Fried Chicken

    yield: 4 servings
    prep time: 15 minutes
    cook time: 35 minutes

    Is there anything more Southern than fried chicken? I grew up in Kentucky, and that’s where the world-famous fried chicken restaurant chain originated. (A little reminder: KFC stands for Kentucky Fried Chicken.) The truth is, however, that most Southerners I know prefer fried chicken from a regional chain called Lee’s Famous Recipe; it is fried chicken from Lee’s, not KFC, that shows up at potlucks and impromptu family gatherings. All my family members love my low-carb recipe, by the way, including my very picky son. You might have thought that you couldn’t have fried chicken on keto, but this recipe will change your mind!

    • High-quality oil for frying
    • 2 large eggs
    • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
    • ¼ cup water
    • 1 cup whey protein powder (unflavored and unsweetened)
    • 1 tablespoon paprika
    • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves or thighs, or 8 drumsticks (1¾ to 2¾ pounds)

    1. Attach a candy thermometer to a Dutch oven or other large heavy pot, then pour in 3 inches of oil and set the pot over medium-high heat. Heat the oil to 350°F.

    2. While the oil is heating, beat the eggs, cream, and water together in a shallow dish.

    3. Put the whey powder, spices, and salt in a gallon-sized resealable plastic bag. Seal and gently shake.

    4. Dip both sides of a chicken piece in the egg mixture, allowing the excess to drip back into the bowl, then place the chicken in the bag with the spice mixture. Repeat with one or two more pieces of chicken, depending on the size of the pieces. Seal the bag and gently shake to coat the chicken. Repeat until all the chicken pieces are coated.

    5. Working in small batches, fry the chicken, turning with tongs every 1 to 2 minutes, until the skin is deep golden brown and a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken registers 165°F, 10 to 12 minutes. Use the tongs to remove the chicken from the pot and transfer it to a wire rack. Repeat with the remaining chicken. Allow the fried chicken to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

    SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: Candy thermometer


    Do not use an air fryer for this recipe! The whey protein powder requires hot oil for the right results. Though it’s not a traditional breading, whey powder gives breaded and fried foods a light and crispy texture, making it perfect for this fried chicken recipe.