This Pickle Brined Keto Fried Chicken is crispy with tender, flavorful chicken. Skip the pickle brine and it will still taste amazing!
This Keto Fried Chicken? I think it’s our favorite keto recipe to date. And we’ve made a LOT of keto recipes.
IS FRIED CHICKEN KETO?
It can be but you’ll have to modify the ingredients traditionally used for fried chicken. Flour is out as are most of the breadings used. Finely crushed pork rinds are a commonly used replacement for breading which would be delicious on this keto fried chicken. That was my initial plan until someone told me that Whey Protein Isolate (affiliate link) can also be used.
I love using whey protein in my shakes and drinks but I was skeptical as to how it would work as a breading. I like a breading that’s on the thicker side and it has to be crispy. But the idea was too intriguing to pass up, so I gave it a go.
It worked so well that I didn’t even try the pork rinds. The coating is thin but it turns out that I really like it that way. It’s still crispy and doesn’t overwhelm the chicken. I use chicken thighs which are thinner than breasts so the thinner coating works really well here.
I’d been mulling recipe ideas for keto fried chicken around in my head for months before the idea of brining it first in pickle juice hit me. Pickle brined chicken is nothing new, but since pickles and pickle juice are so closely tied to the keto diet, it seemed like a perfect match.
HOW LONG TO BRINE CHICKEN IN PICKLE JUICE?
I recommend brining your chicken in pickle juice for anywhere from 8-24 hours. I opt for 24 hours because that length of time gives my keto fried chicken a nice pickle flavor. You may prefer less pickle flavor, however, so you can always start with 8 hours and go up from there. You can even skip the brining entirely if you’re not into the pickle thing. Or make a batch both ways and see which you like best.
HOW TO MAKE KETO FRIED CHICKEN?
Making keto fried chicken is really simple. Although I use boneless, skinless chicken thighs in this recipe, you can use bone-in chicken thighs and/or breasts with skin if you prefer. Everything in the recipe will be the same, except I should note that you put the skin side of your chicken down first when cooking. But I can’t recommend using boneless, skinless chicken thighs enough! They cook quickly, stay nice and juicy and are easier to eat.
After brining, you’ll drain off the pickle juice and pat your chicken dry. I like to cut each thigh into 2-3 pieces, but that’s entirely up to you. Dredge each piece in a mixture of beaten egg, mayo, dijon, salt, and pepper, then again in the Whey Protein Isolate (or finely crushed pork rinds if you prefer). Fry in hot avocado oil (or another oil with a high smoke point) until browned and crispy. That’s it! So simple and you will love the flavor!
- 3 lb chicken thighs,, boneless and skinless
- 2 cups pickle juice,, from a jar of pickles
- 2 large eggs,, beaten
- 1 heaping tbsp mayo
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp coarse salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1-2 cup whey protein isolate, (or 1-2 cups finely crushed pork rinds)
- 2 cups avocado oil
- Place chicken in a large, resealable plastic bag. Pour pickle juice over chicken and place in refrigerator. Marinate for 8-24 hours, depending on how much pickle flavor you want your chicken to have (I go for the full 24)!
- Drain chicken and discard pickle juice. Pat chicken dry and cut into 2-3 pieces each, if desired. Pat chicken dry with paper towels.
- Mix together eggs, mayo, dijon, salt and pepper, then toss the chicken in the mixture, taking care to make sure it's entirely coated.
- Preheat the oil in a large, deep skillet until shimmering. Working quickly, dredge each piece of chicken in whey protein (or pork rinds) and place in the oil. Cook until both sides are well-browned and chicken is cooked through, turning just once.
- Drain cooked chicken pieces on paper towels. Serve with your favorite sauce. We like the Garlic Mustard Aioli from Trader Joe's (or make your own) or a good, homemade ranch dressing. Be happy that you can eat yummy things like this on a keto "diet"! :)
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 453 Saturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 281mg Sodium: 1669mg Carbohydrates: 7g Fiber: 1g Protein: 53g