Laurie Colwin’s Gluten Free Fried Chicken

READY IN: 50mins


  • 1 three pound chicken, cut into parts Cut breast into 4 small pieces
  • 1cupmilk or 1 cupwater
  • 1cupchickpea flour
  • 1cupquinoa flour (have had good luck using 2cups of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free four.)
  • 12 teaspoonxanthan gum
  • 1teaspoonbaking powder
  • 1teaspoonsalt
  • 1teaspoonfresh ground black pepper
  • 1teaspoonsmoked paprika
  • 1teaspooncayenne (optional but I recommend it.)
  • 3cupsoil (for frying)
  • light sesame oil, 1/2 a cup

    Serving Size: 1 (243) g

    Servings Per Recipe:6

    Calories: 1214.8

    Calories from Fat 1107 g 91 %

    Total Fat 123 g 189 %

    Saturated Fat 18.4 g 92 %

    Cholesterol 62.4 mg 20 %

    Sodium 531.2 mg 22 %

    Total Carbohydrate11.6 g 3 %

    Dietary Fiber 2 g 7 %

    Sugars 1.7 g 6 %

    Protein 19 g 37 %


  • Chicken pieces should be roughly the same size – this means that you should cut breasts into quarters. If you don’t quarter the breast, you’ll end up with large underdone pieces.
  • The chicken should be put in a dish and covered with a little water or milk, which will help keep the flour on (I use water). Let the chicken stand at room temperature – it is a bad idea to put cold chicken into hot oil!
  • Put the flour in a deep, wide bowl and season with salt, pepper, and optional smoked paprika and cayenne. Laurie recommends paprika because she adores paprika and feels it gives the chicken a smoky taste and beautiful color. You really must try the smoked paprika, you won’t want to make this chicken any other way.
  • Mix the chickpea flour, quinoa flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, pepper, paprika, and cayenne in a bowl. Mix well and then sift together to make sure everything is completely distributed.
  • Now, coat the chicken with the flour. To do this, lay a few pieces of chicken in the bowl and “pack the flour on a if you were a child making sand pies. Any excess flour should be packed between the layers. It’s important to make sure that every inch of chicken has a nice thick cover.”.
  • Let the chicken sit while you work with the frying oil. Laurie says that many folks recommend frying chicken in Crisco, but she prefers Wesson oil with about one-quarter part light sesame oil mixed in, which gives the chicken “a wonderful taste and is worth the extra expense.” I just use peanut oil.
  • The oil should come up to just under the halfway mark on your chicken fryer – say, about 1 to 1-1/2 inches deep. Over a medium flame, heat the oil to 360°F (182°C) (or until a piece of bread on a skewer fries as soon as you dip it on).
  • Carefully slip into the oil as many pieces as will fit in the pan. Laurie says that the rule is to crowd the pan a bit. Turn the heat down to medium-low and cover the pan. She says, “the idea of covering frying chicken makes many people squeal, but it is the only correct method. It gets the chicken cooked through.” Ed. note: don’t mess with your chicken while it’s cooking. Poking and prodding will knock off your coating… so just let it alone!
  • The chicken must be just done to that it is crispy but still juicy. She recommends about six minutes per side, turning only once. Dark meat will take a little longer, and use a sharp form to test the chicken to see if it’s done – when the chicken just slips off the fork, it is done inside.
  • Take off the lid and turn up the heat to medium-high. Fry the chicken until it is “the color of Colonial pine stain – a dark honey color.”.
  • Remove the chicken from the oil and set it on a platter, then put the platter in the oven. If your oven has a gas pilot light, that should be enough heat. If you have an electric oven, flip it on ahead of time to the lowest setting and turn it off after two minutes. Let the chicken sit until it has cooled to a warm temperature. She doesn’t specify how long, though I let mine sit for at least half an hour.
  • At this point, she says “You have now made the perfect fried chicken,” and that every time you make this recipe it will get even better.
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