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,

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I’m Paula - like many of you I wear a lot of hats. Child of God, wife of 17 years, mother of five, reluctant cook, full-time teacher, chocolate-snatcher, and children's author. Various family health issues including Lyme disease and candida has turned me into a 'researcher'. I don't have initials after my name, a degree in anything but motherhood, or a framed certificate on my wall. What I do have is a passion for understanding how our God-created bodies thrive or deteriorate based on what we put in it. Oh, and I also might mention homesteading, homeschooling, fitness, herbs, faith, and anything else I'm thinking about. . . like wow, I need to refill my tea. . .
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  1. 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. 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. Yum! My family LOVE fried chicken… must try this!

  4. 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!

    • 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Just curious, why do you bake them right after you fried them. Wouldn’t the frying be enough?

    • 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. :)

  7. These sound delicious! And simple! I will definitely give these a try. I also appreciate the info on the fats and oils. Thanks!

  8. Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures’ Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

    Check back later tonight when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! :)

  9. Good morning, Paula! I love the simplicity and homecooking feel of this recipe. I’ve featured it at this week’s Allergy-Free Wednesdays on my site. As a part of the feature, I also mention it on my Facebook page and pin it on pinterest. You can find the feature here:

    We hope to see you back again this week!

  10. 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!

  11. Hi there! Thanks for this great recipe. Have you tried frying something like this in bacon grease before? I save mine, and would love to find a great use for larger amounts of it. Do you think it would work?

    • 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. :)

  12. 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!

  13. Great article, solid science and food health awareness. One word of advice: change “peaked your interest” to “piqued your interest.”

  14. will the fried chicken taste like coconut ?

    • 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.

  15. 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!

  16. 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.

  17. This looks so good!.

  18. 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!

  19. 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!

    • 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!

  20. 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.


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