Air Fried Hot Chicken with Gluten-Free Option

I try to find a gluten-free way to make dishes we love. Does your family love spicy? We love Chick-Fil-A Spicy chicken, but it’s not that healthy. These chicken strips are the closest thing I’ve found to that without all of the bad stuff.

I’m not saying fried food is “bad”, but I just don’t feel as good when I eat it. I like fries as much as the next person. But I try to stay away. These spicy hot chicken strips are a good alternative.

The downside to air frying chicken is that you have to make it in batches of five to six at a time. You can keep them warm in the oven OR just eat them as they come out, which is what we do.

Ingredients for Spicy Air-Fried Chicken

spicy chicken ingredients

To make these strips you need:

  • 1/4 cup + 1 TB Pickle juice
  • 2 TB Tabasco or other pepper sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 lbs chicken tenders (remove the tendon)
  • 1 cup gluten free flour (rice flour works well or use regular if you have no issue with gluten)
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • Olive oil spray

Spicy Sauce Ingredients

The sauce you pour over the chicken is almost like a spicy vinaigrette. The original recipe had more oil and no vinegar, but our family thought it was too bitter and clumpy. I modified the sauce while we were cycling through our air fry batches.

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 TB vinegar, apple cider or white wine vinegar
  • 1 TB Cayenne pepper
  • 2 TB brown sugar (or you can substitute brown sugar)
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Steps to Make Hot Chicken Strips

  1. Preheat fryer to 375 degrees and oven to warm.
  2. Remove the chicken tendon (many of the “chicken tenders” you buy these days are just chicken breasts cut into strips and may not have tendons). Marinate with 1/4 cup of pickle juice and 1 TB of Tabasco for a minimum of 30 minutes.
  3. Combine flour, salt and pepper in one bowl. In a second bowl combine egg, buttermilk, 1TB pickle juice and 1TB Tabasco.
  1. Dip each chicken strip in the flour mixture, then the egg mixture and then the flour mixture.
  2. Add 4-5 strips to the fryer, be sure to give each room. Spray generously with cooking oil. I like to use olive oil.
  3. While chicken is cooking, combine all of the ingredients for the sauce, 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 TB vinegar, 1TB cayenne pepper, 1TB coconut sugar (or brown sugar), 2tsp paprika (I like smoked), 1/2 tsp garlic powder. Wisk and set aside. Wisk before you add to the chicken each time.
  1. Contrary to popular belief, I DON’T like to flip the chicken because the breading is very tender and comes off. Chicken is done when it reads 165 with a meat thermometer.
  2. While chicken is hot, pour sauce over strips. Gently pour the sauce onto the strips because the breading comes off (stirring causes the breading to come off).

This recipe is adapted from TasteofHome.com. My son sent me the recipe and asked me to make it. 🤣 Serve with pickles and a salad to lighten it up.

spicy chicken strips

Air Fried Spicy Chicken with Gluten-Free

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 14 minutes
Total Time: 44 minutes

This recipe is a favorite for kids who like spicy fried chicken.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup + 1 TB Pickle juice
  • 2 TB Tabasco or other pepper sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 lbs chicken tenders (remove the tendon)
  • 1 cup gluten-free flour (rice flour works well or use regular if you have no issue with gluten)
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • Olive oil spray
  • For Sauce:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 TB vinegar, apple cider or white wine vinegar
  • 1 TB Cayenne pepper
  • 2 TB brown sugar (or you can substitute brown sugar)
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat fryer to 375 degrees and oven to warm.
  2. Remove the chicken tendon (many of the "chicken tenders" you buy these days are just chicken breasts cut into strips and may not have tendons). Marinate with 1/4 cup of pickle juice and 1 TB of Tabasco for a minimum of 30 minutes.
  3. Combine flour, salt and pepper in one bowl. In a second bowl combine egg, buttermilk, 1TB pickle juice and 1TB Tabasco.
  4. Dip each chicken strip in the flour mixture, then the egg mixture and then the flour mixture.
  5. Add 4-5 strips to the fryer, be sure to give each room. Spray generously with cooking oil. I like to use olive oil.
  6. While chicken is cooking, combine all of the ingredients for the sauce, 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 TB vinegar, 1TB cayenne pepper, 1TB coconut sugar (or brown sugar), 2tsp paprika (I like smoked), 1/2 tsp garlic powder. Wisk and set aside. Wisk before you add to the chicken each time.
  7. Contrary to popular belief, I suggest not flipping the chicken because the breading is very tender and comes off. Chicken is done when it reads 165 with a meat thermometer.
  8. While chicken is hot, pour sauce over strips. Gently pour the sauce onto the strips because the breading comes off (stirring causes the breading to come off).

    Notes

    Serve with pickles and a salad.

    Nutrition Information
    Yield 6 Serving Size 1
    Amount Per Serving Calories 673Total Fat 38gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 28gCholesterol 101mgSodium 1942mgCarbohydrates 51gFiber 3gSugar 5gProtein 33g

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