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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 was given to me by 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?

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.

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.

In this recipe, I’ve called 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.

A plate of crispy Secret Ingredient Restaurant Style Fried Chicken

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.

If you like this recipe you may also be interested in my Fried Chicken Stuffed Baked Potato where I take fried chicken and stuff it into a baked potato. It’s ridiculously good! For a more traditional fried chicken check out my Cajun Fried Chicken recipe which is equally as finger-licking good.

Watch the video below where I walk you through every step of this recipe, including tips and tricks along the way that will be helpful to you.

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. 

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
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon cajun seasoning
  • 6 chicken breasts
  • 2 cups Captain Crunch cereal
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 quart vegetable oil
Instructions
  • 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.
Notes

Nutrition

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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5 stars
This is really looks delicious. I will try this later, and I will use boneless, skinless thighs because that’s only available right now in here.

Chef Chad Pritchard

5 stars
I use Boneless, skinless thighs. I think that they are much better.

Edward Luke

5 stars
Rachel,

This was a great recipe although it took so much longer to cook the boneless skinless breasts. What size breasts should I be using and will most grocery stores cut them to size for me?

Kristine Manning

Yum this recipe looks delicious! I’m making this tonight. Can I use Crisco shortening to fry?

Sandy kramer

I do not fry, can it be baked?

They don’t sell Captain Crunch in Australia. What can I use to substitute it?

5 stars
Looks delicious! I am gonna try one! Thanks, Rachel.

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