Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Gluten Free KFC Fried Chicken Copycat

Gluten Free KFC Fried Chicken Copycat
















If you happen to be one of the countless people that have asked me to make a gluten free KFC fried chicken copycat, well folks it’s finally here.  

This crispy delicious fried chicken is so close to KFC’s original recipe that my taste testers had a hard time telling the difference.  Did I mention that these a fore mentioned tasters don’t follow a gluten free diet so their memories of KFC are a lot fresher than mine?

Let me start by apologizing for how long it took me to fulfill this request but I wanted to get it right.  While fried chicken seems simple enough, making a recipe that mimics Colonel Sanders original and dare I say one of a kind fried chicken was a bit more daunting. 

Since none of us has his secret recipe, nor do we have his patented pressure fryer in our home kitchens, I needed a few little tricks to getting the recipe just right.  It took me several tries but I can now say with confidence that if you follow all the steps I've laid out in the recipe you won’t be disappointed. 

So now all my gluten free friends can kiss their KFC envy goodbye.    

Gluten Free KFC Fried Chicken Copycat
Prep time: 10 min active (6 hrs brine time, 1 hr rest time)
Fry time: 15-20 min per batch (cooked in 2 batches)
Servings: 4

Ingredients
(1) 4lb chicken cut into 10 pieces, backbone removed and wings tucked
vegetable oil (enough to fill a 12 inch cast iron skillet to ¾ inch deep)

Ingredients for the Buttermilk Brine
  • 2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp hot sauce

Ingredients for the Seasoned Flour
  • 2 cups gluten free rice flour blend flour (I used Betty Crocker’s blend)
  • 1 cup corn starch
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground sage
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp old bay
  • 1 tsp black pepper


Video Tutorial



Instructions
  1. In large bowl whisk together the buttermilk, egg, salt, and hot sauce until well combined.   
  2. Add the chicken pieces to the buttermilk brine and try to get them fully submerged then allow them to soak, refrigerated for 4 - 6 hours or even overnight.   
  3. To make the seasoned flour in a large baking dish whisk together the gluten free flour, cornstarch and all the spices listed in the ingredients list. 
  4. To dredge the chicken let the excess buttermilk drip from each piece then toss it around in the seasoned flour to get it well coated on all sides and place each piece on a wire rack. 
  5. Once all the pieces are coated once coat them again by dipping each piece into the buttermilk then into the flour again.
  6. Once they've all been coated twice leave them undisturbed on the wire rack for about an hour so that the coating adheres well and the chicken comes fully down to room temperature.    
  7. To fry the chicken, in a 12 inch cast-iron skillet, heat ¾ of an inch of vegetable oil to 350°.  
  8. Have a clean wire rack over a baking sheet ready and waiting to drain the chicken after frying.
  9. Add the chicken to the hot oil in batches of 4 to 5 pieces at a time. 
  10. Turn the chicken every 3 or 4 minutes to keep it from getting too dark before it’s fully cooked.  I started the frying at 350° then maintained a lower temperature of about 320° for the rest of the cook time.
  11. The wings usually take about 10-12 minutes for wings and the other pieces take about 15-20 minutes depending on size.
  12. Once the pieces have a deep golden skin and an internal temperature of 165° they’re done.
  13. Drain the chicken on a wire rack so the air can circulate and the skin will stay crispy then serve.  

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Gluten Free Fried Oreos

Gluten Free Fried Oreos
















Have you ever had a fried Oreo?  They've been all the rage for a few years now but being gluten free means you can’t just pick them up at the carnival or state fair like everyone else.  Luckily they’re pretty easy to make at home.  Actually if you read my funnel cake post then you've got half the battle won since I used the same batter in both recipes.

The recipe is straightforward although the recipe name is a bit more deceptive.  You see, the words “gluten free” and “Oreo” really shouldn't be used together since there’s no such thing.  

Sure there are gluten free knock-offs that are pretty good but Nabisco still hasn't found it in their heart to produce a gluten free Oreo just yet.  In this recipe I used Kinnikinnick’s Kinnitoos which worked out just fine.  Still, I’d really like to see Nabisco produce a real gluten free Oreo someday soon.  

If you feel the same way, take a minute to go sign my online petition HERE.

Gluten Free Fried Oreos
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 3-4 min
Servings: 16 Oreos

Ingredients
  • 16 gluten free Oreo type cookies
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup gluten free self-rising flour (or gluten free Bisquick)
  • vegetable oil (enough to fill an 8 inch pan about 1 inch)
  • confectioner’s sugar (for dusting)


Video Tutorial



Instructions
  1. Whisk the egg and sugar together until combined. 
  2. Add the milk and vanilla extract and mix well.
  3. Add the gluten free self-rising flour and whisk until you've got a thick smooth batter.
  4. Preheat the oil to 365°F or 185°C.  To test the oil if you don’t have a thermometer, put a drop of the batter into the oil.  If the batter sizzles and rises fairly quickly it’s probably hot enough. 
  5. Add an Oreo to the batter and turn with a fork to coat then add it to the hot oil. 
  6. Repeat with 3 more Oreos frying no more than 4 at a time not to overcrowd the pan.
  7. Turn the cookies as soon as they are golden on the first side then remove them from the pan as soon as they are golden on the second side.
  8. Drain on paper towels, dust with powdered sugar and serve while still hot.    

