Crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, keto fried chicken is coated with crushed pork rinds, then baked in the oven into crispy perfection.
Made with seven simple ingredients and ready in about an hour, it's an easy weeknight recipe that everyone will love.
I can't believe how delicious this chicken is! Baked in the oven (much like these very simple yet reliable baked chicken drumsticks) and coated with crushed pork rinds, it's amazingly close to the real Southern fried chicken I used to make in the past.
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. I'm sure you'll agree - deep frying is no fun. Baking is so much easier.
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:
- Crushed pork rinds: You can make your own or buy prepackaged "pork rind panko."
- Spices: Black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and dried thyme. There's no need for salt because pork rinds are very salty.
- Eggs: I dip the chicken pieces into them prior to coating them.
- Skin-on chicken parts: I tend to use thighs, drumsticks, or a mix of both.
I love this recipe as is and almost always make it as written. But in case you'd like to vary the basic recipe, here are a few ideas for you:
- Instead of dipping the chicken pieces in eggs, you can dip them in thick buttermilk. Another option that I like is to coat them in mayonnaise or in Dijon mustard (or in a mixture of both).
- Another great way to change up the basic recipe is to experiment with different spices. Tasty options that I tried and liked include smoked paprika, ground cumin, and dried oregano.
Keto Fried Chicken Instructions
Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps for making this recipe:
Crush pork rinds into panko-style crumbs, then season them with spices.
Dip the chicken pieces in eggs and dredge them in a mixture of crushed pork rinds and spices.
Place the coated chicken pieces on a greased rack placed on a rimmed baking sheet.
Bake the chicken until browned and cooked through, 40-45 minutes in a 400°F oven.
- 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.
- Divide the crushed pork rinds into at least two portions. The more chicken pieces you dip in the coating, the soggier it becomes. Dividing it into two portions ensures you can dip the chicken into dry, crispy pork panko.
- I like to use paprika in this recipe, not just for its flavor, but also because it adds gorgeous color to the chicken.
- Pork rinds are very salty, so I don't add any salt. If you wish, you could add 1 teaspoon of kosher salt to the pork rind mixture.
Use plain pork rinds. The ingredients list should only include pork skins (fried in their own fat) and salt.
You simply pulse the pork rinds in the food processor into fine crumbs. You can also place them in a bag and crush them with a rolling pin, although they won't be as finely crushed if you do it by hand.
Another option is to buy "pork panko." I believe it's available on Amazon. It's certainly the easiest option, but in my experience, it doesn't come out as crispy as crushing your own pork rinds.
Yes. However, in my experience, almond flour does not crisp as well as crushed pork rinds. It's also not as flavorful.
I don't recommend it. Low-carb coating, whether pork rinds or almond flour, doesn't adhere to the chicken as well as flour-based batter. It tends to disintegrate and fall apart when submerged in oil.
You could give it a try - perhaps you'll be more successful than I was - but for me, deep-frying does not work when I use a low-carb coating.
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 at 50% power. Or enjoy them cold! Cold leftover chicken is yummy, and not just on a picnic.
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Keto Fried Chicken
- 2 oz pork rinds finely crushed (1 cup)
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 eggs
- 10 (4 oz) chicken drumsticks (2.5 lb. total weight)
- Preheat your oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil (for easy cleanup) and fit it with a roasting rack. Grease the rack.
- Process the pork rinds in your food processor into fine crumbs. You can also do as I do in the video below – place them in a Ziploc-type bag, close the bag well (removing as much air as possible), and crush the pork rinds with a rolling pin. But this method will likely result in bigger crumbs. They should still adhere to the chicken pieces, but not as well.
- In a small bowl, mix together the crushed pork rinds, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and thyme. Divide the mixture between two shallow bowls.
- Whisk the eggs in another shallow bowl. About half the egg mixture will remain in the bowl (and this is reflected in the nutrition info), but I find that you need two eggs to properly coat the chicken pieces.
- Dip each chicken piece in the eggs, then dredge it in the crushed pork rinds. When you finish one bowl of pork panko, move on to the next. Focus on coating mostly the tops of the chicken pieces – the bottoms will become slightly soggy anyway.
- Place the coated chicken pieces on the prepared rack. Bake them in the preheated oven until the tops are golden brown and crispy and the insides are fully cooked. In my oven, it takes about 40 minutes. Serve immediately.
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 at 50% power. Or enjoy them cold! Cold leftover chicken is yummy, and not just on a picnic.