Gluten Free KFC®-Style Chicken

While KFC does not offer gluten-free Kentucky Fried Chicken, you can easily make your own at home. Make a lot of the seasoning blend, keep it on hand, and whip some up in no time. It is so delicious that it truly reminds me of my old KFC bucket days!

KFC’s chicken is soaked in a brine of salt water for several hours. You can do this at home if desired, but why not cut the sodium and save some time? Either way, it’s delicious.

This chicken goes great with my KFC-Style Cole SlawFluffy Buttermilk Gluten Free Biscuits, and my Mom’s Red Beans and Ham.

Note: This recipe is from my upcoming cookbook,  Carla’s Best 125 Gluten-Free Recipes.

Gluten Free KFC®-Style Chicken


Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: Makes 4 servings

Gluten Free KFC®-Style Chicken

A copycat gluten free KFC chicken recipe that turns out super crispy the longer you fry it.


  • 4 chicken thighs (1.25 pounds), with or without skin, with bones*
  • For the Brine (Optional):
  • 2 quarts cold water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • For the Seasoning Blend:
  • 4 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons mild ground black pepper
  • 1-3/4 teaspoons mild chili powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground savory
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon fennel
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom**
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/16 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/16 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • For the Remaining Ingredients:
  • 1 cup brown rice flour (or white)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons nonfat dry milk powder (or 1/2 teaspoon sugar for dairy-free), for browning
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 2 large eggs***, at room temperature
  • 1 drop pure vanilla extract


  1. For a reduced-sodium brine, combine the water, salt and brown sugar. Overnight, soak the chicken in the brine, covered and refrigerated. Omit this step for even a lower-sodium recipe.
  2. When you’re ready to fry the chicken, drain it and pat dry thoroughly. Leave out at room temperature for 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat deep-fryer to 375°F. (For a little softer crust, cook for a short time at the beginning at 340°F.
  4. Grind all of the seasoning ingredients in a coffee grinder or spice mill.
  5. To a resealable storage bag, add 1 tablespoon of the spice blend along with the flour, milk powder, and salt. Shake to combine thoroughly; set aside.
  6. Whisk the eggs and vanilla in a shallow bowl.
  7. Working with one at a time, coat each chicken piece in the beaten eggs. Dredge them in the flour mixture and shake off any excess flour.
  8. For a second time, coat each piece with beaten egg and then flour. Set them aside.
  9. Add two thighs or other chicken parts to your deep-fryer and cook for 15 - 20 minutes at 375 or until golden brown and fully cooked (no longer pink inside). For softer crust, fry for 5 minutes and then at 375°F for 10 – 15 minutes. Time varies depending upon the size of the chicken pieces. If your fryer runs hot and large chicken do not cook thoroughly but is already brown, remove from oil and bake in a preheated 350ºF oven until no longer pink inside.
  10. Keep the fried chicken in a warm oven while you cook the other pieces. (There is enough flour to coat about 6 thighs or similar-size pieces.)
  11. Remove chicken and transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Serve warm or cold. Store leftovers, covered, in the refrigerator.


*You may make this chicken with or without skin and with or without bones. However, the above cooking times are for bone-in. The bones often shorten the cooking time. The safe internal temperature of chicken is 165°F.

**You can remove the seeds from whole cardamom pods and grind them in a coffee grinder.

***If you're allergic to egg, use buttermilk instead.

Don't like crispy chicken? Don't over-fry. Just test for doneness (no longer pink inside.)

7 Replies to “Gluten Free KFC®-Style Chicken”

  1. Just wandering If have ever done rice flour and cornstarch? Both help crisp and cornstarch does more so if I recall. If so would be 50/50 ratio or something else?

    Thank you kindly

    1. ps. Thanks for the corn free and dairy-free options, I need these. Unfortunately, I don’t use a lot of potato starch either, is there another substitute option? Thanks again. from L

    1. Hi Sharon,

      I had one gluten free recipe tester use a moderate amount of oil in a skillet, but not butter. Butter burns easily. She deep-fried the chicken but turned it over to finish frying instead of covering it with oil.

      Let me know if that helps you any.


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