While takeout fried chicken may be off the menu when low carbing, this crispy keto fried chicken tastes just as good as the real thing! You can make this recipe deep-fried, with an air fryer, or as baked chicken.
Seems about time, after sharing my Colourful Keto Coleslaw Recipe recently!
Anyway, one of the biggest complaints I hear from people who are on a keto diet - aside from no longer having access to their favorite foods - is about the “need” to make two meals - one for them, one for the rest of the family.
This recipe not only makes crispy chicken - and it’s juicy chicken! - that’s totally suitable for anyone on a ketogenic diet, it tastes and feels like regular fried chicken.
Yes, it’s a keto-friendly recipe that’s great for the whole family!
I can’t imagine how hard it would be to stick to this way of eating if you had to make two meals every night. Let’s make it a bit more simple, and just have delicious recipes for everyone!
Anyway, let’s get to it.
There are a few things you’ll need to make this recipe.
Let’s start with the easiest piece of equipment you’ll need - an Instant Read Meat Thermometer.
The internal temperature matters, both for food safety and quality reasons. You’ll want to use one of these whether you’re deep frying, air frying, or baking this recipe.
If you don’t already have such a device, I highly recommend getting one!
If you don’t have a deep fryer, you’ll want to use a heavy bottomed pot, ideally fairly large.
Alternately, you can use an air fryer, or bake this recipe.
Keto Fried Chicken Ingredients
This recipe makes about 10 chicken pieces, give or take. You can use whatever form of chicken - bone in or boneless - that you like.
We’ll generally go with bone in, skin on when we want actual “fried chicken”: chicken breasts, chicken thighs, chicken drumsticks.. Even wings.
Sometimes, we’ll use boneless, skinless when we’re looking to make keto chicken fingers, etc.
The coating is where most of the ingredients list gets used. It may look involved, but it really does closely resemble coating made from wheat flour!
Unflavoured Whey Protein Powder (Whey Isolate)
Super Fine Almond Flour
Grated Parmesan Cheese (The shelf stable type, not fresh!)
Spices : Ground Black Pepper, Dried Sage, Paprika, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder.
The Frying Oil
If you’re deep frying this recipe - I HIGHLY recommend it - you’ll want to use one of the vegetable oils, like canola oil or sunflower oil. Peanut oil is another great option.
These are all great oils for frying - neutral flavours, high smoke point, low cost.
Olive oil is NOT appropriate for deep frying, but can be used as a spray if you’re baking or air frying these (more on that in a bit).
Coconut oil and avocado oil also aren’t great for deep frying, but work well as sprays for baking and use in the air fryer.
How to Make Keto Fried Chicken
The full recipe is in the recipe card at the bottom of this post, this is the pictorial walk-through, with additional tips and information.
Prepare the Chicken
The first thing you need to do is arrange pieces of chicken on a baking sheet (I line mine with parchment paper, for easy cleanup!). Pat dry with paper towels, season well with salt and place in the fridge - uncovered - for one hour.
In a separate bowl - I’ll usually use a more shallow bowl for this second bowl - whisk together dry ingredients until well combined.
Lightly dredge all rested chicken in dry mixture, shaking excess mixture back into the bowl.
Fry the Chicken
Heat oil 325 F (165 C) You can use a deep fryer, or a heavy pan.
If not using a deep fryer, use a deep, heavy pot, filled to at least 3" deep.
I’ll usually heat the oil over medium-high heat, then turn it down to medium heat - or lower - when the oil reaches temperature.
Fry chicken in batches until nicely golden brown and crispy, and the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 F.
Transfer cooked chicken to a plate or pan lined with paper towels, to soak up excess oil.
Store any leftovers (once cooled) in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days. Best when reheated in an air fryer the next day.
Alternate Cooking Instructions
Not wanting to mess around with the deep frying process, or just want to use less oil? You can bake this recipe, or use an air fryer. Here’s how:
Baked Keto Fried Chicken
After you’ve coated all of the chicken pieces, preheat oven to 400, line a baking sheet - or two - with parchment paper, spray with pan spray or olive oil, or avocado oil.
Arrange coated chicken on the prepared baking sheet(s), spray generously with oil.
Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until internal temperature of the chicken pieces reaches 165 F.
Air Fryer Keto Fried Chicken
Air frying is the easiest way to get a good approximation of deep fried chicken, without all of the oil. It “fries” up more crisp than the baked version.
Once all of the chicken is coated and resting, preheat your air fryer to 400F.
Once heated, spray the air fryer basket with oil, and arrange breaded chicken pieces in a single layer, leaving a bit of space between each.
Air fry for about 20 minutes. About halfway through, re-spray the chicken, flip each piece, spray the new “top” side, and continue cooking.
Chicken is done when the internal temperature reaches 165 F.
Keto Fried Chicken Variations
This recipe is a great base recipe for making fried chicken, but can definitely be customized to your tastes. Here are a few ideas for you:
Vary the Format!
You can use this recipe to make keto chicken nuggets or keto chicken tenders!
I’ll usually skip the “add 1 tablespoon of wet mixture” step when making nuggets, though.
Just cut up some boneless skinless chicken breast into your choice of format - chunks for nuggets, long fingers for tenders - and follow the recipe for coating them.
You’ll need a shorter cooking time, so just keep an eye on it.
Spice it Up
Alternately, you can add some hot sauce to the wet mix.
Serve with ranch dressing!
More Keto Dinner Recipes
Looking for more keto recipes for the whole family? Here are a few more suggestions!
Keto Italian Wedding Soup
Keto Shepherd's Pie
Keto Chicken Parmesan
Keto Stromboli Meatloaf
Keto Spaghetti & Meatballs
Keto Swedish Meatballs
Keto Orange Chicken
Keto Cabbage Rolls
Keto Bacon Cheeseburger Soup
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Keto Fried Chicken
- 10 Chicken pieces Thighs drumsticks, breasts, etc. Skin on works best.
- 4 Large eggs
- ¼ cup Heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon Water
- 1 cup Unflavoured Whey Protein Isolate
- ¼ cup Almond flour
- ¼ cup Parmesan finely grated
- 1 teaspoon Baking powder
- 1 teaspoon Pepper
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- ½ teaspoon Dried sage
- ¼ teaspoon Paprika
- ¼ teaspoon Onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon Garlic powder
- Arrange chicken on a baking sheet, season well with salt and place in the fridge - uncovered - for one hour.
- In one large bowl, whisk together eggs, heavy cream, and water, set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients until well combined. Lightly dredge all rested chicken in dry mixture, shaking excess mixture back into the bowl.
- Measure about 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of milk/egg mixture into the dry ingredients. Use your fingers to work the moisture in to the dry mixture, creating some small lumps throughout.
- One piece at a time, dip chicken into egg mixture - shaking off excess -and then into dry mixture. Press flour mixture firmly against the chicken to adhere, arrange on a baking sheet. Once all chicken has been dipped and coated, allow to rest for 15 minutes.
- Heat oil 325 F (165 C) You can use a deep fryer, or a heavy pan. If not using a deep fryer, use a deep, heavy pot, filled to at least 3" deep.
- Once oil reaches temperature, fry chicken in batches until nicely browned and crispy.
- This should take between 10-14 minutes, depending on the size/type of chicken pieces. Allow oil to come back up to temperature between batches.
- Transfer cooked chicken to a plate or pan lined with paper towels, to soak up excess oil.
- Serve hot!