The most common and effective methods to bread chicken without flour include using egg and breadcrumbs, cornstarch, or even dry corn-based cereal.
These are great options for when you want or need to omit flour from your recipe. The results are just as delicious as using traditional flour methods.
Making breaded chicken for dinner is a popular comfort food that the whole family enjoys.
However, sometimes you want to avoid using flour in your recipe. Thankfully, there are a few simple ways to bread chicken without flour.
In this article, we will look at some of the most simple ways to bread chicken without using flour.
We will also look at some helpful tips and tricks to ensure that you get perfect, golden, crispy chicken every time.
Why Is Flour Important When Breading Chicken?
The role that flour plays in breading chicken is important.
It helps to make sure that the coating stays on the chicken during the cooking process.
If you have been making homemade breaded chicken for a while, you will know that the flour helps give the chicken its signature crunch and color.
If you simply omit the flour from your breaded chicken recipe, it is likely that your coating will fall off of the chicken before or during the frying process.
Any coating that does stay on throughout this process will probably just end up sliding off the meat when you try to eat it.
This doesn’t mean that you cannot make breaded chicken without using flour though.
There are plenty of substitutes that can be used when you don’t have the right sort of flour for your recipe or when you need to make gluten-free breaded chicken.
Egg And Breadcrumb Method
The most common and practical method of breading chicken without using flour is the egg and breadcrumb method.
With this method, you still end up with beautiful golden and crispy chicken.
However, it will be a slightly different type of crunch from the traditional flour method.
The flavor that is produced by the two methods is also going to be noticeably different. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
One method doesn’t inherently taste better than the other, but it is worth keeping in mind if you are used to the flour method.
You can use skinless chicken breast or skin-on, bone-in chicken pieces with this method.
Whichever type of chicken meat you prefer. The method isn’t affected by the type of meat, just cooking times.
The ingredients needed to get the best results with the egg and breadcrumb method are eggs, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and olive or canola oil.
The quantities of these ingredients will depend on how much chicken you have to bread.
Step One: Prepare Coating Ingredients
The first thing that you need to do is organize the coating ingredients into shallow dishes.
The more shallow the dish the better as you will be rolling the chicken in them and need the space. Side dish plates work well for this.
You will need to put the grated parmesan cheese into one dish, the breadcrumbs should be in the next dish.
Alternatively, you can mix the parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs together in the same dish.
Crack the eggs into a dish and whisk gently to break up the yolks.
This dish should be placed at the start of your breading production line.
Ensure there is an empty plate at the other end to place the coated chicken.
Step Two: Prepare The Chicken
Preparing the chicken for breading is easy. The first, optional, step is to wash the chicken.
Simply rinse the breasts or pieces of chicken in your sink, being careful not to splash the water around your kitchen.
Then, simply dry the chicken with a standard paper towel.
Once the chicken has been cleaned, you should trim off any pieces of gristle that you don’t want to eat.
With chicken pieces, it won’t be possible and high-quality chicken breasts tend to have less gristle.
Finally, season your chicken with salt and pepper to ensure that it is flavorful when it is cooked.
It is also possible to add extra seasoning to the egg if you want to.
Step Three: Begin Coating The Chicken
One at a time, take the chicken breasts or chicken pieces and dip them into the egg.
It is important to ensure that the entire chicken is covered in egg.
Then roll the chicken in the parmesan cheese and the breadcrumbs.
Again, make sure that the chicken is as covered in breading as possible.
Once you have covered all of the pieces of chicken with the breading mixture, it is time to fry them.
Step Four: Time To Fry
In a wide pan with high sides, heat up your oil of choice. Make sure you don’t let it get too hot or it will become a fire hazard.
Then simply fry the chicken as you normally would. Keep frying the chicken until it is golden brown all over.
Once it is ready, remove it from the oil and place it on some paper towels to help remove the excess oil.
With this method, if you find that some of the coating has fallen off the chicken during the frying process, the most likely explanation is the chicken wasn’t covered in enough egg.
