{Paleo} Oven-Fried Chicken

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We need to have a talk about my husband.

It’s kind of a big deal and has been an on-going problem since I started exploring eating Grain-Free.

It’s the Oven Fried Chicken. Remember this recipe? Yep, that one. The one I was on TV demoing this past weekend (video coming soon).

Well, that is one of my husband’s favorite weeknight dinners and when it disappeared from our dinner rotation, he was not happy. I can’t say I blame him, it is a delicious chicken dish and is also one of my favorites as well.

I set out to make a Whole30 compliant and Paleo Oven Fried Chicken Recipe that was just as crispy, crunchy and spicy as my original recipe.

Oven-Fried Chicken is ALL ABOUT THE CRUMB and getting a crispy, crunchy crumb that sticks well without any type of grain flour is no easy task.

The first few attempts were pretty pathetic. The coating fell off when you picked up the chicken. Even worse, it often came off in big “slabs” when you took your first bite.

After playing around with different ratios of almond meal and almond flour, I finally nailed it and man, it is GOOD.

And my husband? Well, he is thrilled. He declared that he likes this version BETTER, no joke.

NOTES:

  • I very rarely tell you to buy stuff just to make a dish but if you are serious about oven-fried chicken, you need an elevated baking tray (they are called cooling racks) so the bottom can get crispy instead of soggy.
  • If you want to avoid non-stick cooking sprays, get an olive oil mister. The spray of olive oil before going into the oven is crucial for crispy-success!
  • I used a combination of almond meal (ground raw almonds with their skins on) and blanched almond flour (finely ground blanched and skinless almonds). You can make your own almond meal if you have raw almonds and a food processor. Trader Joe’s also sells it pretty cheap ($3.99 / lb). As for the blanched almond flour, I just buy that! I have tried this recipe with just almond meal and with just almond flour as well as other combinations and it didn’t have the crunch.
  • You can make this with all legs, thighs, breasts or any combo of the above. But if you go with a whole chicken, make sure to ask the Butcher to remove the skin and cut it into 8 pieces (2 breasts, 2 thighs, 2 legs and 2 wings). This is a major time saver!
  • Skinless thighs are 3 Points Plus each plus 3 Points Plus for the breading so 6 Points Plus each.
  • Skinless legs are 2 Points Plus each plus 3 Points Plus for the breading so 6 Points Plus each.
  • Skinless breasts 3 Points Plus each for 4 ounces plus 3 Point Plus for the breading so 7 Points Plus each.
  • This is based on actually using half the breading and half the egg mixture (see recipe for details on what is leftover)
5.0 from 20 reviews
{Paleo} Oven-Fried Chicken
 
Prep:
Cook:
Total:
 
8 Servings
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • One 4 to 5 pound chicken, cut up into 8 pieces, skin removed
  • 1½ cups almond meal
  • ¾ cup blanched almond flour
  • 1½ Tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1½ teaspoons paprika
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ⅛ cup unsweetened, plain almond milk
  • olive oil sprayer
Instructions
  1. Place an oven rack in the upper third position (second one from the top). Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with tin foil and placing the cooking rack on top. Use the olive oil sprayer to generously coat the cooking rack.
  2. Mix the almond meal and almond flour in a bowl. Use a fork to sift through and break up any clumps.
  3. Add salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, oregano and garlic powder to flour and use fork to mix thoroughly.
  4. In a separate bowl (flat enough to dip each piece of chicken in) beat the eggs with the almond milk.
  5. Grab a small baking sheet or plate. You are going to use this to coat the chicken instead of dipping in the almond flour. You are doing this for two main reasons - almond flour tends to absorb moisture and get crumbly which you desperately want to avoid so you can get a good crumb and because you only need about ½ of the almond mixture and we don't want to contaminate it all with raw chicken.You should have your small tray or plate, skinless, bone-in chicken, almond flour mixture with spices, beaten eggs and olive oil mister set to the side.
  6. Use a spoon to spread some of the almond flour on the bottom of the tray.
  7. Dip a piece of chicken in the egg until well coated.
  8. Place on tray and use the spoon to dump some of the flour mixture on top of the chicken. Pat the flour mixture onto the chicken until all sides are coated and place on the cooking rack.
  9. Repeat untill all of the chicken is evenly coated and on the cooking rack. Make sure to leave space around each piece of chicken. Finally, use the olive oil sprayer to give each piece of chicken a nice coating (it should shine or appear misted).
  10. Bake for 1 hour, 10 min. Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes. Enjoy!
  11. NOTE that I had about ¼ cup flour mixture leftover on the tray that was contaminated by the raw chicken so I threw it away. Same thing for the egg - trash it.
  12. If you were careful and used a spoon to scoop the flour mixture from the mixing bowl and have any leftover (I had 1 cup), store in an airtight glass jar and save for the next batch!

