The Best Gluten-Free Fried Chicken Recipe is Here—and it’s from SF’s Proposition Chicken

San Francisco’s Proposition Chicken didn’t start out with the goal of becoming one of the best places to get spectacularly crispy-juicy and flavorful gluten-free fried chicken and gluten-free fried chicken sandwiches.

When they opened their original location in Oakland, California, in 2013, they were focused on making epic fried chicken, period.

But they wanted to make a great fried chicken experience available to even us GF folks, so they worked hard to perfect their tapioca-flour-based GF fried chicken recipe and created a process to avoid cross-contamination.

Not surprisingly, word spread fast. Now, the ever-expanding Northern California boutique fast-casual chain is just as known for its GF and vegan options as it is for its traditional fried chicken and house-made marinades, spice blends, and soups.

If you come to San Francisco, Oakland, the South Bay, or even San Francisco International Airport, you can pop into any Proposition Chicken to try their GF fried chicken or a GF fried chicken sandwich (the bun is from nearby Mariposa Baking Company). They’ve even got contamination-safe fries.

In the meantime, they kindly shared their recipe with us so you can make their gluten-free fried chicken recipe at home. As you’ll see as you read the recipe below, it’s a multi-step process—the chicken is twice-fried, first at a lower temperature and then at a higher temperature to crisp up the coating. Trust us: the little extra effort makes all the difference in creating a notably crispy, flaky crust.

Try it once and you’ll find it’s easier than you think and it’s so darned good you’ll want to make it again and again. Bonus: you can sub chicken tenderloins for larger chicken pieces to make epic chicken strips.

The Best Gluten-Free Fried Chicken

If you miss fried chicken, this recipe is your savior. Yes, there are several (very easy) steps involved in making this gluten-free fried chicken from San Francisco's Proposition Chicken. Also, the recipe requires some pauses along the way (the chicken is double-fried and needs to rest between fries). But with a little patience and a few simple ingredients, you can have amazingly crispy, juicy, flavorful gluten-free fried chicken! For optimal results, review our tips below before starting the recipe. You're welcome! Note: if desired, you can prep the chicken through the first fry, then refrigerate it overnight, bring it to room temp, and give it its second fry just before you serve it.

Ingredients

  • 1 whole bone-in chicken with skin cut into 6 pieces (or any preferred 6 pieces of chicken bone-in with skin)
  • 1 recipe cornstarch mixture (see below)
  • 4 eggs whisked
  • 1 bunch parsley finely chopped
  • 1 recipe gluten-free batter mixture (see below) below
  • vegetable, canola, or peanut oil enough to fill pot at least halfway

Instructions

  1. Set out a clean baking sheet. Fill a large, heavy-bottomed pot about halfway with oil. Heat the oil to 300°F.

  2. Meanwhile, place the cornstarch mixture in a bowl, then coat the chicken pieces on all sides with the cornstarch mixture, shaking off any excess.

  3. Rest the chicken for at least 10 minutes on the baking sheet.

  4. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the eggs and chopped parsley. Place the gluten-free batter mixture in a separate large bowl. Place a cooling rack over a clean rimmed baking sheet.

  5. One at a time, dip each piece of chicken into the egg mixture. Let the excess drip back into the bowl, then immediately place the chicken in the gluten-free batter, turning to coat. Return the chicken to the baking sheet and let rest for 5 minutes. If the moisture of the egg "bleeds through" the batter by the time you are ready to fry, quickly dip the chicken again in the gluten-free batter and lightly pat the chicken to coat.

  6. Working in batches to not overcrowd, fry the chicken pieces in the pot of hot oil until golden on the outside and the internal temperature is 160°F, about 7 to 10 for thighs and drumsticks and 8 to 12 minutes for breasts. Transfer the cooked chicken to the cooling rack; let cool completely, about 30 minutes.

  7. Reheat the oil to 370°F. Place a clean, oven-safe cooling rack on a rimmed baking sheet.

  8. Working in batches, fry the fried chicken until the coating is deep golden brown and the insides are hot, 5 to 7 minutes for thighs and drumsticks and 8 to 12 minutes for breasts, depending on size. Cool on the oven-safe cooling rack, then keep warm in a 250°F oven (or 225°F on convection) until all chicken pieces are twice-fried and ready to serve.

Recipe Notes

Tips for the Very Best Gluten-Free Fried Chicken:

  1. Before starting the recipe, let the chicken rest at room temperature for at least 20 minutes, then pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Frying can be messy! Line your “frying station” (aka kitchen counter) with sheets of newspaper. When done, just roll up the newspaper and dispose of it for easy cleanup!
  3. Use your hands to press batter as needed onto any bare spots on the chicken.
  4. Use a candy or frying thermometer to make sure your oil temp is accurate. We like this one.
  5. After placing the chicken in the hot oil, carefully make sure that the pieces have plenty of room and are not touching, then leave them alone. Too much manipulation might cause some of the breading to fall off.
  6. When removing the chicken from the oil, use silicone-tipped tongs or a spider so that you don’t pierce the coating.
  7. Pieces fried together should be about the same size. For example, fry thighs and drumsticks together and then fry the breasts.
  8. Making chicken through the first fry the day ahead and refrigerating it overnight makes the rest of the process quick and easy. The next day, let the chicken rest at room temperature for about half an hour while the oil comes to temperature for fry #2.
  9. Chicken is best right after the second fry, but it will keep for a few days in the fridge. (To serve, reheat for a few minutes in a 300°F oven until heated through.)
  10. If making a double batch, make one complete single batch and then make new breading mixtures for the second batch so that the coating doesn’t get too clumpy.

Cornstarch Mixture

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Instructions

  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a large bowl or baking dish.

Gluten-Free Batter

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup tapioca flour also known as tapioca starch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne

Instructions

  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a large bowl or baking dish.

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