Friday, August 8, 2014

Gluten Free Corn Dogs

Gluten Free Corn Dogs
















I’m sure you’re all aware that being gluten free often means we can’t eat what everyone else is eating.  It’s been a long time since I've had a corn dog.  I can’t really say I was too bothered by that fact since I always preferred my hot dogs grilled or pan seared because I love the way the skin gets crisp and the flavor intensifies with direct heat.    

But since I happened to be deep frying last week when I made those crispy carnival funnel cakes, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to try my hand at a gluten free corn dog recipe for anyone else that might be missing them.   They turned out to be really simple to make.  And just like with the funnel cakes, corn dogs don’t need gluten to be great.  Seriously, I’d challenge anyone to be able to tell that these are gluten free. 

I was truly surprised how much I enjoyed them especially since I didn’t remember liking corn dogs all that much. 

Gluten Free Corn Dogs
Prep time: 10-15 min
Cook time: 3-4 min
Servings: 4

Ingredients
  • ½ cup yellow cornmeal
  • ½ cup gluten free self-rising flour (or gluten free bisquick)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 tbsp hot sauce
  • 1 quart vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 pkg of 4 jumbo beef frankfurters at room temperture (I used Hebrew National)
  • cornstarch enough to dust the hot-dogs
  • 4 wooden skewers

Video Tutorial




Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar and salt. 
  2. Add the egg milk and hot sauce and whisk until you have a smooth batter.
  3. Insert wooden skewers into hot dogs and dust with cornstarch so that the batter sticks.
  4. Preheat oil in a deep saucepan over medium heat.
  5. Pour the batter into a tall glass (don’t fill it all the way) then dip each hot dog and fry until golden brown, or for about 3-4 minutes. Drain on paper towels serve.

Notes:  I fried mine one at a time to make it manageable while filming the video but if you think you can manage 2 or 3 then give it a try.  I just wasn’t brave enough to test the frying feat.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Gluten Free Funnel Cake

Gluten Free Funnel Cake
















If you've been on a gluten free diet for while then you've probably suffered funnel cake envy on more than one occasion.  There’s not a boardwalk, amusement park or carnival around where the smell of this deep fried delight doesn't fill the air. And I understand how unbearable it can be to watch those hot crispy funnel cakes being torn apart and enjoyed until nothing remains but an oil soaked plate and few sprinkles of powdered sugar. 

Don’t worry my gluten free comrades, today we’ll vanquish the pain.  Today I’ll show you just how easy it is to make gluten free funnel cakes at home.  Now I know it will be hard to believe my next statement but try to keep an open mind. 

These funnel cakes are actually better than the ones you can get at the carnival.   

You see unlike great bread, you don’t need gluten for a spectacular funnel cake.  And these cakes are being fried in fresh oil.  The ones being made at the fair or amusement park are most likely being fried in oil that has been frying stuff all day if not all week. 

The result of doing it yourself is a funnel cake that is not only tastes better but is infinitely cheaper as well.  And that includes the price of the funnel.  (see notes) 

I can’t wait until you try this one.  I know you’ll be as just thrilled as I was with the result.

Funnel Cake
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 5 -6 min each
Servings: 2 large funnel cakes

Ingredients
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup gluten free self-rising flour (or gluten free Bisquick)
  • vegetable oil (enough to fill a 10 inch pan with ¾ inch)
  • confectioner’s sugar (to dust the cakes)

 Video Tutorial




Instructions
  1. Whisk the egg and granulated sugar together until they’re pretty well combined. 
  2. Add the milk and vanilla extract and mix until homogenous.
  3. Add the gluten free self-rising flour and whisk until you've got a smooth pourable batter.
  4. Preheat enough vegetable oil to fill the pan about ¾ of an inch deep. (365°F   or    185°C)
  5. To test the oil if you don’t have a thermometer, put a drop of the batter into the oil.  If the batter sizzles and rises fairly quickly, the oil should be hot enough to funnel in the batter. (see funnel info in the notes)
  6. Fill the funnel with about ¾ of a cup of batter which is about the amount needed for one large cake.
  7. While adding the batter to the hot oil, I like to start in the center and spiral quickly towards the outer rim of the pan then zigzag back and forth to connect all the concentric rings so that we’ll be able to flip this later.
  8. Fry for 3-5 minutes on the first side or until it gets to a deep golden brown and when the bubbling action starts to lessen noticeably it’s usually time to carefully flip it.
  9. Fry for 2-3 minutes on the second side, remove it from the pan, drain on paper towels, dust with powdered sugar and serve.    

Notes: 
  1. To make the funnel cakes I used a funnel with a little stopper in the bottom that’s typically used to fill candy molds.  The one I used can be found HERE at Amazon.
  2. While filling the funnel with batter I find it convenient to have a glass ready where I can set the funnel as I’m filling.  And you’ll want to look for a glass with a small enough opening that it doesn't slide too far up the funnel and push up that plunger release mechanism which would have your batter running out all over the place.  

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