Gluten Free Dairy Free Southern Fried Chicken

OK confession time. The original recipe that I found took way longer than I had time for, so I condensed it down to half the time. Not sure the full amount of time would have changed how awesome this recipe is. I have adapted this recipe to be completely gluten and dairy free so make sure you leave enough time for all the steps, including making your own vegan buttermilk

What you will need:

  • 8 drumsticks skin on
  • 3 tablespoons peppercorns
  • fresh or dried thyme
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup (instead of brown sugar)
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1 1/2 cups room temp water
  • 3 cups vegan buttermilk
  • 1 1/4 cup gluten free flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Brining the chicken:

In a saucepan add the garlic, black pepper corns, bay leaves, fresh thyme, maple syrup and salt. Add the two cups of boiling hot water and stir until everything has dissolved. Once the salt appears to be dissolved, add the two cups of room temp water.

Set aside until the brine cools completely. Don’t put in the fridge or the salt may precipitate out.

In the meantime, take the drumsticks and score them.

Once the brine has cooled, place the chicken in the brine and cover with the lid. Place in the fridge for 3 hours.

Buttermilk step:

Once the 3 hours have elapsed, take each drumstick, shake off excess brine and put in a large ziplock bag. Do this for all 8 drumsticks. Add the buttermilk to the bag. Ziplock the bag and move the chicken around to coat each piece with the buttermilk. Unzip slightly to release any remaining air in the bag, and re-seal.

Place the bag in the fridge for 4 hours.


Prepare a small bowl of the flour mixture: flour, baking powder, smoked paprika, cayenne, onion powder, garlic powder, salt pepper. Mix well.

Arrange your set up so that the flour mixture is next to you – on the left – by the stove. Set a large frying pan on the stove. Place a baking sheet next to you – on the right – as well. Process will be to remove drumstick, drip off excess brine, coat in flour mixture, fry, and then place on baking sheet.

To begin, preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

Put enough oil in your frying pan to really fry the chicken drumsticks and set on medium-high. Once hot, start by taking one drumstick out of the brine bag, dripping off any excess brine, and then coat the chicken in the flour mixture. Get your hands dirty. Place the drumstick in the frying pan. Repeat this for the next three drumsticks.

Cook the drumsticks until they are golden brown on the inside. Remove each drumstick, lining them on the baking sheet.

Repeat the process for the remaining 4 drumsticks.

Once all drumsticks are cooked and lined on the baking sheet, place the baking sheet in the oven to bake for 20min.

Remove the drumsticks from the baking sheet and serve while hot.

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