Paleo Oven Fried Chicken Recipe. Grain Free Oven Fried Chicken from www.everydaymaven.com

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Comments

  1. Susan Subracko says

    Hi Alyssa –
    Do you think the paleo version would work ok using mayo/dijon instead of the egg like in your original recipe? We use an egg-free mayo bc of allergies.
    xoxo
    Susan

  2. SK says

    Looks delicious! I’m trying this tonight, but with all chicken breasts. How might that change the cooking time?

  3. Scott says

    We eat these all the time now and cook extra for leftovers, often for lunch. We’ve also made them when we host and get rave reviews. Hardly anyone can believe it’s paleo.

  4. Julie says

    Would this work for Chicken FIngers? I am not great at experimenting, was just wondering what the adjustment in cooking time should be and if I can just make it otherwise the same way? Thanks!

    • says

      Yes, it definitely will Julie! If you read through the comments, you will see a bunch of other readers who made these as chicken fingers and they list their cook time. Good luck!

  5. Tami says

    Leftovers were amazing! I will definitely make this again. I do need to find a place to purchase almond flour that isn’t $10 for 3 cups. Perhaps Trader Joe’s?

    • says

      $10 for 3 cups is crazy. Are you a Costco member? My local Costco has Honeyville Blanched Almond Flour (3 lbs for $21). At the holidays, they also had a 3 lb bag of Bob’s Red Mill for $19!

  6. Laurie says

    Excellent recipe!! Thank you so much. This will go into regular rotation at our house. Delicious!!!!!

  7. Rose says

    Best recipe ever! I was concerned in feeding it to my husband who cannot do nuts due to having Crohns disease. I didn’t tell him what the coating was, and he never showed a symptom!! The almonds were softened, but fabulously crispy!! It is perfect for my picky GF son, too! Everyone I make this for RAVES about it and fights over the last pieces. Thank you!!

  8. Jen says

    Thanks so much! Oven-fried chicken wing drummettes tonight! Looking forward to trying more of your recipes too!

  9. Jen says

    Would this work for chicken with the skin on? I just bought a bunch of wing “drummettes”. Plus I’ve been looking for ages for a replacement for the fried chicken at the grocery deli counter.

    • says

      Hi Jen,
      Yes, it does! I have made it both with and without skin multiple times. My only complaint when you leave the skin-on is that large sections of crust come off with the skin. Doesn’t bother my family but bugs me. Hope you like it!

  10. cinnamon mum says

    Thank for the quick response. I am going to risk soggy chicken over preparing it with hungry cranky kids under my feet;) will keep you posted.

  11. cinnamon mum says

    This recipe sounds great…..I would love to try it. Can I ‘bread’ the chicken tonight and bake it tomorrow?

  12. Jeremie says

    Yes it is the Red Mill blend. It still tasted great, but next time I will try to find the Almond meal to add. I guess if I had the Almond meal and the olive mister the chicken would’ve came out crispier. Overall I thought it was great and my wife loved it. We normally don’t eat fried chicken and this was our 2nd day of Paleo so this recipe blew our minds. Every bite I felt like I was eating real fried chicken! Cant wait to try more of your recipes.

    • EverydayMaven says

      If you live near a Trader Joe’s, they sell almond meal for $4.99 / lb. If not, you can make it yourself with some raw almonds in the food processor! Just don’t process so long it becomes almond butter. Glad you loved the chicken and have a great weekend! :)

    • EverydayMaven says

      Cynthia – that is almond flour. I hate that it says “meal” b/c it’s not. Almond Meal has the skins on. I love BRM but I wish they would change the product name b/c it is very confusing! I hope it came out good :)

  13. Jeremie says

    Unfortunately I don’t have an olive mister on hand. I sprinkled some olive oil lightly on the chicken. Crossing my fingers and hoping to get some crispness. Smells amazing can’t wait for it to finish. Is there a difference in measurement if I’m using the almond meal flour blend?

