Coconut Fried Chicken (Gluten & Grain-Free)

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Coconut Fried ChickenOur family loves chicken. The boys fight over the dark meat, we girls LOVE the skin, and Travis gets dibs on the neck.

You’ll find chicken on our table at least once a week – and the leftovers get thrown into delicious broth- based soups, tossed on fresh salads, or tucked into taco shells. We bake it, grill it, and roast it.

And if you’re familiar with my love for healthy fats, you’ll know we fry it. Because oh yes, chicken fried in coconut oil is HEALTHY! We’re not talking about canola oil, vegetable oil, or any of those unhealthy oils – we’re talking healthy saturated fat!

Saturated Fat is Healthy?

Wait. Did you just see saturated fat and healthy in the same sentence? Okay, if you’re new here, you’re probably thinking I’m a little crazy. But if I’ve piqued your interest, you can read more about my deep love for coconut oil and find out just what makes this metabolism-boosting, brain-nourishing, hunger-satisfying saturated fat so wonderful. Not to mention that it’s my secret ammunition for weight loss too. (Gotcha there, didn’t I. :))

Coconut oil is one of the few fats safe to fry. Others being duck and goose fat, chicken fat, lard, and tallow. Olive oil is safe for dressings and very moderate heat – but not for frying. On the other hand, common oils like safflower, corn, sunflower, soybean, and cottonseed oils should never be heated because they’re highly reactive and heating them makes them go rancid easily. And I’m not talking about just the high heat at frying temperature – even moderate heating in baking can make them go rancid and create free radicals.

What are Free Radicals?

Think marauders. Attackers. The bad guys.

Free radicals attack cell membranes and red blood cells. They cause damage to DNA/RNA strands that can trigger mutations in blood vessels – initiating plaque build up, skin – causing premature aging and wrinkles, and tissue – setting the stage for tumors. They’ve been linked to Lou Gehrig’s disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, and cataracts.

When it comes to making fried chicken, coconut oil is my fat of choice. :)

Coconut Fried Chicken (Gluten & Grain-Free) (casein-free, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, sugar-free, yeast-free, anti-candida, low-carb)

24 chicken drumsticks
1 c. coconut flour (regular flour will work as well, but will not be gluten or grain-free)
1 t. salt
1 t. pepper
1 c.+ coconut oil for frying


1. Heat coconut oil in a deep frying pan until it starts to bubble and snaps if you sprinkle water on it.

2. Combine coconut flour, salt, and pepper in dish.

3. One at a time, wet each drumstick and shake off excess water. Coat the drumstick with the flour mixture and lay in the heated oil. Repeat until pan is full.

4. Let the drumsticks fry for about 5-8 min. Flip them over carefully with two forks and let them fry an additional 5-8 min.

5. Lay the drumsticks in a 9×13 pan. Continue frying until the pan(s) are full.

6. Bake at 300 degrees for about 1 – 1 1/2 hrs.

If you use all the coconut flour, each drumstick has approx. 5.28g of carbs. I don’t usually use all the flour, but I’ve never sat down to figure out what it would be.

P.S. What do you fry in your coconut oil?


Don’t know where to purchase some of these ingredients? Visit our Whole Food Sources page.

Shared with: Flour Me With Love, Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms, The Healthy Home Economist, Homestead Revival, Nourishing Treasures, The Modest Mom, Chef In Training, Time-Warp Wife, Simply Sugar & Gluten Free, Real Food Forager, Cooking Traditional Foods, Vintage Wannabee, Growing Home, Young Living Oil Lady, Rook No 17, Women Living Well, Frugally Sustainable, The Gluten-Free Homemaker, Whole New Mom, Deep Roots at Home, Raising Homemakers, This Chick Cooks, GNOWFGLINS, Our Simple Country Life, The Greenbacks Gal, The Nourishing Gourmet, Comfy in the Kitchen, Jill’s Home Remedies, Creative Christian Mama, Food Renegade, Real Food Whole Health, Far Above Rubies, Real Food Freaks, The King’s Court IV, Day2Day Joys,

I’m Paula - like many of you I wear a lot of hats. Child of God, wife of 19 years, mother of 5 earthly children (and another on the way), reluctant cook, chocolate-snatcher, and health and fitness coach at Various family health issues including Lyme disease and candida has turned me into a 'researcher' with a passion for understanding how our God-created bodies thrive or deteriorate based on what we put in it.

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  1. says

    So yummie looking! I love coconut oil! I really like cooking with it.

    I tried in making pie crust…wow so flaky and light! (I used 1/2 lard from home grown pigs and 1/2 coconut oil)

    Have a blessed meal!

  2. says

    mmmm! My fave thing to fry in coconut oil are eggrolls. Obviously not gluten free, but we have them sometimes, especially when guests are coming. Fried rice on the side makes for a pretty cheap meal that most people don’t think to make themselves.

