This KFC Keto Fried Chicken is ultra crispy and loaded with that classic crunchy and crinkly Fried Chicken Crust! First we make a quick homemade low carb buttermilk to soak and coat the chicken, then make the real KFC secret seasoning to flavor our zero carb, unflavored whey protein powder that will coat our chicken with (like a flour), and finally, we DEEP FRY (AT HOME!). The result is the perfect textured and flavored Keto Fried Chicken JUST LIKE COLONEL SANDERS’! You can use breast pieces, chicken tenders, Chicken Thighs or Drumsticks for this recipe!
KFC Seasoning Mix:
1 teaspoon Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
1 Tablespoon White Pepper
1 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 teaspoon Celery Salt (can sub ground celery seeds with a pinch of salt)
1 teaspoon Dry Mustard Powder
2 teaspoons Garlic Salt
1 teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/4 teaspoon Oregano
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Paprika ( aka 4 teaspoons)
1/2 teaspoon Thyme
Dash or Two of Cayenne Pepper (optional if you want to add a little heat!)
The Buttermilk Marinade:
2 Cups of Low Carb Milk (I use Fairlife or Kroger’s CarbMaster Brand) ****SEE NOTE 1 FOR Regular BUTTERMILK
3 Tablespoons of Heavy Cream (or Heavy whipping cream)
4 Tablespoons of Distilled White Vinegar (NOT apple cider vinegar)
1/2 of the KFC Spice Mix (listed above)
2 Lbs of Chicken Drumsticks, Chicken Breast Tenders, or Chicken Thighs ( I do half drumsticks & half sliced pieces of Chicken Breasts)
2.5 Cups Of Unflavored Whey Protein Powder (I use THIS Isopure Zero Carb Unflavored)
2 Liters of Avacado Oil (Or Frying Oil of Choice)
1.) Mix the KFC Seasoning mix together in a small bowl and whisk until evenly combined. Set Aside.
2.) Make the Buttermilk Marinade. First make low carb Buttermilk by combining the low carb milk, heavy cream, and vinegar together. Whisk gently, and then let sit for 10 minutes. The vinegar makes the milk/cream thick as it turns into buttermilk. Add two eggs to the buttermilk and whisk gently until evenly combined. Add 1/2 of the KFC seasoning mix into the buttermilk and eggs and whisk til smooth. Pour this mix over all chicken pieces in a giant Ziploc bag ( you can also put all in a large bowl just make sure all the chicken is covered with the buttermilk mix and then cover with seran wrap) and place in the refrigerator to marinate for at LEAST 4 hours, or overnight. The longer the chicken and buttermilk sit, the better the coating sticks to the chicken, but 4 hours time should be sufficient.
3.) When you’re chicken is marinated, you can start heating up your Frying Oil in either a large pan or dutch oven, OR a deep fryer. You want your oil to be heated to a temperature of around 325°F (not higher!) when you put the chicken in. For me, it takes about 12 minutes in a large dutch oven over medium heat to reach that temperature.
4.) While Oil is heating, mix the other half of the KFC seasoning mix with the unflavored whey protein powder and place in a shallow dish (or pie pan or bread pan) and mix well with a fork or a whisk. The better mixed the protein and spice mix is, the more evenly flavored your Keto Fried Chicken will be 🙂 Take a pieces of buttermilk coated chicken and dunk directly in your flour/spice mix. Use your hands to move extra powder on top and really make sure it’s FULLY coated and packed onto the chicken well. Continue to fully coat each piece of chicken, packing on and covering every area of the chicken!! Only coat as much chicken as will fit in your fryer though, as you want to put the freshly coated chicken into the oil RIGHT after you coat it for it to stick best.
5.) Put coated chicken pieces into your hot oil once the temp has reached 325°F. The oil temperature will drop to around 300°F once the chicken is in. Your oil temp should be around 300-315°F ish degrees throughout frying to ensure that your chicken cooks through AND the protein powder coating does not overcook (if the oil is too hot it will burn the protein powder!). Cook time will vary based on the size of your chicken. Large chicken drumsticks should take around 16-18 minutes, Small Breast Strips or Tenders should be 10-12 minutes, Chicken Thighs 18 -20 minutes. Check the Internal temperature of chicken pieces to make sure they are done THROUGH!!! Internal chicken temperature should reach 165°F to be safe to consume.
6.) Remove Fried Chicken from the pot when they’re done, let cool for a minute or two, and then EAT while they are hot! 🙂
Store any leftover chicken in the fridge in an airtight container, and then just reheat gently in the microwave 30-45 seconds to eat at a later time. They should still be nice and crunchy even as leftovers.
NOTE 1: If you want to use regular store bought buttermilk then you CERTAINLY CAN! Just replace the low carb milk, heavy cream, AND Vinegar in the recipe for 2 Cups of Buttermilk. The buttermilk is only used as a marinade in this recipe so you won’t be consuming all the carbs in it anyway! More than half of the marinade doesn’t get used when we go to cook the chicken (it’s just leftover!), so it is not going to make this recipe that much higher in carbs if you DO WANT to use storebought buttermilk. Personally, I like to lower my carbs as much as possible when I can, but that’s just me 🙂
*** PLEASE NOTE: Nutrition Information is estimated using ONLY half of the buttermilk marinade. The ingredients list in this recipe has way more carbs listed than what you ACTUALLY End up consuming. More than half of the “Buttermilk” Marinade does NOT get soaked into the chicken!!!
Net Carbs = Per serving (serving size)
*Sugar alcohols from erythritol are not counted in total net carbs, since they don’t affect blood sugar (they’re 0 net carbs)!
**Carb counts vary based on the brands of each item used. My calculations are for the brands listed/suggested.
- Prep Time: 4 hrs
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Serving Size: 1/3 lb chicken (1/6th of recipe)