    • EverydayMaven says

      Hi Jeremie – how did it come out? What is almond meal flour blend? Are you talking about Bob’s Red Mill that says “Almond Meal / Flour”?

  14. gloworm says

    www. hi Mav your oven -fried- chicken sounds like “The One! and Thank You for doing the points plus. I have all of the equiptment , because I’ve been trying to fine the right recipt. I’m doing the chicken this week end!! I ordered my cooking racks from Amazon so i’m ready!! Like you said “. You must have the racks!!

  15. Cynthia Edmondson-Whetstone says

    Can you use almond Meal/Flour for this recipe? We are new to paleo and being from Georgia, we LOVE, LOVE, LOVE good fried chicken. What self respecting southerner wouldn’t? My question is because I see different amounts of almond meal and almond flour but I found a blend of almond meal/flour.

  16. Teri says

    FINALLY! A gluten free ‘fried’ chicken that tastes amazing! I love the crunch and the flavors have the perfect level of heat. I made it twice – once ‘as is’ and one time I didn’t have almond flour so I subbed non-GMO corn flake crumbs. I know, I know, not Paleo, but I’m primarily GF and sometimes you just gotta make substitutions instead of running to the store!

    • EverydayMaven says

      Hi Teri! So glad to hear it worked out for you and you all loved it!! No judgement from me. I am not 100% Paleo or anything else for that matter (most people aren’t!) and everyone’s body is different. My thing is make the best choices you can and buy the best quality ingredients! :)

  17. says

    My husband and I made this tonight and I’ve got to say it is some of the best “fried” chicken I’ve ever had. The only substitution we made was using coconut oil spray (only oil spray we had on hand). It was perfect and it felt good to eat it! I feel great right now too. We have set aside the extra coating for our next batch because we will be definitely making this again. Thank you for this healthy and tasty recipe.

    • EverydayMaven says

      Hi Jan Marie! Is it that coconut oil spray from Trader Joe’s by any chance? So glad you guys loved it!! :)

  18. julie says

    It is a peeve of mine when people comment on recipes they haven’t tried and say it sounds delicious. I want to know if it IS delicious. I made this tonight. Super easy and one of the best fried chickens I’ve had. Just went into my rotation. Thank you!

  19. says

    I e-mailed everdaymaven 3 weeks ago asking her permission to feature one of her recipes on a best of series I’m planning on launching when my own blog goes live. She suggested this recipe – wow she didn’t disappoint. This is honestly one of the best pieces of chicken I’ve ever eaten. As I type this out I’m literally fighting back the urge to go back into the kitchen and eat the rest.

    Thanks so much,
    Dan

  20. Iris Morrell says

    I just finished making these and boy oh boy are these amazing! I must say I am not someone who cooks on a regular basis and I usually stick to the easiest things when I do cook. Lately I’ve been itching to try new things and this was a great choice. I definitely recommend to anyone who is living the Paleo lifestyle and misses fried chicken. I also feel like your directions are perfect on how to cook this. It made it that much easier. This will definitely be my go-to meal when I want to impress someone.

  21. says

    Thank you so much for this recipe – I just started eating ‘Paleo’ and after 2 weeks, I’m already feeling so much better. I just ‘almond breaded’ up my chicken breasts with your recipe and it’s in the oven right now.

    I have a suggestion for the almond flour and eggs that have touched raw chicken – If you have dogs (not sure about cats) you can take the extra eggs and almond flour – sauteed it really quickly to get it cooked and give it to your dogs. Dogs have a much shorter digestive track than humans and usually can handle much more than we can. I have two retired racing greyhounds – they used to feed the greyhounds raw meat on the racetracks. My vet recommends cooking it – so that’s what I do. I just know that the extra eggs and almond flour will be dog food for breakfast tomorrow. :)

    thanks again for the recipe – can’t wait to try it!

