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You’ll never guess the secret ingredient in this Restaurant Style Fried Chicken. It makes for a sweet and crispy crust that just so happens to be gluten-free. 

A plate of crispy Secret Ingredient Restaurant Style Fried Chicken

This recipe is my friend Chef Chad Pritchard, an award winning chef. His most recent endeavor is a fried chicken restaurant called Love Me Tenders. This recipe is all about the secret ingredient, which is used in everything from small fried chicken establishments to high end restaurants. The secret is Captain Crunch Cereal. Who would have ever guessed? 

Why Cereal?

The cereal crust provides a sweet, crunch exterior that is to die for! It is just so finger licking good. The chicken is seasoned and dredged in cornstarch then dipped in a water and egg mixture. Water is often used in restaurants to keep costs down. The water and cornstarch combination creates almost a glue to keep the cereal coating on. It also happens to make this fried chicken gluten free.

Chicken Options: 

This recipe calls for boneless skinless chicken breasts, as they are the easiest to work with and produce the best results with this coating. You can also use chicken drumsticks and thighs, but you will need a longer cooking time and the crust will become a much darker brown.

How to Fry Chicken:

Chicken should be fried in a high smoke point oil like vegetable, canola, or peanut oil. The oil itself should be kept at about 350 degrees F for best results. Chicken should be dredged, dipped in a wash, and coated with a flavored outer coating before frying. Different cuts of chicken will require different cooking times. White meat requires less cooking than dark, and boneless cuts require less cooking time than bone-in. Size also plays a factor with smaller cuts requiring less cooking time. Chicken needs to be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a meat thermometer for best results.

Gluten Free Disclaimer: 

Captain Crunch does not contain any wheat products, however, it still may be subject to cross contamination. You can read their disclaimer here. If you are uncomfortable with potential cross contamination to a severe gluten allergy, there are lots of Cap’n Crunch knock offs available at health food stores, or you can use crushed potato chips instead.

A plate of crispy Secret Ingredient Restaurant Style Fried Chicken

Storage and Reheating Instructions: 

Fried chicken is best eaten fresh. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in an oven preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit until warmed through. 

If you like this recipe, you may be interested in these other delicious fried chicken recipes:

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTubeFacebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

Secret Ingredient Restaurant Style Fried Chicken
You'll never guess the secret ingredient in this Restaurant Style Fried Chicken. It makes for a sweet and crispy crust that just so happens to be gluten-free.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
  • 1 tablespoon cajun seasoning
  • 6 chicken breasts
  • 2 cups Captain Crunch cereal
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 quart vegetable oil
  • Season both sides of chicken breasts with cajun seasoning.
  • Blend Captain Crunch cereal in a blender or process into a food processor until crumbs.
  • Pour cornstarch into a shallow dish. In another shallow dish whisk together water and eggs. In a third shallow dish spread out cereal crumbs.
  • Working one at a time, roll a piece of chicken into the cornstarch to coat. Dip into egg mixture, and then roll in crumbs. Place onto a wire rack to dry for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a large pot to 350 degrees F.
  • Working in batches, fry chicken for about 10 minutes, until brown and crispy and chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Remove from the oil and let drain on a paper towel lined plate or tray for 5 minutes. Serve hot.


Calories: 500kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 50g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 199mg | Sodium: 289mg | Potassium: 883mg | Vitamin A: 720IU | Vitamin C: 2.7mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1.4mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Fried Chicken
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