the chicken (I get everything in place first) so that’s my preference.
Once your chicken is dredged and your butter is very hot, add the chicken to the pan, skin side down. It gets baked 30 minutes this way, then you take it out and flip each piece over before cooking another 30 minutes.
When it’s done, the chicken should be a gorgeous golden brown and wonderfully crispy. I love that I can get this texture without having to deep fry them! This way is so much easier and less messy.
That’s it! Then it’s just time to serve. This chicken goes perfectly with my mashed cauliflower.
Talk about some comfort food!
My family loves this dish. My kids, who otherwise refuse to eat chicken skin of any kind, gobble up every last bite.
And speaking of kids and kid-friendly food, you can totally make this into chicken tenders. Just use sliced boneless, skinless chicken breast. Dredge it just the same, but bake it at 400°F for 15 minutes on each side. I don’t think it’s quite as good as the regular fried chicken, but if your kids are more likely to eat them that way, do what works for you!
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C)
- Mix together pork rind crumbs, salt, pepper, and seasoning if using.
- Place egg on one plate or shallow dish, and pork rind mixture on another. Dip chicken first into egg to coat, then into pork rinds. Make sure to get each piece coated evenly.
- While preparing the chicken, put butter in a 9x13 pan in the oven until butter is melted and bubbling. Make sure to take it out before it browns.
- Place chicken, skin side down, into hot butter. Place into oven and bake for 30 minutes. Turn each piece of chicken over and bake for another 30 minutes or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F and skin is golden and crispy.
- Remove from oven and serve immediately.
To make more purely carnivore, omit pepper and spice blend. Different spices can be substituted. Spice blend adds about 0.6g carbs per serving.
Butter can be substituted with ghee or animal fat of choice if preferred.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 375Total Fat: 23.8gSaturated Fat: 6.2gCarbohydrates: 0.7gNet Carbohydrates: 0.7gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 37.7g