  3. says

    I’ve never tried coconut flour or oil. Do I buy coconut flour at a Whole Foods? I am happy to have stumbled upon this, I’d really like to give this a try!

    • says

      You can buy both at one of my favorite (and cheapest) sites, Wilderness Family Sometimes I buy my flour on if there’s a good deal going, but Wilderness Family Naturals is the cheapest place I’ve found oil – and it’s excellent quality.

  4. Sabrina says

    OH my word! This looks sooooo delicious, satisfying AND healthy. I use coconut oil for everything and since we just found out that my husband and son have a gluten intolerance, this will be welcomed in our kitchen. I’m checking out your other GF and DF recipes too! Thanks so much for sharing! Blessings.

    • says

      Hi Debbie,

      Good question! The reason is that frying them for that amount of time doesn’t cook them completely. I suppose you could fry them longer, but I personally have a tendency to burn things if I get distracted. To fry them right before eating them means I’m also trying to get the rest of the meal pulled together. If I fry them and then stick them in the oven I have time to clean up my mess and do last minute preparations before we eat. I guess it’s personal preference. :)

  5. Lissa says

    I cannot wait to try this recipe. My kids love chicken legs and I bet the coconut flour and oil give it a wonderful flavor. I may try rice flour as I don’t have any coconut four on hand. (I do really need to get some.)

    I use coconut oil in my stir fry meals. I cook the meat (chicken or fish) in the oil and then toss in the veggies. So good!

    • says

      I use bacon grease for frying a lot of things – I use it on my cast iron skillet before I make pancakes, I fry eggs in it, ect. I don’t see why you couldn’t fry chicken legs in it.

      The only draw back with ‘normal’ bacon grease is the nitrates in it. You’d want to find nitrate-free bacon or make your own. If you can’t, I’d recommend using coconut oil as it’s purely healthy from head to toe. :)

  6. says

    Hi, Just strolled across your blog from Sarah’s Monday Mania and was wondering if you could fry chicken thighs along with drumsticks the same way?

    thanks so much!

    • says

      It depends on the coconut oil you use. We use organic expeller pressed – it’s still healthy and doesn’t taste like coconuts. The coconut flour doesn’t have a strong coconut taste with the chicken.

  7. says

    So glad I stumbled upon your site! I am a huge lover and frier of coconut oil. I cook with it all the time. Try adding it to waffles instead of another kind of oil – you will be SHOCKED at how moist and delicious they are. Of course those aren’t gluten free but they sure are tasty. I’m sure you could make them with coconut flour too. As someone who is 100% paleo 90% of the time, I save the coconut oil waffles for a “cheat” day. I also use coconut oil as a facewash – sounds crazy, but if you try it you will be absolutely hooked (especially if you live in a dry climate like I do). Thanks again!

  8. Sheila says

    Wow! Made this last night for my family. It was DELISH!! I love, love, love coconut oil. I never make fried chicken because I thought it was too high fat. Yummo is all I got to say. My family was pleasantly pleased. I used drumsticks, thighs and skinless breasts.

  9. mary j says

    I did this and fried them about 12 min per side and heated the oil at medium heat. Turned out perfectly cooked. =) My fiance tries to eat paleo mostly and this is my favorite thing we’ve made so far!

  10. Christi says

    Hi! This recipe looks delicious. I would like to make a baked version of it so I don’t have to use as much oil. Do you think it would work? Could you give me any pointers on how to do that (I’m not that kitchen savvy yet!)? Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Cristi,

      Hmmm. I would coat them as the recipe states, then maybe roll them in a shallow dish of oil and then bake them in the oven for about 1 hour at 350 if you’re using drumsticks. Let me know how it goes!

  11. Alice says

    Hi there,

    For step 6 – instead of baking, can the drumsticks be steamed?

    If so, for how long?

    I don’t have a usable oven.

      • Stephanie says

        I steam my chicken breast. I think having them coated in flour would not turn out well. It would make it mushy. Hope that helps.

  12. Katie says

    We started our candida cleanse a few days ago and this is what I made on our fist night of it. It was a huge hit!! As I’m in a relationship with someone who owns an extensive spice shop, I added a Poulet Roti spice mix (candida diet OK) to the coconut flour with some salt and pepper. The only road bump I hit was with the coconut oil. In your recipe you don’t specify at what temperature I should have the stove set at for the oil to bubble so I cranked it on up to high. This was obviously hot enough for the oil to bubble and for it to crackle when water was sprinkled in it, however I think it was too high for the frying. The legs would be in there for 2 min. tops and they’d be burnt. After my 3rd burnt leg I became hypervigilant to it and was able to fry the remaining parts with little to no burn but they were definitely not sitting in there for 5-8 minutes on each side. Alls well than ends well, and it was a delicious end!! Will for sure be making again.

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