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Keto Fried Chicken Strips

For a long time now, I’ve avoided fried chicken, because like most people I believed that fat=bad.  The only exception to this rule was my Meemaw’s fried chicken legs, which she makes occasionally for holidays, and they are absolutely delicious.  It’s this running joke in my family that when Meemaw’s frying them, we wait until she’s distracted and steal hot legs from the plate.  When she looks over and sees four of us eating them, we try to blame each other for stealing one first.

Let’s just say, if my Meemaw had gotten into the fried chicken business, no one would know who Colonel Sanders is.


Not going to lie, these fried chicken strips aren’t as good as Meemaw’s from-scratch chicken legs – but they’re pretty damn close.  More importantly for me right now, these are keto-friendly, which means I can eat them and still stay in ketosis and lose weight.  And I think they’re sure as hell better than KFC.

Please note that I was originally inspired to make these chicken strips by this post on r/ketorecipes, where a guy was seeking help on breading fish to fry.  I gave him my opinion on how to do it, then I was like “damn, that sounds good, too bad I don’t have any fish — wait, I have chicken!  That’ll work too!”

And now I’ve eaten these twice since then, and it’s only been a few days.  They’re easy and tasty.



  • 6-4oz of boneless, skinless chicken breast tenderloins or strips. I like these Perdue Fit&Easy ones because they’re usually around $2.50 for a package, which feeds both me and my husband, and because they’re perfectly-sized.  But you could use whatever – use a bone-in chicken leg if you want to make this more like Meemaw’s traditional recipe!  And ohh man, I bet they’d make awesome wings.
  • 2T almond flour
  • 2T flax meal (I used golden flax but I don’t think it matters)
  • 2T parmesan cheese (the powdery kind)
  • 1 egg, whisked in a bowl with some water to make an egg wash
  • seasonings to taste – I use Lawry’s Seasoning Salt (good fried chicken MUST be salty) and Mrs. Dash
  • skillet of super hot oil, or a deep fryer

Please note that I’m fairly certain you can use all almond flour or all flax meal if you’d prefer, but almond flour is fairly expensive here so I like “cutting” it with cheaper ingredients: thus the flax and parmesan.  Besides, the flax adds in a hefty dose of omega-3s, and the parmesan adds a nice faint cheese flavor and a terrific texture.


Prepare your deep fryer, if you have one.  If you’re like me and you don’t, pour oil into skillet (I use canola oil for this, because we have a lot of it and it’s cheap with a high burning point) and set it on high to heat up.  You want the oil to be screaming hot when you slap your chicken in it, so the chicken will be good and crispy.  If you put it in oil that’s not fully heated, it will just make the breading soggy.  If you use a deep fryer I’m sure there’s some fancy thermometer setting or something you can test the temperature with.  If you’re using a skillet and oil, from a distance flick a droplet of water into the oil.  If it immediately pops and starts sizzling, the oil is perfect.

Measure out your spices and flours and mix them well.  Dunk chicken strips in the egg wash so they’re fully coated, and then one-by-one dredge them through the breading mixture, rolling them around until the breading covers them.

Add chicken to the screaming hot oil.  I usually just do one strip at a time, placing them in the oil as soon as I finish breading them, until the skillet’s full.  Let them cook about 3-4 minutes, then flip them over with tongs or a fork or something.  You want to make sure the oil fully covers each half of the chicken.  I usually make sure the oil is deep enough to cover the whole strip, but I flip it anyway just so both sides get good and crispy.

When chicken seems done – it will start turning a deeper golden brown color – pull the strips out and lay them on folded paper towels to drain.  If you’re skeptical at the chicken’s doneness, go ahead and cut into the middle of one of the drying strips to see if it’s finished.  In my case it always is, but ymmv.  I think it’s important for everyone to figure out about how long they should cook these on their stoves, or in their deep fryers, because all these settings vary slightly.  That’s why I’m just estimating on the times.  Honestly, I tell more by the color of the strip than by watching the clock.

This is what they look like when they’re done – a deep golden brown color.  They crisp up perfectly and pack a whollop of nutritional goodness.  Serve them with a couple of tablespoons of some good thick Ranch dressing, and maybe a side salad or something, and you have a perfect keto meal.

Next time I make these I think I’m actually going to chop them up and serve them on spinach with some cheese and nuts and dressing to make a big fancy salad.  The texture of them reminds me a lot of O’Charley’s Pecan-Crusted Chicken Tenders, so I think they’d be great on a salad.

