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Image of Low Carb Fried Chicken and Ketogenic Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

Prior to starting a Keto Diet, I loved fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and gravy. Like you, I wanted to know if Fried Chicken is keto approved and if not how I could make the fried chicken I love work with my new Ketogenic Diet.

So, is fried chicken keto friendly?  No, traditional fried chicken is not allowed on a keto diet. Traditional fried chicken is breaded in some form of flour mixture that almost certainly is packed full of carbs, which means fried chicken is not keto friendly.

For example, just one Kentucky Fried Chicken Orginal Recipe Chicken Breast has a whopping 13 carbs!  That’s certainly not carb friendly for me, because there is zero chance that I’m eating just one piece of that scrumptious chicken. Even if I manage to eat just one piece of KFC, by the time I add my beloved mashed potatoes and gravy, my carb allotment for today and tomorrow is already shot.

Sadly, the carbs from the breading isn’t the only bad thing about traditional fried chicken but we’ll go into more detail about that later.

But don’t worry, it’s not all bad news.  Once I understood the bad things about traditional fried chicken, I came up with a couple of easy keto fried chicken recipes and even found great keto alternatives to mashed potatoes and gravy.

Why is Traditional Friend Chicken Bad For a Keto Diet?

Well, first off, it’s the carbs; all the carbs.

As you search the internet for fried chicken recipes, you are going to find countless creative combinations of breading and moisture to stick that breading to the chicken.

Breading choices include flour, cornflour, ground rice crispy cereal, smashed corn flake cereal, panko, and countless other breading mixtures.  What these all have in common are lots of carbs…some even have added sugar!

Sticky moisture coatings ideas include milk, ranch dressing, bleu cheese dressing, and even Miracle Whip.  I bet you can guess what these all have in common, right?  Yup, more carbs.  And most of them have crappy oils (more on that later).  And some even have added sugar.

No wonder we’re all sick and fat.

So What Else is Bad About Traditional Fried Chicken on A Ketogenic Diet?

In addition to the carbs, the other big villain in the traditional fried chicken are the oils used not only to fry the chicken but often used in the moisture used to get the breading to stick to the chicken pieces.

Highly processed seed oils are incredibly inflammatory. As a matter of fact, avoiding these oils is one of the first things in my Anti-Inflammatory Challenge eBook.

These oils cause chronic inflammation that causes us joint pain, bloating, slow weight loss, and more.

In most traditional fried chicken, we get a double, or maybe even a triple dose of these bad oils.  If you coat your chicken in ranch dressing made with soy and canola oil, then dump it in a huge vat of Crisco Frying Oil, which is a mixture of bad oils and other stuff including Soybean Oil, Peanut Oil, TBHQ And Citric Acid (Antioxidants), Dimethyl Silicone (For Anti-Foaming). { Source >> }

That chicken might taste good, but it’s making you fat and feel like crap.

Keto Friendly Fried Chicken Recipes

Okay, it’s not exactly fried chicken (because it’s not dripping with Crisco), but its really good.

My Easy Keto Air Fryer Parmesan Chicken Thighs are crunchy, moist, and packed full of good fats.

Easy Keto Air Fryer Recipe for Keto Air Fryer Parmesan Chicken Thighs

Easy Keto Air Fryer Parmesan Chicken Thigh Recipe

Super easy Keto Air Fryer Parmesan Chicken Thigh Recipe. Easy, Crispy, Gluten Free, Keto Friendly, Sugar Free, and just darn good. You're going to love not only the moist tender flavor, but the easy prep, cooking, and cleanup.
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Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American, Keto, Low Carb
Keyword: Air Fryer, Gluten Free, Keto Recipe, Low Carb Recipe, Paleo Recipe, Primal Recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 13 minutes
Resting TIme: 5 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes
Servings: 4 Thighs
Calories: 280kcal
Author: Angela Davis

Ingredients

  • 4 Medium Boneless, Skinless, Chicken Thighs
  • 1 Oz pork rinds Ground in blender
  • 2 Oz Parmesan cheese Ground in blender
  • 2 tbsp grass fed butter
  • 1/2 tsp pink sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Instructions