    Mary

    • EverydayMaven says

      Hi Mary! You are so welcome – so glad to hear you loved it!!! Great idea for the leftover breading. We don’t have a dog right now (or cat) but when we did, we fed her raw and she would have loved this for sure :)

  22. Dianna says

    Woolies and Coles has almond flour in both the nuts and snack/chips sections, or the baking sections. Also, try the health food section as well. I find it readily available in Sydney. Cheers!

    • EverydayMaven says

      Yes Renee. I haven’t tried it but a couple other readers asked about it in the comments. Enjoy!

  23. Amanda says

    I recently went gluten-free and had a craving for friend chicken, so I found this online and tried it. Delicious! I ground my own almonds then used blanched almond flour. I didn’t have a sprayer, so just used regular non-stick spray. My husband raved about it – and he doesn’t even particularly like eating chicken off the bone. I’ll be making it again. A+! Thank you!

    • EverydayMaven says

      So glad you all loved it Amanda! Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and let me know :)

    • EverydayMaven says

      Hi Haley! You need something to spray the coating so it gets crispy. Do you have non-stick cooking spray – that would be the next best thing.

  24. Kelley says

    Hi EM,
    I love your site. I like skin on my chicken. Would this work with bone in, skin on chicken breasts?
    Thanks,
    Kelley

    • EverydayMaven says

      Hi Kelley,
      It should work. I “bread” the wings with the skin on and they come out just fine. Just make sure that you keep one hand dry while breading so you don’t get clumps.

  25. says

    I reviewed a cookbook for an author who made chicken tenders this way. I used my cookie rack for his recipe and have used it ever since. I even use it for baked fries. They come out crispy instead of mushy on the bottom. I’ll have to try this recipe for my daughter-in-law who eats gluten free. It’s perfect for her!
    Kristi Rimkus recently posted..Gluten Free Spinach Quiche with a Quinoa CrustMy Profile

  26. Julie says

    Hi Alyssa! I’m wondering how you would change this recipe for chicken tenders? I’m bone-phobic.

    • EverydayMaven says

      Hi Julie!

      The breading should work just the same, the only thing that will change is the cooking time. Will you do breasts or thighs?

        • EverydayMaven says

          Hi Julie!
          I would do 20 to 25 min at 350F depending on thickness. Make sure to check one at the thickest part. I hope the tenders work out!

  27. Lianne MacGregor says

    This chicken is amazing!! I made it for tonight’s supper with the Hasselback sweet potatoes and an arugula salad. My husband, who has a penchant for KFC (ew!), was THRILLED – declared it a winner.

    • EverydayMaven says

      Let me know how it turns out Erin! I haven’t tried it with the skin on (except the wings which worked great). Have a great weekend :)

    • EverydayMaven says

      Hi Brooke,
      Can you get your hands on some Marcona almonds? If so, grind those at home into almond flour! I don’t think it will work with coconut flour – the coconut flour retains moisture and the coating will most likely be gummy. Let me know how it works out!

    • EverydayMaven says

      I hear you Heather – it’s hard to imagine not eating bread and grains but easier than it seems!

    • EverydayMaven says

      I will post it Kiran! I was waiting for the clips to be released instead of posting the whole show!

    • EverydayMaven says

      Thanks Hannah – I am really pleased with the final product. It was a labor of love for sure!

  28. Steve R says

    Hi Maven. I saw you over the weekend on TV, great job!

    That led me to look-up your name & recipe online, & I found your site. BIG bonus because you have Weight Watcher recipes, so I ear-marked & signed-up for your e-mails because my wife follows WW.

    Thanks for tweaking the recipe, I’ll try this one first!

    Looks like you are doing Paleo now…haven’t tried that one yet. Good luck!

    • EverydayMaven says

      Hi Steve,
      Thank you so much! We are experimenting with eating grain-free but I wouldn’t label myself Paleo (yet anyway lol). Enjoy this recipe :)

  29. says

    Thank you for taking all those trial runs so that we can enjoy a great crispy crusted paleo friendly chicken. This looks amazing and I am sure it is really crispy. Thanks for the hints to keeping your chicken crisp on the outside and juicy in the center. Have a super week. Take care, BAM
    Bam’s Kitchen recently posted..Veggies in a Blanket with Red Pepper PestoMy Profile

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