An alternative method to the egg and breadcrumb one is the cornstarch method.
This is similar to how Korean fried chicken is made which is incredibly crunchy.
One of the best things about this method is that it is naturally gluten-free.
This means that it is the perfect option for those times when you need to avoid gluten for a guest or relative.
For this method, all you need to do is make a mixture of cornstarch, water, and seasonings.
This creates more of a batter than a breading, but the result is just as delicious.
To begin this method, simply prepare the chicken as we mentioned above.
Step One: Prepare The Batter Mixture
Mix the cornstarch with salt and pepper to season it.
You can also add baking powder at this stage if you want the batter to have some air bubbles in it.
Once the dry ingredients have been mixed together, it is time to add the water. The ratio should be 2:1 cornstarch to water.
Keep adding more water or cornstarch until you have a perfect consistency. It doesn’t matter if there are lumps in the batter.
Step Two: Coat The Chicken
Once you have made the batter, you can use it straight away.
Alternatively, this batter can be made ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator in an air-tight container. Perfect for planning ahead.
Take the chicken breasts or pieces of bone-in chicken and coat them completely in the batter.
Roll the chicken a few times in the batter to ensure that it is properly coated.
Step Three: Frying Time
Once the oil has been heated up to the correct temperature, simply place the pieces of chicken in the pan.
Allow the chicken to fry until the batter is a beautiful golden brown.
If the oil is too hot the batter will become dark and the chicken may not be adequately cooked.
Use a tester piece of chicken if you are unsure.
With this type of batter, you can double fry the chicken to make it even more crispy and delicious.
Once you have finished cooking remove any excess oil from the chicken with paper towels.
The two methods mentioned above are the most common ways to make breaded chicken without using flour.
However, they are not the only possible methods.
Corn Cereal Method
If you want an extra crunch but prefer the egg method to the batter method, substitute the breadcrumbs for crushed-up corn cereal such as corn flakes.
The corn cereal produces a much crunchier effect than bread crumbs.
Simply follow the same method as detailed above with the egg. However, simply swap the breadcrumbs for the cornflakes.
You can still use some parmesan with this method to add extra flavor.
This is a great option if you have cornflake cereal in your kitchen but don’t have any boxed breadcrumbs.
It is easier than making your own breadcrumbs.
Pork Rinds Method
There are some people who prefer to make their flourless breaded chicken using pork rinds.
Again, this method is similar to the egg and breadcrumbs method.
There are some important differences in the way that you coat the chicken, however.
You still need the egg dip and crushed pork rinds to coat the chicken.
It is important to make sure that the chicken is properly covered in the egg dip with this method to ensure that the pork rinds stick to the meat.
You can roll the chicken in the egg multiple times to ensure that it is covered adequately.
Homemade Shake N’ Bake Method
Some people prefer to use a homemade shake n’ bake method to coat their chicken.
This method can be used with any kind of coating that you want to use.
Simply place the chicken and the coating in a large ziplock bag, close it, and move the chicken around in the bag.
This can minimize the amount of time that is spent touching the raw chicken.
If you are using a coating that involves egg, you will need to coat the chicken pieces in the egg dip before putting it in the bag with the dry coating ingredients.
Once the chicken is adequately coated in whichever coating you have used, you can remove it from the bag and fry it.
Why Some People Prefer Not To Use Flour?
There are many reasons why someone might prefer to not use flour when making homemade breaded chicken.
Sometimes, people just don’t like the texture or the flavor that is produced by the traditional flour breading method.
Some people might prefer to have a more crunchy coating on their chicken.
Another reason why some people might prefer to avoid using flour when breading chicken is gluten intolerance or allergies.
There are multiple alternatives that can be used to create beautiful, crispy, golden chicken without causing gluten allergies to flare up.
It is also possible for some people to want to make lower carb fried chicken.
There are many reasons why someone might want to make a favorite meal with fewer carbs including overall health and weight reasons.
It can also just be a fun experiment for people who love to try new things with their home cooking.
