Southern food and the paleo diet may not seem like they even belong in the same thought, let alone the same cookbook, but author Jennifer Robins is changing all that with Down South Paleo. All your favorite comfort food has been converted, but just because there’s no dairy, gluten or sugar doesn’t mean there’s no flavor. Browse through and you’ll see the classics, revamped to deep-fried, crispy perfection.
This is everything you think of when you think of good ol’ homemade fried chicken — hot, crispy, juicy, savory! Leave out the dairy and grain for a paleo twist on an old Southern favorite!
- 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
- 1/2 cup homemade mayonnaise (or high-quality store-bought)
- 2 pastured eggs
- 1/2 cup tapioca flour
- 1/2 cup water chestnut flour
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Lard, avocado oil or preferred frying fat
- 1 whole organic chicken, cut into pieces (breast, thigh drumsticks, wings)
For the fried chicken
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4).
On a clean plate, whisk together the coconut milk, mayonnaise and eggs until combined well. (Alternatively, you may omit the egg from the milk mixture, though the crust may have a more difficult time adhering.) On another clean plate, mix together the three flours and seasonings. Coat the bottom of a large, deep skillet (cast iron works well) with about ½ inch of cooking fat and preheat over medium-high heat.
Take one piece of chicken and coat it on both sides with the milk and egg mixture, then dredge it in the seasoned flour on both sides. Shake off any excess but be sure to re-dredge any uncoated spots to create an even crust. Repeat until all the chicken is coated.
Working in small batches so as not to overcrowd the skillet, fry the chicken for approximately 4-5 minutes per side, or until each side is nicely browned.
Once all the chicken pieces have been fried, lay them on a wire baking rack set on top of a baking pan and bake for another 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from the oven and serve right away.