Keep in mind when you view these nutritional statistics that I couldn’t figure out how to account for the oil.  These strips didn’t absorb TOO much – I actually used the same oil to make two batches of these as well as a batch of salmon patties before I had to change it out.  Still, these are higher in calories and fat than the nutritional data makes out.  I view this as a good thing, as it puts them closer to perfect keto macros than they would be without the frying!

Let me know if you like them, or if you can think of ways I can improve upon the recipe.  And for the love of His Noodliness the FSM, if you know how to calculate the added values from the oil I fried them in, please let me know!


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  1. Nom, nom, nom. This is the first — but not the last — of your recipes that I am going to devour. Chicken was most, delicious, and pleasantly almond-scented. Here’s a quick vid:

  2. Awesome!! Thank you so much for the kind commentary, the video, and the kudos :) I’m glad you enjoyed it! You just really made my day :)

  3. I used your recipe tonight and made these in my deep fryer. They were AMAZING! The breading was perfect and got nice and crunchy, and the chicken was juicy and delicious. My husband, who is something of a chicken strip addict, declared them “the best I’ve had in a long time.”

    Thanks for posting this great recipe! Two very happy (and full) keto campers here. :)

    • Hey, thank you for stopping by and commenting!! I LOVE these strips but they don’t get nearly as much exposure as my desserts. I’m so glad you and your husband liked them. I also do a oven-baked porkchop and oven-baked chicken thighs with this breading that turn out delish. I need to post those soon…

  4. I just stumbled upon your blog yesterday and have since made your steak and now these chicken fingers…holy crap THANK YOU. I’ve fallen off the keto wagon and have gained about 20 lbs in the process. You seriously inspired me to get back on board and kick start this weekend. We just finished the chicken and I swear I’ve never heard my husband ever call something delicious so many times in a row….you’re my hero.

    • Thank you so much for your sweet comments!!! I’m glad you and your husband enjoyed the chicken strips. Mine likes them a lot too! And way to go with getting back on the wagon. I saw a post yesterday where someone said “Fall down 5 times, get up 6,” or something similar, and HOW TRUE IS THAT? Just keep on chugging along and you’ll do fabulous! :)

  5. You are a bona fide lifesaver!! Chicken fingers have been my keto downfall time and again. Grilled just ain’t the same, need that crunch. But I tried to follow a different almond flour fingers recipe and could never get the coating to stick. I’ve used carbquik but it’s messy and expensive. Yesterday I made your recipe and I felt like flying! Just now I made a fried pork chop with your recipe and if this image works you can see this beauty: http://i.imgur.com/G0AH3XD.jpg

    • I am so glad I could help! And that porkchop is BEAUTIFUL! I actually make “oven-fried porkchops” where I brush on a thin layer of mayo, coat them in my breading, and bake them in the oven. I’ve always wondered about carbquik… it looks intriguing, but I’ve never been able to bring myself to invest in it since I’m afraid I’d get addicted and spend too much money (the same reason I have yet to try a Quest bar!). Glad to know it’s not everything it’s cracked up to be.

  6. Last night I was touched by his noodly appendage and guided toward this website to inform you of how I measure oil used when frying. This is only approximate as evaporation will affect the oil during frying and some detritus will be left in the pan after frying, but here’s what I do:

    1) Put oil in pan and weigh.
    2) Heat oil & fry yo chicken.
    3) Let the oil cool down and weigh the pan & oil again.

    Subtract reading 3 from reading 1 and enter this value into MFP for your oil quantity. As I’m in Spain and 100ml of oil is very similar to 100g of oil, I can enter volume rather than weight if required. It’s not super accurate but it’s better than nothing.

    Love the site, especially the low carb part. Hope you keep it going.

    • Thanks for the comment! I have heard about weighing the oil, but I have never brought myself to do it… it just honestly seems like such a pain in the ass. I haven’t made these strips in quite some time but I’ll probably try it next time I do, just to get a ballpark estimate (and I’ll use that for future batches). Lately I’ve just been eating a crapton of quesadillas, and I actually measure the oil I use for those (and it all gets absorbed).

      All hail FSM! R’amen!

    • Oh, and don’t worry, I will continue blogging here. I’ve just been so busy with work that I haven’t really been cooking anything new… just the same old simple recipes over and over, due to lack of time. I’m sure I’ll become more prolific when our busy season dies down this fall!

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