Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Yield: 4 servings
Calories: 380
Net Carbs: 2.5g


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs (18 ounces total) (Note 1)
  • oil for frying (Note 2)

Egg Wash:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream


  • 2/3 cup almond flour (Note 3)
  • 2/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese (Note 4)
  • 1 teaspoon table salt (Note 5)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (Note 6)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne (Note 7)


    • Prep Chicken: Cut each chicken thigh into 3 evenly sized pieces, trimming off excess fat if desired. If moist, pat dry with paper towels. Set aside.
    • Prep Breading Station: Whisk eggs and heavy cream in bowl until combined and pale yellow. Stir together all breading ingredients in another bowl until well-mixed with no clumps. Prepare large tray lined with parchment paper to hold breaded chicken (Note 8).
    • Bread Chicken: Working with one chicken piece at a time, coat chicken first in breading bowl, then in egg wash bowl, then again in breading bowl. See Note 9 for breading tips. Place breaded chicken pieces on prepared parchment paper as each chicken piece is breaded in turn.
    • Heat Oil: Add 1 to 2 inches of oil to pot (Note 10) over medium-high heat. Heat oil to 350 F, and frequently monitor to maintain temperature by adjusting heat level during frying. Alternatively, use deep fryer with automatic temperature control.
    • Fry Chicken: Carefully lower half of breaded chicken (6 pieces; Note 11) into hot oil. Fry until deep brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes (Note 12), and drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining breaded chicken. Serve (Note 13).


    Makes 4 Servings
    (Note 14)
    Amount Per Serving (3 fried chicken pieces):
    Calories 380 (61% from fat)
    Total Fat 26g 40%
       Saturated Fat 6g 29%
    Cholesterol 218mg 73%
    Sodium 920mg 38%
    Net Carb 2.5g
    Total Carb 5g 2%
       Dietary Fiber 2.5g 9%
       Sugars 1g
    Protein 34g
    Vitamin A 8% · Vitamin C 0% · Calcium 22% · Iron 15%



    (1) Chicken. I use thighs because they’re juicy, flavorful, hard to overcook, and easily available as boneless and skinless. They’re especially good for fried chicken because they’re uneven, with all sorts of nooks and crannies, providing lots of surface area for delicious breading to easily adhere to. You get a lot more crunch in every bite compared to breaded chicken breasts. If you decide to use chicken breasts, make sure to cut them into small nugget-sized pieces. Readers have also reported success using drumsticks and wings.

    (2) Oil For Frying. Select an oil that (a) has neutral flavor and (b) can be heated to at least 350 F without burning — see Oil Smoke Points. Common frying oils include avocado oil, peanut oil, vegetable oil, canola oil, and sunflower oil. Pick a budget-friendly oil, since you’ll likely need a large quantity of it to completely submerge the chicken when deep frying. Note that you can re-use oil by filtering it through a fine-mesh strainer or coffee filter; I use the built-in oil filtration system in my T-fal deep fryer. In fact, re-used oil or a mix of old and new often results in crunchier fried foods due to broken-down oil making better contact with the food — see Cooks Illustrated article.

    (3) Almond Flour. I use almond flour that is blanched, which means the skins are taken off of the almonds, so that the resulting flour looks white. Don’t substitute with coconut flour or other flours, which vary in their absorbency.

    (4) Parmesan Cheese. This is the kind of parmesan that has a sandy or almost powdery texture. Don’t use shredded cheese, which won’t stick as easily to the chicken.

    (5) Salt. The amount listed results in low carb breading that is a bit on the saltier side, which is how I like my fried chicken. If you’re trying to minimize your sodium intake, you can decrease the salt by up to half.

    (6) Paprika. This spice is included for a smokier breading, and to give a nice orange color to the fried chicken.

    (7) Cayenne. This small amount results in very minimal heat. For spicy chicken, you can double the amount.

    (8) Tray With Parchment Paper. This is useful so that you can bread all of the chicken at once. I use a baking half sheet. Wax paper or other nonstick surface would also work for lining. You can skip this step if you plan to place each breaded chicken directly into the hot oil right after breading — it just makes it harder to keep track of how long each chicken piece has been frying, since you’re not putting them in simultaneously.

    (9) Breading Tips. To make the breading process less messy, use one hand for touching the breading and the other hand for touching the egg wash. Only one hand per bowl. To coat, flip the chicken piece a few times in the bowl until it’s coated on all sides, lift up, and shake off excess (for breading) or let the excess drip away (for egg wash). When coating with breading, place the chicken in the breading bowl and first scoop some breading on top of it so that you don’t have to touch the chicken while flipping to coat.

    (10) Pot. An 8-inch diameter pot is a good size, which is large enough to fry 6 breaded chicken pieces simultaneously without overcrowding them.

    (11) Working In Batches. I only fry 6 chicken pieces at a time, both to avoid overcrowding them and to avoid decreasing the oil temperature too much.

    (12) Frying Time. If your chicken thigh pieces vary in size, they may not cook at the same rate. On average, it takes me about 5 minutes to fry them until deep brown and cooked through, but yours may take longer if you have large pieces. The best way to tell if your chicken is done is by inserting an instant-read thermometer into the center of the thickest part. It should read at least 165 F. If not, give it another minute or two of frying before testing again. If your chicken takes much longer than 5 minutes to cook through, some possible reasons are: (a) the oil is not hot enough, (b) the chicken pieces are not completely submerged in oil, (c) the chicken pieces are unusually large, or (d) you are overcrowding them in the pot.

    (13) Serving. Serve promptly while hot and crispy; leftovers don’t keep well because the breading loses its crunchiness over time. Serve with dips on the side, like keto ranch dressing, BBQ sauce, or buffalo sauce, or side dishes like low-carb biscuits, cornbread, or coleslaw. Don’t toss the fried chicken in the sauce because the breading will turn soggy.

    (14) Nutrition. The estimate assumes all of the egg wash and breading ingredients are consumed. The oil used for frying is not included in the estimate.


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