  • Trim the extra fat off of the chicken thighs, but don't cut it all off...fat is good for you!
  • Salt & Pepper the chicken thighs.
  • Blend the Pork Rinds & Parmesan Cheese in a food processor until fine.
    Super Easy Low Carb Recipe for the Air Fryer: Keto Crispy Parmesan Chicken Thighs. Easy, Low Carb, Sugar Free, Gluten Free, and Darn Good. The whole family loves these crispy and moist chicken thighs and I love them because they are so fast and easy to cook. - Angela
  • Place two thighs (or more if you have room) into your Air Fryer basket. Don't overlap.
  • Cover each thigh with the Pork Rinds / Parmesan Cheese blend.
    Easy Crispy Keto Chicken Thighs in the Air Fryer
  • Put about 1/2 Tbsp of butter on top of each thigh. Split the butter into two dabs so it melts more evenly over the thigh.
  • Cook in Air Fryer for 13 Minutes at 330 Degrees until the thickest portion of the thigh measures 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
    Easy Air Fryer Boneless Chicken Thigh Air Fryer Recipe. This recipe is low carb, keto, and gluten free.
  • Enjoy!

Notes


Tweaks and Twists
  • Garlic Parmesan - add  some Granulated Garlic in the topping.
  • Jalapeno Parmesan - add slices of fresh jalapeno before you add the topping.
  • Cheese Parmesan - add more cheese on top of the topping.
  • Classic Chicken Parmesan - Add a layer low carb marinara sauce before the topping, then put mozzarella on top of the topping.

 
A Serving is one thigh.

Nutrition - Not laboratory tested.

Nutrition Facts
Easy Keto Air Fryer Parmesan Chicken Thigh Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 280 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 8g40%
Cholesterol 139mg46%
Sodium 799mg33%
Potassium 290mg8%
Carbohydrates 1g0%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 31g62%
Vitamin A 315IU6%
Calcium 178mg18%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Love this recipe?Please give it a rating in the comments below!

 

Want chicken with even more flavor and crunch?  Then you need to try my Parmesan Bacon Crusted Chicken Thighs.

We do these in the oven, and the whole family loves them.

Easy Low Carb Recipe

Parmesan Bacon Crusted Chicken Thighs

Parmesan cheese and bacon combine to take boneless chicken thighs from simple to fantastic in this low-carb and Keto recipe. Plus, the prep is quick and easy, so this makes a wonderful, family-friendly weeknight meal. This fabulous low-carb dish is an easy weeknight meal but it tastes like Saturday date night.
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Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American, Keto, Low Carb, Primal
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8 thighs
Calories: 308kcal
Author: Angela Davis

Ingredients

Instructions

  • If you are using fresh bacon, fry 4 - 6 slices. Drain on paper towels until cool. Crumble and set aside. If you want a faster option, we buy Real Crumbled Bacon (see notes.)
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Prepare a 9" x 13" baking pan with cooking spray or grease with butter. Trim the chicken thighs of any grizzle. Place in pan. Salt both sides of each thigh.
  • Grate parmesan cheese. If you buy shredded parmesan, you can pulse it in a food processor until it is the size and consistency of grated. In a mixing bowl, combine cheese with crumbled bacon, garlic powder, Italian seasoning and pepper. Set aside.
    Bacon and Paresan Mix for easy keto diet chicken thigh recipe.
  • Spread approximately 1 tsp of mayonnaise on each thigh. Top with parmesan mixture.
    Easy Keto Chicken Thigh Recipe
  • Bake for 30 minutes, or until thighs are cooked through.
    Easy Ketogenic Chicken Thigh Recipe

Notes

Fresh cooked bacon is the best, but sometimes I need an easier, faster option. I always keep a bag of real crumbled bacon in the fridge. Here is an Amazon link to the brand that I use. It’s a great option for this recipe to keep the prep fast and easy!
You could use any real mayonnaise, but I highly suggest you try to avoid industrially processed oils, and conventional mayos are full of them. Avocado oil based mayo is much less inflammatory. We buy Primal Kitchen Avocado Mayo and love it.
A serving is one thigh.

Nutrition - Not laboratory tested.

Nutrition Facts
Parmesan Bacon Crusted Chicken Thighs
Amount Per Serving
Calories 308 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 5g25%
Cholesterol 120mg40%
Sodium 954mg40%
Potassium 331mg9%
Carbohydrates 1g0%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 33g66%
Vitamin A 143IU3%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 176mg18%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Love this recipe?Please give it a rating in the comments below!

Keto Friendly Mashed Potatoes and Gravy Recipes

Finally, we need to finish our keto fried chicken feast with some keto friendly mashed cauliflower and low carb gravy.

