Grain-Free Fried Chicken with Buttermilk Gravy (Buckwheat 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
- 2 cups buckwheat 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
- leftover flour mixture from coating chicken
- leftover ‘buttermilk’ from soaking chicken
- 2 cups coconut/almond milk, or preferred milk**
- salt and pepper to taste
- Mix together milk and vinegar or lemon juice in a large bowl. The milk should slightly curdle to make a dairy free ‘buttermilk’. Add chicken pieces, cover, mix through, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or overnight). This softens the meat.
- Mix together buckwheat flour, salt, smoked paprika and oregano in a large bowl, using a wire whisk.
- 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.
- 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 to med-low or until oil is bubbling gently. Cook until brown all over, approx. 15 mins per side, or until a skewer inserted into the meaty part of chicken shows juices are clear. You may need to cook the chicken in a couple of batches if it doesn’t all fit in the pan, scraping out crumbs from pan in between batches and adding more oil if needed. I can fit the whole batch in my 35cm Solidteknics AUS-ion skillet.
- Remove chicken from frying pan and place into a large baking dish or tray in a single layer. Place into oven and turn oven on to 100C to keep chicken warm while you make gravy.
- Tip the oil out of the frying pan into a bowl and set aside to discard later. (Leave the ‘bits’ in the pan from cooking the chicken.)
- Add the ghee or bacon fat to the pan with the leftover flour mixture, and cook over med heat, stirring with a wooden spoon or whisk, until mixture is bubbling and thickened.
- Add the leftover milk 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 some more milk if needed.
- 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. The 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.