Southern Fried Chicken

I remember when I was a teenager living in Alaska with a Totem Pole laying lengthwise smack dab in the middle of my living room. My mom was teaching school down in California (where we had been living as a family for the past few years), and my dad had agreed to come back to our home in Alaska so that I could graduate from high school. It was just the two of us, hence the totem pole…which he was carving….in the living room…on burnt umber colored shag carpeting.

I digress….

My dad was and is, terribly allergic to all things poultry and game. That left mainly beef and pork, both which I loathed. So one day I asked my dad if he’d make me fried chicken. He was known to be an absolutely terrible cook, but at one point in the past he’d made me fried chicken, and it was pretty darned good. So, when I couldn’t take another night of steak and potatoes, I bought some chicken and asked him to pretty please fry it up into something delicious. I still have a picture of him in my head standing over the square fry pan, sizzling and spitting, cooking me something that he couldn’t eat. As I recall, it turned out to be a delicious meal. One of his best cooking feats up to that point (he has since perfected sourdough bread and pancakes.).

These days I eat a lot of chicken. Not necessarily because I prefer it, but because it is one of the few foods I digest well. Because gluten isn’t my friend, I didn’t even think of making Southern Fried Chicken until I saw Kelly Bejelly’s recipe in her new Paleo Eats Cookbook. It made my mouth water just looking at it, and made me think back to the totem pole in the living room days with my dad. That’s one of the things I like best about food, how it has the capability of bringing the past back to the present. How the taste, texture, and smell can re-create a feeling and a memory.

Kelly’s gluten free/grain free/Paleo recipes are inspired from everyday foods that she missed once following a grain free lifestyle. Paleo Eats sports recipes like Bucha Onion Rings, which use kombucha instead of beer for the batter. How awesome is that? Ingeniously, she uses plantain chips for breading, and even concocted a cereal recipe! 

I review A LOT of cookbooks, and when Paleo Eats came in the mail, I sat down with a cup of tea and perused. Pretty soon, I had to get up and get a piece of paper, which I proceeded to rip into tiny pieces just so I could bookmark ALL of the recipes that I wanted to try. Chicken balls, Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls, Yeasted Biscuits, Raisin Bread, Chicken Katsu, Kung Pau Chicken, Garlic Fried Rice. I could seriously go on and on. I bookmarked that many pages!

I love creative cooks, and Kelly clearly thought out of the box, whilst working within the box. Meaning, she took foods that we all know, love, and miss, and used unusual ingredients to recreate them. Because, although taste is important, sometimes we need some homemade Southern Fried Chicken to take us on a stroll down memory lane.

5 from 1 reviews

Southern Fried Chicken by Paleo Eats


Prep time

15 mins

Cook time

40 mins

Total time

55 mins

Crispy, flavorful and SO delicious. This recipe for Southern Fried Chicken is grain free, gluten free, and Paleo, but you'll never know it isn't just like mom (or dad) used to make!

Author: Kelly BeJelly

Recipe type: Main

Cuisine: American

Serves: 6



  1. 1 (14½-ounce) can diced tomatoes, no added salt

  2. 1 tablespoon sea salt ( I highly recommend Kosher salt for any meat marinade)

  3. ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

  4. ½ teaspoon garlic powder

  5. ½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves

  6. 1 teaspoon dried parsley leaves

  7. 2 pounds bone-in chicken pieces

  8. 4 cups bacon fat, coconut oil, or lard


  1. 1½ cups tapioca flour

  2. 1 teaspoon sea salt

  3. 1 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. In a large bowl, combine the ingredients for the marinade. Add the chicken pieces to the bowl and toss to evenly coat with the marinade. Place in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours.

  2. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes.

  3. In a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, heat the bacon fat to 325 degrees. Try to keep the oil no higher than 325 degrees.

  4. Make the coating: Place the tapioca flour, salt, and pepper in a large paper sack and shake to combine. Drop the pieces of chicken into the bag and shake to coat the chicken on all sides.

  5. Place the chicken in the hot oil and cook until golden brown on both sides, roughly 10 to 15 minutes per side, and the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.

  6. Remove and set on a rack over a rimmed sheet pan.

  7. Note: If the chicken is golden brown on the outside but is not yet fully cooked on the inside, set it on a rack over a rimmed baking sheet and place it in the oven at 350 degrees to finish cooking, roughly 8 to 10 minutes.


#healthy #healthychickenrecipe #chicken #grainfree #Paleo #glutenfree #maindish

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