Gluten-Free Kimchi Brined Fried Chicken Sandwich

This gluten-free fried chicken sandwich comes together with a perfect combination of flavors and a Korean-inspired twist! It will take some advanced preparation, but the flavor is a huge payoff.

The Makings of a Perfect Fried Chicken Sandwich

Fried chicken sandwiches are extremely popular, but what makes a fried chicken sandwich absolutely SING to your tastebuds?

Not only do you expect tender and juicy chicken wrapped in crispy fried goodness, but you also expect some balance. You want the complete package: savory, sour, sweet, spicy… I’m telling you, you can have it ALL!

The fatty breading and buttery biscuit beg for a balance of fresh and luscious veggies. For the vegetable stars in this chicken sandwich, I’ve chosen a carrot slaw and cucumber kimchi (which plays double duty in flavoring your chicken marinade AND as a sandwich topping). The carrot slaw is crunchy and sweet – but it’s not overly carrot-y (that was a concern of mine in recipe development), while the bright acidity from the cucumber kimchi cuts through the fat.

Components of this Fried Chicken Sandwich

I’ve slowly been working my way up to this grand dinner plan as a culmination of several recipes:

Preparation

To achieve these AMAZING results, you do need to plan ahead. I start the cucumber kimchi two days before my dinner plan goes live – to give enough time for a delicious juice to come together. Then I use that juice on the chicken marinade one day before go-live, so it has plenty of time for the marinade to soak in overnight. It’s not a ton of work, but does take some planning ahead.

🍳Recommended Equipment

  • Fried Chicken
    • Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pan for shallow-frying
    • skimmer or strainer ladle to fish out fried chicken (can also use chopsticks in a pinch!)
    • wire rack for drying and paper towels
    • two large bowls for marinating and dredging
    • thermometer to monitor oil temperature – or just wing it!
  • Dipping sauce
    • small bowl for mixing
  • Carrot slaw
    • Food processor or julienne peeler or a good ole knife and cutting board
    • Large bowl for mixing
  • Cucumber kimchi
    • jar or tupperware for mixing
  • Biscuits
    • biscuit cutter OR something round with a 1½ inch lip like a jar or bowl
    • baking sheet
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Ingredients

Adjust Servings
⭐ Cucumber Kimchi Ingredients 👇
2tablespoons gochugaru Korean red chili flakes can substitute cayenne pepper
3teaspoons salt
2teaspoons sugar
4tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2teaspoons fish sauce
1teaspoon garlic oil
2 English cucumbers
⭐ Gluten-Free Kimchi-Brined Fried Chicken Ingredients 👇
½cup low-FODMAP cucumber kimchi juice (made above)
1cup buttermilk can substitute for yogurt or lactose-free yogurt
1 egg
6grams salt approx. 1½ teaspoon
1tablespoon coconut aminos can substitute soy sauce or tamari for gluten-free
35grams gochugaru Korean red chili flakes approx. ¼ cup; can substitute cayenne pepper
7grams ground black pepper
7grams ground white pepper
2pounds boneless, skinless thighs
at least 10 ounces refined coconut oil
⭐ Gluten-Free Kimchi-Brined Fried Chicken Dredge Ingredients 👇
cup gluten-free all purpose flour (such as King Arthur's)
½cup rice flour
8grams baking powder
7grams ground black pepper
7grams ground white pepper
⭐ Carrot Slaw Ingredients 👇
10 carrots
cup mayonnaise (or up to a ½ cup if you like it richer) can substitute yogurt or lactose-free yogurt)
¼cup buttermilk can substitute yogurt or lactose-free yogurt
2tablespoons parsley, minced
1tablespoon chives, minced
¼cup pickles, diced
1teaspoon lemon juice
½teaspoon lemon zest
1teaspoon garlic oil
⭐ Dipping Sauce Ingredients 👇
½cup mayonnaise
2tablespoons parsley, minced
4teaspoons whole grain mustard
2teaspoons pickle juice
teaspoons worcestershire
1teaspoon tomato paste
1teaspoon maple syrup
1teaspoon garlic oil
½teaspoon paprika
½teaspoon chili powder
¼teaspoon liquid smoke
⭐ Gluten-Free Biscuits Ingredients 👇
cups gluten-free all purpose flour (such as King Arthur's)
2tablespoons sugar
1tablespoon baking powder
1teaspoon baking soda
½teaspoon salt
6tablespoons cold butter

Directions

1.

