Gluten-Free Fried Chicken

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6

Even if you’re avoiding gluten, you don’t have to give up eating crunchy, golden-brown fried chicken. Here we swap out regular flour for a gluten-free mix and add a little baking powder to make the coating extra crispy. Paprika, cayenne pepper and Tabasco infuse the chicken with a spicy kick, while tangy buttermilk helps tenderize the meat. When frying chicken, be sure to let the oil reach 350°F (180°C) before you start frying, and work in batches so that you don’t crowd the pan and cause the temperature of the oil to drop.


  • 2 Tbs. smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbs. granulated garlic
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 whole chicken, about 3 1/2 lb. (1.75 kg), cut into 8 pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups (8 oz./250 g) gluten-free all-purpose flour mix, such as Cup4Cup
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml) buttermilk
  • 2 tsp. Tabasco
  • Canola oil for deep-frying
  • Flaky sea salt for sprinkling


In a small bowl, stir together the paprika, granulated garlic and cayenne. Generously season the chicken with kosher salt and black pepper, then sprinkle with the spice mix. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, 4 tsp. kosher salt and 1 tsp. black pepper. In another medium bowl, stir together the buttermilk and Tabasco.

Place a wire rack on top of a rimmed baking sheet. Dredge the chicken one piece at a time in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess, then dip into the buttermilk and dredge again in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess. Place the chicken on the rack. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes or up to 3 hours.

Place a wire rack on a second rimmed baking sheet. In a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, pour in oil to a depth of 1/2 inch (12 mm) and heat to 350°F (180°C) on a deep-frying thermometer. Working in batches, carefully add the chicken to the hot oil and cook, turning once, until deep golden brown and crisp and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the chicken, away from the bone, registers 165° to 170°F (74° to 77°C), 12 to 15 minutes; reduce the heat if the oil gets too hot. Transfer the chicken to the clean wire rack and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm while you cook the remaining chicken. Arrange the chicken on a platter, sprinkle lightly with flaky sea salt and serve. Serves 4 to 6.

Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen

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