Can You Fry Chicken Without Flour? [Full How-To Guide + FAQs]

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Are you dreaming of enjoying juicy and crisp fried chicken for dinner?

Fried chicken is the epitome of southern comfort food. Further, it’s easy to make and tastes great with dips, sauces, or simply plain. 

Frying in oil provides a rich flavor and crispy texture to every food you use. Breading gives your chicken a crusty exterior while keeping the inside moist. Unfortunately, the coating is usually all-purpose flour which contains gluten.

Maybe you want to avoid gluten? Or you’ve run out of flour and still need to crisp a chicken for your meal?

There are several ways you can fry the chicken without flour — gluten-free or otherwise. If you’re looking for alternative ways to coat your chicken, read on.

Can You Fry Chicken Without Flour? 

You can avoid using flour to fry chicken by using one of these methods: 

When you deep fry chicken without a coating, the results may not be exactly what you want. But there is a way to get the same crispy crust without using all-purpose or gluten-free flours.

You can use a combination of egg or buttermilk and cheese or breadcrumbs to get a similar result with deep frying.

If you’re wondering how to fry chicken without eggs and breading or how to store leftover fried chicken, keep reading to find the answers to make the best fried chicken. 

Related: Can You Eat Chicken Left Out Over Night?

How to Fry Chicken With Egg and Bread?

You can achieve this effect by dipping the chicken pieces in an egg wash and then dredging them with breadcrumbs or grated cheese. (Go for egg and cheese to make this recipe keto-friendly!)

Make this tempura-style fried chicken by ditching the flours.

Breadcrumb Fried Chicken Recipe

  1. Break and beat eggs in a large bowl.
  2. Add cheese or breadcrumbs to a large plate.
  3. After seasoning your chicken, dip it in the egg wash first.
  4. Roll it in the breadcrumbs to coat well.
  5. Fry the chicken in a skillet, shallow fry it, or bake in the oven.

Tip: Choose your favorite gluten-free bread and run it through your food processor (or blender) to make your own gluten-free breadcrumbs!

How to Fry Chicken using Buttermilk?

Another excellent method to get a crispy fried chicken is to use buttermilk. This method works best in the oven or as a shallow fry.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Recipe

  1. Soak the chicken pieces in buttermilk for at least an hour.
  2. Optional: You can coat the chicken in breadcrumbs, crushed chips, or rice crumbs before baking or pan-frying it.
  3. Bake it in the oven for 20-25 minutes at 350ºF (170ºC).
  4. Or: shallow fry in a frying pan by cooking each side for 3 minutes. Then cover the pan with a lid and cook for another 5-10 minutes.

 Need a new frying pan? Read our review of Ceramic VS. Teflon Cookware.

Can You Fry Chicken with Other Flour Substitutes?

If you aren’t interested in using breading or buttermilk, you can still fry chicken with other flour substitutes.

Gluten-Free Fried Chicken

Mix cornflour (cornstarch) with a bit of water to create a thin batter to marinate your chicken. This is a fail-proof coating method for deep frying the chicken.

Gluten-free flours help you get the same level of crispiness as regular fried chicken. 

You can use: 

The only downside is that some of these flours react differently to heated oils. Keep an eye on your chicken pieces or cutlets to prevent them from burning.

Can You Fry Chicken Using Marinades?

If you don’t want to use any of these coatings, you can fry the chicken with simple marinades made with herb or spice seasonings and salt. Don’t forget to keep the chicken skin on and use thinner cuts for best results.

While this Jamaican method may or may not work with deep frying, you can shallow fry in a skillet, bake in an oven, or fry in an air fryer.

Jamaican Style Fried Chicken

1.  Mix salt and spice or herbs in a large bowl.

2.  Marinate the chicken pieces in it for 30-60 minutes.

3.  Shallow fry or bake in an oven or air fryer.

How To Know When Your Fried Chicken is Done?

The cooking time depends on the method you use and the thickness of the cuts.

Chicken Frying Cheat Sheet

  •  Deep-fried chicken takes around 15-18 minutes
  •  Shallow-fried chicken will take about 22-25 minutes in a skillet
  •   Baked chicken will be ready in approximately 25 minutes
  •   Air-fried chicken should cook in 22-25 minutes

 Got leftover fried chicken? Why not make chicken salad? Then freeze it for a quick and easy lunch at a later date!

How To Make Sure the Breading Sticks to My Fried Chicken?

Your chicken was crispy after you fried it, but soon you noticed the coating falling off. 

Overcrowding in the pan is the main reason the coating doesn’t stick. Keep space between the pieces.

Another way to avoid this is to flip the chicken while it's cooking.

Better still, remove excess breading to decrease the chances of it coming off. Don’t forget to pat your chicken after breading to ensure it sticks.

Final Thoughts

You can make crunchy and mouth-watering fried chicken without the use of regular flour. There are ingredient substitutes and cooking methods you can use to achieve the same crispiness.

Egg wash, buttermilk, marinades, and breadcrumbs will get you the crunchy effect you love.

For more tasty chicken dishes, check out the “recipes” section of our blog!

Frequently Asked Questions

More kitchen tips and tricks to improve your fried chicken experience!

How To Store Leftover Fried Chicken?

If you store fried chicken in an airtight container, it will remain fresh for two to three days in the refrigerator.

We recommend that you reheat in the oven for 20 minutes at 325º F (160ºC) before serving it.

How Do I Keep My Fried Chicken Crispy?

This answer depends on what stage of food prep you’re at.

Before Cooking:

Double dip it in egg wash or buttermilk to make it extra crispy. This method will help keep the crunchiness for longer.

Freeze the marinated chicken overnight and fry without thawing. This cold chicken reacts with the hot oil to add another layer of crispiness.

After It’s Cooked:

Cover the chicken with foil or store it in an airtight container in the fridge within two hours of frying.

Is Breading Better Than No Flour?

If you want to deep-fry the chicken, breading gets you the crispiest crust. (And it’s undeniably delicious.)

However, if you’re interested in making this dish healthier, using no breading and less oil will cut down on calories from fats and carbs.

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