Two days before, make cucumber kimchi

Whisk together 2 tbsp gochugaru, 3 tsp salt, 2 tsp sugar, 4 tbsp rice wine vinegar, 2 tsp fish sauce, and 1 tsp garlic oil.
Slice 2 cucumbers into rounds. Mix cucumbers thoroughly in sauce so they are fully coated. Rest overnight.
Mark as complete
2.

One day before, marinade chicken

The next day (one day before showtime), mix together ½ cup cucumber kimchi juice, 1 cup buttermilk, 1 egg, 6g salt, 1 tbsp coconut aminos, 35g gochugaru, 7g black pepper, 7g white pepper, and 2 lbs chicken thighs in a large bowl.
Marinade overnight.
Mark as complete
3.

Make carrot slaw

Using a food processor, a julienne peeler, or a simple knife, julienne 10 peeled carrots into shreds. Also, dice ¼ cup of pickles, 2 tb parsley, 1 tb of chives. Juice 1 tsp of lemon and ½ tsp of lemon zest.
Mix shredded carrots, ⅓ cup mayonnaise, ¼ cup buttermilk, ¼ cup of pickles, 2 tb parsley, 1 tb of chives, 1 tsp lemon juice, ½ tsp of lemon zest, and 1 teaspoon of garlic oil. Chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour before serving.
Mark as complete
4.

Make chicken dipping sauce

Mix together ½ cup mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons minced parsley, 4 teaspoons whole grain mustard, 2 teaspoons pickle juice, 1½ teaspoons worcestershire, 1 teaspoon tomato paste, 1 teaspoon maple syrup, 1 teaspoon garlic oil, ½ teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon chili powder, and ¼ teaspoon liquid smoke.
Mark as complete
5.

Make gluten-free biscuits

Preheat oven to 400°F then whisk together 2 ¼ cups gluten-free flour, 2 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, and ½ tsp salt.
In a food processor, put your dry ingredients. Then slowly add 6 tbsp cold butter, one pat at a time while pulsing. Remove from food processor, and knead a few times. Then add 1 cup of buttermilk or yogurt. Press into a rectangle about 1¼ inch thick. Using a biscuit cutter into 8-9 biscuits. Bake 15 minutes.
Mark as complete
6.

Dredge chicken

In a large bowl, mix together 1½ cup gluten-free all purpose flour, ½ cup rice flour, 8g baking powder, 7g black pepper, and 7g white pepper.
Then drizzle in about a half cup of marinade liquid into the dredge ingredients to create little chunks. Dip marinated chicken into the dredge mixture, pressing every nook and cranny to ensure it's thoroughly covered.
Mark as complete
7.

Prepare to fry chicken

Setup a cooling station for finished fried chicken by putting a wire rack over paper towels.
In a heavy bottomed pan or dutch oven, pour about a ½ inch of refined coconut oil. Heat to about 350°F.
Mark as complete
8.

Fry chicken in batches

Once oil is at 350°F, start frying chicken. Take care not to crowd the pan; I did only 2-3 at a time. Takes approximately 3-5 minutes per side.
Occasionally check oil temperature. Also you made need to add oil between batches as levels fall, allowing the new oil to come up to temperature before adding more chicken. Once chicken is done, set on a wire rack to cool.
Mark as complete
9.

Assemble sandwich and enjoy!

Slice cooled biscuits in half with a serrated knife. Spread a little dipping sauce on both inner sides to keep the sandwich from getting soggy. Layer in your cucumber kimchi slices, then carrot slaw, then a big beautiful hunk of fried chicken. Drizzle with more sauce, and then top it off with the other half of the biscuit.
Mark as complete

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