Grain-Free Fried Chicken with Buttermilk Gravy (GAPS Version)




  • 600ml coconut/almond milk, or preferred milk
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 large free range chicken, cut into pieces, or 2kg chicken pieces
  • 1 cup almond meal, or pepita meal for nut free
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1 ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Extra virgin olive oil for frying*


  • 3 Tbsp bacon fat or ghee
  • 3 Tbsp flour mixture (left over from coating chicken)
  • leftover buttermilk from soaking chicken
  • 2 cups coconut/almond milk, or preferred milk**
  • salt and pepper to taste


Chicken Method

  1. Mix together milk and vinegar or lemon juice in a large bowl. The milk will slightly curdle. Add chicken pieces, mix through, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or overnight). This softens the meat.
  2. Mix together almond meal, coconut flour, salt, smoked paprika and oregano in a large bowl, using a wire whisk.
  3. Remove chicken pieces one at a time from ‘buttermilk’ and coat well in flour mixture, pressing flour firmly into the chicken so it sticks on well. Lay chicken pieces on a tray. Place into fridge and chill for 30 mins to firm coating.
  4. Preheat oven to 180C.
  5. Pour some olive oil into a large frying pan to about 1cm deep. Heat over medium heat, then add chicken pieces in a single layer. Reduce heat a little, and cook chicken until brown all over, approx. 5 mins per side, taking care not to burn as the almond/coconut flour coating cooks a lot quicker than regular flour. If you don’t have a large frying pan, you may need to cook the chicken in a couple of batches, scraping out crumbs from pan in between and adding more oil between batches as needed. 
  6. Once chicken is golden brown, remove from frying pan with tongs and place into a large baking dish or baking tray in a single layer. The chicken won’t be cooked through yet, it will finish cooking in the oven.
  7. Place into preheated oven, and cook for 30 mins, or until a skewer inserted into the meaty part of chicken shows juices are clear.

Gravy Method

  1. While chicken finishes cooking in the oven, make the gravy. Remove oil to a bowl to be disposed of later, and wipe out the frying pan with kitchen towels. Add fat or ghee and heat over medium temp.
  2. Add 3 Tbsp of the leftover flour mixture from coating the chicken, and stir with a wooden spoon or whisk, cooking until mixture is bubbling and thickened.
  3. Add the leftover buttermilk from soaking the chicken, along with 1 cup of the coconut/almond milk. Stir or whisk to remove any lumps, and simmer until thickened, stirring now and then. Add more milk if gravy gets too thick and continue to whisk until done.
  4. Once gravy is thickened, season with salt and pepper to taste.


Serve chicken with Cauliflower & Leek Mash or mashed potatoes, vegetables, and the buttermilk gravy. Chicken is also delicious cold the next day for lunchboxes!


Store chicken and gravy separately in fridge for up to 2 days. Not suitable for freezing as it will dry out.



  • Oil for frying: If you’re wondering why I don’t use coconut oil for frying, it’s because it has a smoke point of only 170C, and when you shallow fry the oil will reach approx 190-210C. I prefer to use extra virgin olive oil as it has a smoke point of 206C, and has higher oxidative stability. Read THIS STUDY for more info.
  • To prepare ahead: Place chicken in milk to soak overnight. Next morning coat chicken in flour mixture, cover and place in fridge. Cook in the evening.


  • Coconut free: Replace coconut flour with banana flour or cassava flour, and replace coconut milk with milk of choice.
  • Milks: You can use whichever milks you prefer, but my favourite dairy free options are coconut/almond or cashew milk as they work best for the gravy because the flavour is mild, and they thicken well. Other milks may need more time to simmer and reduce. If you are ok with dairy, you can use dairy buttermilk in place of the coconut/almond milk and vinegar/lemon juice. You will need some plain milk to add to the gravy as well.