Crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, keto fried chicken is coated with pork rind panko, then baked in the oven into crispy perfection.
I can’t believe how delicious this chicken is! Baked in the oven and coated with crushed pork rinds (“pork panko”), it’s amazingly close to the real southern fried chicken I used to make back in my high carb days.
In fact, my kids, who still eat flour on occasion, said that they like this recipe just as much as the traditional one. I nearly fainted. 😵
Keto substitute for fried chicken
I used to make classic fried chicken quite often. When I started eating a low carb diet, I experimented with using an almond flour coating while still deep-frying the chicken. But the almond flour coating disintegrated when I deep fried it.
So I started using the oven. This was excellent – we all loved it. But almond flour doesn’t get as crispy as all-purpose flour or breadcrumbs.
My next discovery was pork panko. You can make your own of course by pulsing pork rinds in the food processor, or by simply lacing them in a bag and crushing them with a rolling pin.
But I love the ease of using the store-bought product, and the chicken comes out perfect. Super crispy, and so delicious!
Oven-baked keto fried chicken coated in pork rinds is so good, so crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, that I don’t miss the frying anymore. Let’s face it – deep frying is no fun.
The ingredients you’ll need
You’ll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty chicken recipe. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here’s an overview of what you’ll need:
Olive oil spray: This is my favorite oil to cook with. But if you’d rather use oil with a higher smoke point, avocado oil is another good option.
Pork panko: Make your own or buy the pre-packaged stuff. Both options work.
Spices: Black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and dried thyme. There’s no need for salt because pork rinds are very salty.
Butter: I melt it and dip the chicken pieces into it prior to coating them with the crushed pork rinds.
Skin-on chicken parts: I tend to use thighs, drumsticks, or a mix of both.
How to make keto fried chicken
It’s so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
Dip the chicken pieces in melted butter and dredge them in a mixture of crushed pork rinds and spices.
Place the coated chicken pieces in a rimmed baking sheet on a greased rack. Spray them with oil.
Bake until cooked through, about 45 minutes at 400°F.
A few tips for making this recipe a success
1. Coat the chicken pieces lightly – they don’t need a thick layer of panko on them, and focus on the tops. The bottoms won’t be crispy anyway.
2. Divide the pork panko into at least two portions. The more chicken pieces you dip in the pork panko, the soggier it becomes. Dividing into two portions makes sure you can dip the chicken into dry, crispy pork panko.
3. I like to use paprika in this recipe, not just for its flavor, but also because it adds gorgeous color to the chicken.
4. Pork rinds are very salty, so I don’t add salt. If you wish, you could add 1 teaspoon of kosher salt to the pork panko mixture.
How to serve keto fried chicken
I like to serve it with a side dish that can be baked in the oven with the chicken. So I often serve it with one of the following sides:
What to do with the leftovers?
As you can probably guess, this is the type of dish that is best enjoyed fresh, both in terms of flavor and in terms of texture.
But if you do end up with leftovers, you can place them in an airtight container on paper towels and keep them in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Reheat them gently, covered, in the microwave on 50% power. Or enjoy them cold! Cold leftover chicken is yummy, and not just on a picnic. 🍗
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Keto Fried Chicken
- Olive oil spray
- 1 cup pork rind “panko” (2 oz)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 3 lb. chicken parts, bone in, skin on (I used 5 thighs and 5 drumsticks)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and fit it with a roasting rack. Spray the roasting rack with olive oil spray.
- In a small bowl, mix together the pork panko, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika and thyme. Divide the mixture between two shallow bowls.
- Melt the butter in another shallow bowl.
- Dip each chicken piece into the melted butter, then dredge in the seasoned pork panko. When you finish one bowl of panko, move on to the next.
- Place the coated chicken pieces on the prepared rack. Lightly spray with olive oil. Bake until tops are golden-brown and crispy, about 45 minutes. Serve the keto fried chicken immediately.