Flour may be the traditional main ingredient for a fried chicken coating or batter, but it's not your only option. If you wish to avoid white flour in your diet or if you're just fresh out of flour, you've got a variety of alternatives, from cornstarch to crushed cereal, that can give your fried chicken that signature crunch factor. While the texture and flavors won't be the same as with white flour, you may find an alternative coating that comes pretty close or that you like even better than flour.
Make a cornstarch-based coating, commonly used in Korean-style fried chicken, by combining 2 parts cornstarch, 1 part water and salt and pepper to your taste in a bowl. Dredge the wings in the batter right before adding it to the hot oil.
Dredge each piece of chicken in a seasoned egg wash, then coat it in crushed corn flakes. Experiment with a variety of corn and wheat cereals.
Crush pork rinds in a resealable plastic bag to coat the chicken with. Dip the chicken in an egg wash, then add the pieces to the bag of crushed pork rinds and shake well to coat all sides.
Coat the chicken in an egg wash, then roll in panko bread crumbs, plain or seasoned. Press the breadcrumbs into the chicken to make sure they stick.
Dip your chicken in a seasoned egg wash, then coat it with an alternative flour. Use peanut flour, which crisps well for frying and adds protein, or almond flour, which creates a light, yet crunchy coating. Pan-fry the coated chicken in a small amount of oil, allowing you to control the heat a little better, as alternative flours typically burn much faster than traditional four.
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- Add a little Parmesan cheese to any of the fried chicken coatings for even more flavor.
- Japanese panko bread crumbs have a flat, wide shape that makes them well-suited to frying, as they don't soak up as much oil as the traditional bread crumbs, resulting in a much crunchier coating.
- A pork rind coating works for those who adhere to a reduced carbohydrate diet, creating a major crunch and adding a lot of flavor, as well. You can find different-flavored pork rinds in the chips and snacks section of grocery stores, particularly those that cater to the Latin community.
Based in Los Angeles, Zora Hughes has been writing travel, parenting, cooking and relationship articles since 2010. Her work includes writing city profiles for Groupon. She also writes screenplays and won the S. Randolph Playwriting Award in 2004. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in television writing/producing and a Master of Arts Management in entertainment media management, both from Columbia College.