Gluten free fried chicken tenders can be made in 10 minutes on the stove with a healthy oil. Dip in healthy honey mustard for a paleo comfort meal!
Ingredients for gluten free fried chicken tenders:
- Chicken tenders
- Tapioca flour
- Almond flour
- Spices: garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper
- Coconut oil or avocado oil for frying
Is fried chicken paleo?
Most traditional fried chicken isn't considered paleo because it's made with flour and buttermilk, however, this crispy chicken is paleo-approved.
What is the best healthy oil for frying?
You're going to be pan frying the chicken tenders and I like using a clean oil. You need to consider the smoke point when choosing an oil. We're heating the oil between 325°F and 350°F for frying so you want an oil that has a smoke point above that.
My two favorite oils: coconut oil (smoke point of 450°) and avocado oil (smoke point of 520°).
What is the best gluten free flour for frying?
You'll want to use a flour that can hold up to the oil and stick to the chicken. Flours that have structures the most similar to traditional flour are best. My favorites include:
- A mixture of tapioca flour and almond flour (like this recipe!)
- Cassava flour
- 1:1 gluten free flour
Can you make these tenders in the air fryer?
Work in batches of 3 or 4 tenders and cook on each side for 3 minutes at 390°F. Check the chicken for doneness. It should be 165°F.
Frying foods can be finicky. You need to balance getting the outside golden and crispy and cooking the chicken to the correct doneness. Here are a few tips to help you make this recipe great every time.
- You can swap the tapioca and almond flour combo for the equal amounts of cassava flour.
- Use a meat thermometer! This is crucial to getting the oil and chicken the right temperatures. The oil should be between 325°F and 350°F for frying. Note, when you add the cold chicken to the oil it will bring the temp down.
- Continue checking the oil temp. Because the chicken and oil temps change, keep an eye on both so the oil doesn't get too hot and the chicken is cooked all the way through.
- Prep everything before so you can work quickly. This recipe goes fast so having everything ready is helpful so you don't burn anything.
- You may need to do two batches of chicken. If your pan isn't big enough you may have to work in batches. The bits that fall off the chicken could burn in your second batch so you may need to clear those out and melt fresh oil for the second batch.
- Don't have your stove on too high of heat or your oil will get too hot. I like to keep mine just below medium.
If you love this recipe as much as I do, don't forget to follow me on Instagram and tag me with @what_mollymade so I can see it and feature you.
More paleo chicken recipes:
Gluten Free Fried Chicken Tenders [Paleo] with Honey Mustard
For the chicken:
- 1 lb chicken tenderloins
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1/3 cup tapioca flour
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1/3 cup coconut oil or avocado oil plus more if needed
For the honey mustard dressing:
- 1/4 cup raw organic honey
- 1/4 cup paleo mayonnaise homemade or store bought
- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard yellow mustard will work too
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white distilled vinegar
- Meat Thermometer
- Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel and set aside. Place a paper towel lined plate next to the pan and set aside.
- Whisk the eggs together in a medium bowl then combine the almond flour, tapioca flour garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper in a separate medium bowl and mix well. Add the oil to a large frying pan and heat until sizzling and very hot. The oil should be between 325°F and 350°F. Any cooler and the coating won’t stay on the chicken and if it’s too hot the oil will smoke and burn.
- Once the oil is hot, using one hand, add a piece of chicken to the flour mixture then dip in the eggs and cover completely. Transfer back to the flour mixture and dredge until a thick coat of flour covers the chicken. Working in batches if necessary, place the chicken in the hot oil and cook until brown on each side and no longer pink in the center—about 3 minutes on each side, or until an internal thermometer reads 165°F. Continue checking the oil temperature and adjusting heat to keep it hot enough once you add the chicken. When each chicken tender is done, transfer to the paper towel lined plate to cool. If you need to do another batch, check the oil for any bits of coating that fell off. If there is a lot, discard oil and bits and heat more oil to avoid the second batch burning. Repeat the process with the next batch. Allow to cool on the paper towel while you make the honey mustard.
- To make the honey mustard, whisk all of the ingredients together and serve.