The flavor and texture that is achieved with flourless coatings will never be the same as traditional flour breading, but it can be just as delicious in a different way.
Tips And Tricks
As with any new method of cooking or a new recipe, there are things that can go wrong, or little tips and tricks that can help you get the perfect result each and every time.
Most of the time these tricks come with experience and time, however, we don’t always have time to practice recipes to perfect them.
Thankfully, we have some tried and tested tips to help you make the perfect breaded chicken without flour the first time.
How To Keep The Breading On The Chicken?
If you have been having trouble getting the coating to stay on the chicken during the frying process, there are some tips to help fix the problem.
There are two main reasons why the breading is likely to be slipping off the chicken while you are cooking it.
One of the most common reasons is that the chicken wasn’t adequately covered in the egg dip.
When there isn’t enough egg covering the meat, the coating doesn’t have anything to cling to and will fall off.
This is not something that can be fixed during the cooking process.
However, if this is an issue that you are having multiple times when making flourless breaded chicken, you should reevaluate how much egg you are using.
Adding an extra egg to the dip can allow you to be more generous with it. Roll the chicken multiple times in the egg dip.
When you think that the chicken is adequately covered in the egg dip, roll it one more time for luck.
Another main reason why the coating can fall off during cooking is that you are turning the chicken too many times while frying it.
The more that you flip and turn the chicken in the pan, the more chance the coating has of falling off.
To avoid the coating falling off from over-flipping the chicken, try to only turn the chicken once during frying.
The first few times you try flipping the chicken only once, you may overcook one side of the meat.
This will only make the coating darker on one side.
With practice, you will be able to better judge the amount of time the chicken needs on one side and achieve perfect results every time.
Also, if you overcrowd the pan with chicken, the coating is more likely to fall off as the pieces bump into each other.
To avoid this, only fry a few pieces of chicken at a time. It is better to spend longer frying in order to get better results.
How Long To Fry Breaded Chicken For?
If you do have issues with over-flipping your chicken and causing the coating to fall off, or you tend to overcook the chicken on one side, there are some rules to help you know how long to cook the chicken.
Obviously, the amount of time that you need to cook your chicken depends heavily on the size of the chicken pieces.
However, there is a rough guide time that can help.
In general, you should be frying your breaded chicken for at least fourteen minutes at a temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
This time and temperature will provide you with golden chicken every time.
It is important to remember that dark meat and light meat cook differently, therefore, the type of chicken you have breaded will play a big part in how long it needs to be cooked for.
The size of the pieces of chicken is the other important factor in how long the meat needs to be fried for.
The larger the piece of chicken, the longer you will need to cook it.
In general, the easiest way to know how long your chicken needs to be cooked for is to keep an eye on it.
Once the coating on the chicken has turned golden brown it is time to flip it. Once it is golden brown on both sides, it should be ready.
You can test whether the chicken is cooked thoroughly with either a meat thermometer or by cutting a piece open to check visually.
If you struggle with over-over flipping the chicken and causing the coating to fall off, you can check the color of the breading by gently lifting part of the chicken with some tongs.
How To Bake Breaded Chicken?
If you don’t like the idea of deep frying your chicken in a pan because of the tendency for the oil to splash and the fire risk, it is possible to bake your breaded chicken.
The flavor of the breaded chicken will differ slightly when it is baked instead of fried as the oil actually provides a lot of flavor to the batter.
For the best results when baking the breaded chicken, line a baking sheet with melted butter.
This will provide flavor and aroma as well as help avoid the chicken being too dry.
Add a rack to the baking sheet and evenly space your chicken on the rack.
Using the rack will help prevent the chicken from becoming soggy in the butter.
Cook the chicken for around 10 – 12 minutes and then flip the pieces.
Cook for a further 10 – 12 minutes and you will have beautiful golden brown chicken with a nice crunch.
There are many reasons why you might want to make breaded chicken without flour.
There are also multiple different methods that you can use to do so.
You can try the different methods to find one that works best for you or provides the best flavor.
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