Best Ever Keto Fried Chicken (Better than KFC!)

This recipe for keto fried chicken is truly the best- A crispy and crunchy on the outside yet moist and juicy on the inside, no one will know it’s low carb- It’s even better than KFC! 

Keto Fried Chicken

If I had to choose one food that I always have a second stomach for, it would have to be fried chicken. Growing up, whenever it was my turn to pick dinner, I would always choose Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). It didn’t help that there was a store a mere half a mile away from my childhood home AND that my dad too, was a huge fan of it.

As it was an occasional treat, we didn’t eat it as often as I would have liked (every single day…), but whenever we did, it always left me craving more.

As I’ve grown older, enjoying KFC became less and less regular, especially as I incorporated a more healthy diet. However, it does hold a very special place in my heart, and something I REFUSED to give up once going keto. 

Is fried chicken keto? 

If you grew up eating KFC as I did, you would have been in for a rude awakening to find out that it is NOT keto friendly. In fact, any takeout or fast-food chain of fried chicken is not suitable for a keto diet. See, the batter that they use contains flour or a flour blend, and more often than not contains MORE carbs than protein or fat.

Luckily, you can make your own KFC-style keto fried chicken recipe that tastes just as good as the original. The fried chicken is crispy and crunchy on the outside, but perfectly moist and juicy on the inside. It’s perfectly seasoned without being overpowering, so you can truly enjoy every delicious mouthful. 

The secret is to coat the raw chicken pieces in a keto buttermilk marinade before coating it in the almond flour mixture- It truly takes it to another level, even the biggest of KFC enthusiasts will be obsessed!

Ingredients you’ll need to make keto fried chicken

keto fried chicken ingredients

  • Skin-on chicken– Use a mix of drumsticks, thighs, and breast pieces. If you only want to use one cut of chicken, always use drumsticks! 
  • Salt and pepper– To taste. 
  • Eggs– Whisked with the heavy cream to be used as part of the coating, similar to what buttermilk fried chicken would have as a coating. 
  • Heavy cream– A zero carb alternative to buttermilk, which contains a few too many carbs than we’d like! 
  • Almond flourBlanched almond flour is preferred, but almond meal will work just as well. 
  • Crushed pork rinds– A keto breadcrumb substitute, you can usually find these in the potato chip or snack aisle of the supermarket. To crush them, place them in a ziplock bag and use a meat tenderizer to break them down to the consistency of breadcrumbs. Alternatively, you can blend them in a food processor or blender. 
  • Parmesan cheese– Gives the fried chicken an even more flavorful batter. 
  • Garlic and onion powder– Adds extra flavor. 
  • Oil– Any neutral oil to deep fry the chicken in. When choosing an oil to fry or deep fry with, stick to ones with a high smoke point. Avocado oil, safflower oil, and peanut oil are all fantastic options. 

How do you make low carb fried chicken?

1. Pat the chicken dry of any moisture and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

seasoned raw chicken drumsticks

2. Batter them by dipping them in the heavy cream/eggs mixture then the almond flour/crushed pork rinds/parmesan cheese mixture. 

marinated and coated chicken drumsticks

3. Fry and then place on a wire rack for excess oil to drop off. 

keto fried chicken drumsticks

FAQ and tips to make the best recipe

Can I bake this in the oven?

If you’d like to skip the deep frying or frying part of the chicken, you can bake in the oven instead.

To bake– Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Prepare the chicken as instructed and place them on a lined baking sheet. Bake the chicken for around 35-40 minutes and the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 75C/165F. 

Can I use an air fryer? 

Yes, easily air fry this chicken for a quicker and healthier option.

To air fry– Prepare as directed then place chicken pieces in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Air fry at 200C/400F for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through. Again, be sure the internal temperature has reached 75C/165F. 

What is the best temperature to fry chicken? 

The best temperature to fry chicken is 180C/350F. Use a candy thermometer or slim kitchen thermometer to check the temperature of the hot oil before adding the chicken. 

What cuts of chicken are best for fried chicken? 

Like KFC or any fried chicken take-out shop, the best cuts of chicken are thigh pieces, drumsticks, or breasts. 

Avoid using wings or mini drumsticks, unless all the chicken is of this size. 

Is fried chicken healthy? 

Seeing as it has the word ‘fried’ in its name, it’s safe to say that fried chicken is not the healthiest of options out there. However, you can easily make this recipe healthier with a few tweaks-

  • Swap out the thigh and drumsticks for chicken breast pieces.
  • Instead of frying it, either bake it in the oven or air fry it (instructions above). 
  • Omit the heavy cream and replace it with unsweetened coconut milk mixed with 1 teaspoon lemon juice. 

Storing, freezing, and reheating almond flour fried chicken

  • To store: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 
  • To freeze: Place cooled fried chicken in a ziplock bag and store it in the freezer for up to 6 months. 
  • Reheating: Do not microwave the chicken unless you want a soggy crust. It’s best to reheat in a preheated oven or stovetop. You can also use an air fryer. 

low carb fried chicken

What to serve with keto fried chicken?

keto fried chicken
  • 4 lbs skin-on chicken Chicken drumstick, thigh, and breast pieces.
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 1/2 cups pork rinds crushed
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 serving oil for frying * See notes
  • Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and cream. In a separate bowl, whisk together the panko bread crumbs, almond flour, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and onion powder. 

  • Dip each piece of chicken in the egg/cream mixture, then in the breadcrumb mixture, until coated. Repeat the process until all the chicken is coated.

  • Add ½ inch of oil to a deep pan or pot. Once hot, add the chicken pieces and fry until golden brown and chicken has an internal temperature of 165C.

* Use oil that has a high smoke point, like avocado oil, safflower oil, or peanut oil.
TO STORE: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 
TO FREEZE: Place cooled fried chicken in a ziplock bag and store it in the freezer for up to 6 months. 
TO REHEAT: Do not microwave the chicken unless you want a soggy crust. It’s best to reheat in a preheated oven or stovetop. You can also use an air fryer. 

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 196kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 14g | Sodium: 233mg | Potassium: 169mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin A: 181IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 1mg | NET CARBS: 1g