It doesn’t have to be a child, of course. Allergies happen to adults, too. But if you want to make fried chicken for someone with an egg allergy, it’s not a tremendous challenge. While baking is usually best keeping to a trusted recipe, cooking allows a lot of flexibility in personalizing ingredient lists to suit your needs and tastes. For fried chicken, we’re using egg as a binder, to hold the coating to the chicken as it cooks. This is certainly not the only option we have.
Buttermilk works nicely, and the chicken can be soaked in it overnight. Cream works well, evaporated or regular milk will work, and even water will serve if that’s what we want.Almost any liquid will do, though the more body it has, the better it works. Evaporated milk can be thinned with milk or water. 2 cups of liquid is about right for a 3-lb fryer chicken. If we’re using buttermilk or another particularly flavorful liquid, soaking the chicken overnight in the liquid gives the flavor time to soak into the chicken, but isn’t required.
Once we’ve selected our liquid binder, we can choose the coating. Flour is frequently used, but we can also use bread crumbs, crackers, snack chips, or crushed cereal. Corn flakes work nicely, as do tortilla chips. Flour or packaged bread crumbs have the advantage in convenience, not needing to be crushed.
To crush crackers or cereal, the easiest no-mess method is to put them into a plastic bag and use a rolling pin or bottle to crush them. We’ll want about a cup of flour or crumbs for a 3-lb chicken. If we’re using crackers, that’s about 28 saltines, or 24 round, savory crackers. If you crush in a one-gallon plastic bag, it can also be used to coat the chicken pieces by shaking.
Once we’ve got enough crumbs or flour, we can season to taste with any dry seasoning we like. Wet seasonings, such as hot sauce or Worcestershire sauce, can be added to the liquid that we’re using as an adhesive. A common place to start is 1 cup of crumbs, 1/2 teaspoon each of salt, pepper, paprika, and thyme. This is only a rough guideline, feel free to adjust this to suit your tastes.
Paprika, poultry seasoning, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and garlic powder are all popular and work nicely, but you can get as creative as you wish, here. The general rule of thumb is about 1/2 teaspoon for most seasonings, half of that for the really strong flavors like garlic powder, and more if you want a strongly-flavored coating.
Now that the ingredients have been gathered, it’s time to put them together and cook them up. For oven cooking, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. For oil frying, fill a heavy skillet to about 1/3″ deep with oil or melted shortening and heat to 325 degrees F, being careful to not let it get any warmer than that.
Wash the bone-in chicken pieces and pat dry with paper towels. Dredge the chicken in the liquid, then the coating mixture. Place skin side down in the hot oil or on a well-oiled cooling rack over a baking sheet. 40 minutes in the oven or 20-25 minutes in the oil, turning the chicken once at the halfway point. Check the interior temperature of the largest piece to be certain that it’s done. Chicken is done at 160 degrees F.
For healthy Chicken tenders, check out the video below: