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May 14, 2009 11:50 AM   Subscribe

Is fried chicken a low-carb food?

File this under Wishful Thinking, but ... I was re-reading the first Atkins diet book, and at one point he makes the comment that when you're hungry, he "wants you to go for that leftover fried chicken in the fridge" rather than something carby.

Now, obviously, something with a heavy breading is carby. But it got me thinking, for instance, about Kroger fried chicken (which is twenty different kinds of awesome) - I've seen them make it, and it's just chicken, dredged in seasoned flour, most of which falls off, then fried. So is it in fact possible that it's a reasonably low-carb source of crunchy, delicious protein?

(Please, no comments about the validity of low-carb itself. I know people are divided on that.)
posted by jbickers to Food & Drink (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
One original recipe wing from KFC has 11o calories reflecting 3g of carbohydrates, 7g of fat (1.5 saturated), and 9g protein. Given that all their chicken has sugar in the batter and is nasty fast food, the carb count is probably at the high end here.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 11:56 AM on May 14, 2009


"Reasonably", yes - anything with flour is carby, of course, but is it lower carb than, say, french fries? By far.
posted by tristeza at 11:58 AM on May 14, 2009


When cooked correctly, fried chicken doesn't really contain that much fat. The moisture present in the chicken escapes as steam during cooking, preventing the absorption of the fat it's fried in.

In answer to the original question, yes - fried chicken is a low carb food.
posted by torquemaniac at 11:59 AM on May 14, 2009


If it's dredged in flour, it's not low-carb. I know it looks like most of of it falls off, but a single piece of fried chicken is going to be way more carbs than you can have on induction. Not only that, it's high glycemic index carbs, which you need to avoid regardless on Atkins.

If you didn't eat the skin at all, it would be fine. Most grocery stores have rotisserie chickens that have cripsy skin that's just covered in spices and no carbs. You might try that.
posted by Nattie at 12:01 PM on May 14, 2009


You could fry a chicken with no coating at all—not unlike the way people commonly fry whole turkeys—which would be low-carb. Whether a particular instance of fried chicken or not is low-carb depends on the identity and quantity of the coating.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:02 PM on May 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


When cooked correctly, fried chicken doesn't really contain that much fat. The moisture present in the chicken escapes as steam during cooking, preventing the absorption of the fat it's fried in.

In answer to the original question, yes - fried chicken is a low carb food.


Er, what? Fat is irrelevant to whether something is low-carb or not.
posted by Nattie at 12:02 PM on May 14, 2009


According to this site, 1 piece of "KrogerĀ®, Skinless Fried Chicken" contains 7g of carbs.

I'm searching for non-skinless with no success yet.
posted by inigo2 at 12:06 PM on May 14, 2009


KFC nutritional info
posted by Pants! at 12:13 PM on May 14, 2009


[A couple comments removed. Please try to answer the question as asked and keep the derails out of it.]
posted by cortex at 12:23 PM on May 14, 2009


Or you can do what I do - make the "breading" out of spicy pork rinds. The fat content is ridiculous, but everyone loves my fried chicken.
posted by 26.2 at 12:25 PM on May 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


If you'd like something similar (flour is the exact kind of carb you want to avoid, stick to veggies and some fruit for your carbs) try making fried chicken using almond meal. It turns out pretty well.
posted by Loto at 12:53 PM on May 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


If fried chicken = chicken fried in a skillet with oil and seasonings then it is low-carb.

If fried chicken = deep fried battered chicken then it is not low-carb.
posted by Simon Barclay at 12:55 PM on May 14, 2009


(By batter, I mean starchy things like flour, bread crumbs, etc.)
posted by Simon Barclay at 12:56 PM on May 14, 2009


The other thing is that a lot of places inject their chickens with a marinade that contains sugar, which would up the carb count of any chicken, fried, rotisserie, or whatever. I think they're required to tell you this if you ask.
posted by bink at 2:13 PM on May 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Another low carb chicken coating that works well: parmesan cheese.
posted by gnomeloaf at 5:30 PM on May 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


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