Jamaican fried chicken recipe – delicious low carb, flourless succulent chicken thighs cooked to a crisp in an air fryer. Great for keto/paleo lifestyles.
** Oven baked version is included in the recipe post
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I don’t know about you but I have a weakness for some fried chicken. I’m talking about juicy, succulent seasoned chicken. That’s crispy with a crunch to it, need I go on. Let me introduce you to what I just described.This bad ass chicken replicates deep fried chicken using an air fryer – yes!!!! that same deep fried effect without excess oil.
I remember when I was younger and used to see my mother and especially my grandmother make fried chicken. To me it looked like quite a process – whisking the eggs, preparing the flour, breading and heating up the deep fat fryer. We didn’t have all of these fancy gadgets back then.
Our deep fat fryer was our prized possession that was used on rotation. We utilised it for many things – chips, potato, chicken etc.. and so fourth. I wasn’t that health conscious back then and marbled at the taste, it was the crispy exterior that sent me into a frenzy each and every time.
Jamaican fried chicken in an air fryer
Now as a hard core foodie I always envisioned making Jamaican fried chicken which wasn’t deep fat fried. Sure I love the taste but didn’t want that guilty feeling when eating greasy food. I’m so glad that I received this air fryer as a gift because it’s my little deep fat fryer replica side kick.
An air fryer is a great alternative to conventional fryer. How it works is by circulating hot air around the food instead of saturating it in an amass of oil.
The results are very very similar to deep fat frying – crispy, crunchy outside.
While it is advised to spray the tray of the air fryer and food with oil. There’s a tiny amount of what you would use compared to conventional cooking.
If you enjoy deep fat style foods without the unsavoury health risks then air fryer styled chicken is your to go.
How to make Jamaican fried chicken
The chicken – The parts of the chicken used is what you prefer and I typically like thighs and legs. If you want to use wings or drumsticks then go right ahead. I also like to trim off most (not all) of the skin, again because I like a moderate amount of fat in my diet.
The seasoning – my version of Jamaican fried chicken doesn’t contain any all purpose/chicken seasoning. I used herbs and spices which I felt complimented the meat – black pepper, hot sauce, pink salt, ginger, onion, garlic thyme, parsley, paprika and cayenne.
For this recipe I used herbs and spices in their ground form, just so they can completely absorb.
Marinade – I marinate my chicken thighs in egg and milk along with half of the stated condiments. You can leave it overnight or for at least an hour so the flavour infuses the chicken. There’s nothing worse than crispy bland chicken, Caribbean people don’t do bland at all…that’s a NO NO!
Handing the chicken to coat – What I do is use two fingers to carefully grab the chicken. I do this two finger method to lessen the chances of rubbing off the excess egg by not using all my fingers to grip the chicken. I then roll in the breading. Roll afew times and sprinkle a heaping onto the chicken to ensure it is completely coated.
The breading – for a clean eating diet, I like the breading texture that ground almonds yield. Its foolproof and when seasoned tastes just like panko.
I have a nut allergy, what’s the alternative?
If you are allergic to nuts, you can use any other GF flour i.e buckwheat or coconut flour to keep it paleo/keto friendly
Oven baked version of Jamaican fried chicken
- Add the chicken to a large bowl along with the egg, milk, lemon, garlic, onion powder, ginger, hot sauce and black pepper
- Place the chicken thighs, skin down into the egg liquid and marinate the chicken for 1 hour or overnight
- Preheat oven 200c
- In another bowl add all of the ingredients for the breadcrumbs and whisk
- Take each piece of chicken and roll generously in the breading, repeat with each chicken thigh
- Place the chicken on a tray lined coated with oil and lined with parchment paper
- Spray the top of the chicken with oil
- Bake the chicken for 35-40minutes, turning halfway through and respraying the chicken and parchment paper with oil.
- Remove from oven and leave to rest for 5 minutes before serving
What to serve Jamaican fried chicken with
Brown rice – Gluten free
Vegetables – Keto/paleo
Steps for making Jamaican fried chicken
Place the almond milk, lemon juice, hot sauce, ginger, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper and pink salt in a large bowl and whisk together with the egg
Add the chicken thighs with the skin facing towards and marinade.
Meanwhile breading the breading by adding the pink salt, thyme,parsley, paprika, onion and garlic powder and mix into the tapioca starch and ground almonds.
Coat each chicken thigh with the breading, rolling and throwing the mix onto the chicken so it sticks. Spray the air fryer basket with oil then cook the chicken thigh for 25 minutes, turning over an spray each side again.
Jamaican fried chicken
- 6-8 chicken thighs
For the egg marinade
- 2 tsp of hot sauce
- 1 tsp of ground ginger
- 1 tsp of ground onion
- 1 tsp of black pepper
- 1 tsp of ground garlic
- 1 cup of almond milk + 1tbsp of lemon
- 1 large egg
For the breadcrumbs
- 2 cups of ground almonds
- 1/3 cup of tapioca starch don't use to make the recipe keto
- 1 tbsp of paprika
- 1 tbsp of thyme
- 1 tbsp of parsley
- 1 tsp of garlic powder
- 1 tsp of onion powder
- 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp of pink salt
- **Spray on cooking oil olive oil spray
- In a large pour in the almond milk, lemon and crack the egg and whisk everything together.
- Add all of the ingredients listed for the egg marinade - hot sauce, pink salt, ginger, onion, garlic and black pepper.
- Whisk the condiments into the egg/milk mixture.
- Add all of the chicken thighs facing downwards so the fleshy part is saturated in the liquid.
- Cover and leave to marinate for at least an hour or preferably overnight
- To make the breadcrumb mix all of the ingredients listed together with the ground almonds in a bowl.
- Use two fingers grip the chicken at the edge as not rub off the excess and roll evenly in the breadcrumbs. Again handle with care, grip with two fingers so most of the breading doesn't slide off.
- Shake off any excess breading
- Spray the air fryer basket evenly with cooking oil then add the chicken thighs, depending on the size of your unit, you may have to cook in batches.
- Spray the top of the chicken too so it's not dry.
- Switch the fryer on and manually set to 175oc for 25 minutes
- Turn the chicken over half way through the given time and spray the top of the chicken and basket again to prevent sticking
- Serve accordingly