The Mashed Cauliflower is really pretty simple.  The secret here is lots of butter and generous salt.  Everything is better with butter.

Here is the only mashed cauliflower recipe I’ve published, because its all fancy for the holidays.  But just leave the Gouda out and you got some darn good mashed ‘potatoes’ for your keto fried chicken.

Alternative to Mashed Potato for a Keto Side Dish

Bacon and Gouda Mashed Cauliflower

Wonderful Keto Side Dish - Low Carb Bacon & Gouda Mashed Cauliflower. Perfect for your keto dinner or keto thanksgiving menu.
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Course: Christmas, Side Dish, Thanksgiving
Cuisine: American, Potluck
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 132kcal
Author: Angela Davis

Ingredients

  • ½ cup Bacon Crumbles
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 6 medium garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp pasture butter
  • 1 tsp pink sea salt
  • 4 tbsp heavy whipping cream
  • cup aged gouda cheese

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Fry bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Reserve grease.
  • Break up cauliflower into florets and place in 9 x 13 baking pan. Cut butter into about 8 small pieces and space evenly on top of cauliflower. Do the same with the garlic cloves. Sprinkle with salt. Drizzle with reserved bacon grease.
  • Place pan in oven and roast for 30 minutes. Stir and roast for another 25 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and check the garlic. You want it to be very soft and carmelized. Golden brown to dark brown in color but not burnt.
  • If the garlic is done and the cauliflower is also soft and carmelized, do not roast any more. If the cauliflower is done but the garlic is not, turn the oven temperature down to 325. Return pan to oven for 10 minute intervals until garlic is done.
  • Once done roasting, place cauliflower mixture in a food processor along with heavy cream. Process on high until smooth, scraping down the sides occasionally.
  • Crumble bacon and shred gouda. Stir in about ¾ of each. Garnish with remaining and serve.

Nutrition - Not laboratory tested.

Nutrition Facts
Bacon and Gouda Mashed Cauliflower
Amount Per Serving
Calories 132 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 6g30%
Cholesterol 37mg12%
Sodium 533mg22%
Potassium 240mg7%
Carbohydrates 5g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 245IU5%
Vitamin C 35mg42%
Calcium 83mg8%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Love this recipe?Please give it a rating in the comments below!

 

As for the gravy, I tried dozens of recipes and finally built my own that’s a really good keto friend gravy.  Try it out and let me know what you think!

Easy Low Carb Gravy Recipe

Keto Brown Gravy Recipe

Beautiful, rich, thick Keto gravy, perfect for your Thanksgiving table (or any time you want!). This homemade brown gravy has the flavorful goodness of bone broth, the texture and taste you crave, and none of the carbs.
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Course: Christmas, Sauce, Side Dish, Thanksgiving
Cuisine: American, Christmas, Low Carb, Thanksgiving
Keyword: Carnivore Recipe, Keto Recipe, Paleo Recipe, Primal Recipe
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Total Time: 9 minutes
Servings: 8 1/4 cup servings
Calories: 14kcal
Author: Angela Davis

Ingredients

  • 2 cups pan drippings plus broth
  • 1 tbsp pasture butter
  • 1 tsp thyme, dried
  • 1 tsp xanthum gum
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  • If roasting a turkey or other bird, when it's done cooking, pour the drippings from the roasting pan into a glass measuring cup. Add broth to make a total of 2 cups. If you don’t have pan drippings, use 2 cups of broth.
  • In a medium saucepan, melt butter.
  • Add broth mixture and thyme.
  • Turn heat on medium low.
  • Sprinkle xanthan gum across the top of the liquid and whisk to incorporate. Continue to whisk until gum is all dissolved.
  • Simmer mixture until it thickens.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.

Nutrition - Not laboratory tested.

Nutrition Facts
Keto Brown Gravy Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 14 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Cholesterol 4mg1%
Sodium 24mg1%
Carbohydrates 1g0%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 44IU1%
Calcium 2mg0%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Love this recipe?Please give it a rating in the comments below!

So as you can see, even though traditional fried chicken isn’t good for a ketogenic diet, you have lots of options.

Do they taste just like KFC?  Nope.

But if you give them a chance, they are pretty darn good.  As a bonus, they won’t make you sick and fat. 😘

Your Keto Friend,

~Angela

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