Calling all gluten-free cooks!
August 8, 2019 4:14 PM   Subscribe

I need help perfecting my chicken finger technique for my gluten free wife. I'm getting frustrated as I've worked in casual and quickservice food industry for 20 years but I just can't nail this simple recipe at home!

First problem is that the gluten free bread crumbs I've tried all have a flaky consistency, which makes it hard to nail the texture. I've tried kikkoman, glutino, 4C, and aurora so far. I'm in a major Canadian city and I don't mind ordering online if necessary.

Second, using an egg bath I can get a good colour and temperature, but not a crispy exterior and juicy interior. Using a batter instead I can get a great texture but I can't get temperature without overcooking the exterior.

My usual technique is to cook at 350 in canola oil on a stove-top pan.
posted by mikek to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Taking a hint from the keto people, I might try either or some combination of almond flour and/or ground up pork rinds, and adding or instead of the gluten-free bread crumbs.

Using a batter instead I can get a great texture but I can't get temperature without overcooking the exterior.

For this I might try running a much hotter 400-425 and seeing if it works better.
posted by General Malaise at 4:18 PM on August 8

Oh, sorry, I misread that second part. Maybe try dialing down to 300-325. Eek.
posted by General Malaise at 4:37 PM on August 8

I have much better luck with diy gluten-free breadcrumbs (i.e. take the ends of a couple of loaves of bread and stick them in the food processor). The GF crumbs have a lot of weird stuff in them.

Alternately, cornmeal-based breading is delicious and easier to make GF.
posted by mskyle at 4:44 PM on August 8 [1 favorite]

I've had really good luck with Ian's gluten-free panko breadcrumbs. Panko! Life changing!
posted by Arctostaphylos at 5:09 PM on August 8 [1 favorite]

Have you tried gluten free corn flakes? The traditional ones deep fry super crunchy.
posted by advicepig at 6:36 PM on August 8 [2 favorites]

keto and GF household here! I use a mixture of half almond flour and half coarse-ground almonds (I just pulse for a second or two in a chopper thingie?)

season the mix liberally with whatever, then the usual egg-dip-n-dredge routine. I bake in the oven instead of frying, which I think simplifies the issue of what will and won't stay stuck.
posted by shelbaroo at 6:45 PM on August 8

You might try a 2 to 1 mixture of rice flour and cornmeal. I switched over a couple of years ago for making southern fried chicken.

it's a three step dredge; light cornstarch, egg wash, rice flour/cornmeal. Depending on your recipe; salt/pepper in the cornstarch, other seasonings in the rice flour/cornmeal. The cornmeal keeps the coating from being too tempura-like, but still comes out nice and crunchy.

Definitely a fry recipe.
posted by allandsome at 7:19 PM on August 8 [8 favorites]

Until you said Canada i was going to suggest you try Trader Joe's rice crumbs (a newish product i believe).

Would you consider (gluten free) corn flakes as a coating? (on preview, what advicepig said).

Also i agree with General Malaise that your oil temp may be an issue (if you only bring it up to 350 and then put in your fryables its nowhere close to 350 seconds after they've gone in) but you can/should also consider playing with the dimensions of your fingers to get the right surface area/volume ratio for ideal browning and done-ness.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 6:47 AM on August 9 [1 favorite]

when i make chicken fried steak the traditional way, i soak the meat in a milk/egg mixture for awhile first. I can't recommend a coating but others above have that covered. whatever dry mix you try, put in a plastic bag. Shake excess milk mixture off and drop all the chicken in the bag to coat. then fry coated chicken. sticks way better for me than the dredge method. and coats better.
posted by domino at 7:09 AM on August 9

The most recent issue of Cook's Illustrated has an EXCELLENT GF fried chicken recipe that Mrs. TheCoug and I made last night. Basically, marinate strips of thigh meat in soy sauce, sake, garlic, and ginger, then dredge in cornstarch, but then wait for the marinade to soak the starch on the chicken pieces to avoid powdery bits in the breading, then fry in oil like you said. It was SOOOOOO good!
posted by TheCoug at 7:35 AM on August 9 [1 favorite]

Here's a link, but I think it's paywalled.
posted by TheCoug at 7:37 AM on August 9

Dude, mayonnaise in place of egg wash. Mayonnaise, seasonings (Dijon mustard, garlic salt, white pepper, whatever) and an egg. Mix all that in a bowl, dump your chicken strips, fingers, cutlets what ever. Toast you crumbs and then simply bread the chicken and bake. The mayo keeps meat moist and creates a crust with the crumb breading. Mayo is totally gluten free and now no need to fry or do the double dip for crispy crust.
posted by jadepearl at 11:19 PM on August 9 [1 favorite]

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