Think delicious greasy fried chicken, but without the guilt! This healthier fried chicken recipe is made with cassava flour instead of white flour for the batter, and is deep-fried in pork lard instead of vegetable oil. You can serve it with any dip you like, but I highly recommend a mixture of honey, mustard and mayonnaise.

Recipes substitutions and variations

Substitutions:

Cassava flour substitutions: If you aren’t able to find cassava flour at your local grocery store or natural food store, you can also swap it out for a gluten-free flour blend or white rice flour.

Garlic powder substitutions: Instead of using 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, you could swap it out for 2 finely diced fresh garlic cloves.

Onion powder substitutions: Instead of using 1 teaspoon of onion powder, you can swap it out for roughly 2 tablespoons worth of finely diced white onion.

Sugar substitutions: Instead of using granulated white sugar, swap it out for coconut palm sugar, brown sugar or simply omit the sugar altogether.

Baking soda substitutions: Instead of using baking soda, you can also use baking powder. If you use baking powder, use 1 teaspoon instead of ½ teaspoon that the recipe calls for.

Club soda substitutions: Instead of club soda, you could also use beer or any other carbonated beverage. 

Chicken thigh substitutions: Instead of boneless skinless chicken thighs, you can also use boneless skinless chicken breasts. Or feel free to swap it out for a white fish such as cod.

Pork lard substitutions: Instead of using pork lard, you can also swap it out for beef suet, duck fat, bacon fat etc. Or you could use coconut oil or any other cooking oil of choice.

Variations:

Make this recipe AIP

Omit the paprika, pepper and granulated white sugar. Swap the sugar out for coconut palm sugar or omit altogether.

Make this recipe lower oxalate

Instead of using cassava flour, use white rice flour or potato starch.

Make this recipe lower FODMAP

Omit the garlic powder and onion powder. You could also substitute the club soda for water.

Make this recipe elimination diet friendly

Omit the paprika and granulated white sugar.

Make this recipe candida diet friendly

Omit the 2 teaspoons of sugar.

How to make this healthier fried chicken

  1. Measure and add all dry ingredients to a large bowl.
dry ingredients with spices for batter
  1. With a whisk, blend all the dry ingredients together thoroughly.
dry ingredients for batter in bowl
  1. On the stove, heat a large cast iron pan on low to medium heat and add roughly 1/2 cup to 1 cup of pork lard (or cooking oil of choice).
pork lard melting in cast iron pan
  1. Slowly pour in the club soda while whisking, starting with 1 1/4 cup. If your batter is too dry, add up to 1/4 cup more as you stir. 
pouring club soda into dry ingredients for batter
  1. You will want your batter to be just as thick as pancake batter, but not as thin as cake batter.
mixing batter for fried chicken
  1. Dip each chicken thigh in the batter, making sure to coat each side with a thick layer.
raw chicken thigh in batter before frying
  1. Immediately put your battered chicken thigh into your cast iron pan. You will generally be able to fit 3 battered chicken thighs in your pan at a time.
three pieces of fried chicken frying in cast iron pan
  1. After about 5 to 7 minutes, or when the chicken thigh starts getting brown and crispy on the bottom, carefully flip it over using a metal flipper. Be careful not to spray yourself with the hot lard! I suggest wearing oven mitts and an apron. Cook for another 5 to 7 minutes.
three pieces of chicken frying in cast iron pan
  1. Once your battered chicken thighs are done, carefully scoop them out with a flipper and place them on a plate lined with paper towel. This will soak up some of the extra grease. Cut into the thickest chicken thigh to make sure that the chicken is cooked through. If it’s not, drain out some of the grease and put them back in the pan at a lower temperature to allow them to cook through more thoroughly.
three pieces of fried chicken on paper towel beside spatula
  1. Serve as soon as possible! They will be nice and crisp when they first come out of the pan, but quickly lose their crispy texture. Serve with a mixture of 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon yellow mustard, and 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise. Trust me!
over head view of fried chicken on plate with sauce

Pro tips for this recipe:

Serve immediately after deep frying your paleo fried chicken

After you deep fry your chicken, serve it as soon as possible while it’s still hot and crispy. Because cassava is a starchy root vegetable, it can get a bit gummy after it cools down and sits for a while. If you have leftovers and you are storing this in the fridge to eat later, I recommend reheating it in a toaster oven or your regular oven to crisp it up again. 

Looking for more healthy recipes and meal plans?

If you are looking for more healthy recipes and meal plans, check out my premade meal plans and recipe books (which come with 140 recipes for breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks & desserts). 

I also provide fully customized meal plans that are unique to your specific health needs, as well as one-on-one health coaching and professional grade supplements.

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If you can’t make my gluten free dairy free fried chicken now, make sure to pin the recipe for later so you have it handy!

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You might also like: 

If you like this gluten free dairy free fried chicken made with cassava flour, you might also like my other cassava flour recipes:

side view of chicken on plate with sauce

Healthier fried chicken

Tara Klippert
Think delicious greasy fried chicken, but without the guilt!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 293 kcal

Equipment

  • large bowl
  • Whisk
  • Large cast-iron pan
  • Metal flipper
  • Paper towel

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup cassava flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp sugar optional – omit for candida diet
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 cup club soda
  • 1/2 – 1 cup pork lard

Instructions
 

  • Measure and add all dry ingredients to a large bowl.
  • With a whisk, blend all the dry ingredients together thoroughly.
  • On the stove, heat a large cast iron pan on low to medium heat and add roughly 1/2 cup to 1 cup of pork lard (or cooking oil of choice).
  • Slowly pour in the club soda starting with 1 1/4 cup. If your batter is too dry, add up to 1/4 cup more as you stir.
  • You will want your batter to be just as thick as pancake batter, but not as thin as cake batter.
  • Dip each chicken thigh in the batter, making sure to coat each side with a thick layer.
  • Immediately put your battered chicken thigh into your cast iron pan. You will generally be able to fit 3 battered chicken thighs in your pan at a time.
  • After about 5 to 7 minutes, or when the chicken thigh starts getting brown and crispy on the bottom, carefully flip it over using a metal flipper. Be careful not to spray yourself with the hot lard! I suggest wearing oven mitts and an apron. Cook for another 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Once your battered chicken thighs are done, carefully scoop them out with a flipper and place them on a plate lined with paper towel. This will soak up some of the extra grease. Cut into the thickest chicken thigh to make sure that the chicken is cooked through. If it's not, drain out some of the grease and put them back in the pan at a lower temperature to allow them to cook through more thoroughly.
  • Serve as soon as possible! They will be nice and crisp when they first come out of the pan, but quickly lose their crispy texture. Serve with a mixture of 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon yellow mustard, and 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise. Trust me!

Notes

Above in the blog post I provide recipe ingredient substitutions as well as recipe variations.

Nutrition

Serving: 6gCalories: 293kcalCarbohydrates: 20.5gProtein: 23gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 4.4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 103mgSodium: 805mgPotassium: 151mgFiber: 1.2gSugar: 2.3g
Keyword dairy free, grain free, nut free, paleo, soy free
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Tara Klippert
About the author Tara Klippert

Tara Klippert is a Registered Health and Nutrition Counselor and holds a diploma in Holistic Nutrition and Health Coaching. She shares her gluten free, dairy free & allergy friendly recipes.