Low Carb Oven ‘Fried’ Chicken (Keto, Semi-carnivore)
Super crispy oven ‘fried’ chicken is a no fuss low carb sheet pan meal for the whole family.
The secret to this crispy keto chicken is a mayo and pork rind “breading” which becomes a crunchy golden brown in the oven for the deep fried taste without the fryer.
Less than 1g of total carbs per piece!
Super low carb, keto, and semi-carnivore friendly chicken (fully carnivore and paleo options below!)
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About This Recipe
- Bone in skin on chicken thighs, brushed with mayo and then coated with lightly seasoned crushed pork rinds.
- Baked in the oven on a foil lined baking sheet for no fuss, easy to clean up dinner.
- Ready in 60 minutes.
- Unbelievably low in carbs with less than 1g total carb per piece.
- Semi-carnivore, low carb, gluten free, and keto friendly fried chicken.
- Simple substitutions make this recipe fully carnivore and paleo friendly.
Gone are the days of being able to grab a bucket of take out fried chicken and devour it in the parking lot like a savage.
But thanks to this low carb pork rind coated chicken recipe, I can still enjoy some crispy crunchy ‘fried’ chicken in the comfort of my own home.
This recipe is very simple and very quick. An entire batch of this oven fried chicken is on the table in about an hour!
The sheet pan cooking method is hands off and easy to clean up with no dirty frying oil to deal with.
Using a light coating of mayo instead of egg makes the “breading process” very quick and easy and it keeps the chicken moist and flavourful throughout while allowing pork rind coating to become crispy and golden brown.
This low carb recipe will satisfy your craving for crispy ‘fried’ chicken.
What you’ll need to make keto oven ‘fried’ chicken
- Chicken thighs or drumsticks, bone in skin on
- Crushed pork rinds (crushing instructions below)
- Mayonnaise (or eggs for the paleo and fully carnivore version)
- Black pepper
- Garlic powder
- Onion flakes
Is Fried Chicken Low In Carbs?
Well this recipe certainly is! Since it contains no breadcrumbs, no flour, and no cornstarch. Just a simple pork rind coating.
This recipe has near zero net carbs per piece!
One piece of keto oven ‘fried’ chicken has:
370 calories | 23g fat | 0.7g carbs | 38g protein | 0.6g net carbs
And that’s with the added seasonings in the pork rinds..
The fully carnivore or paleo version without the seasonings and using egg instead of mayo:
340 calories | 19g fat | 0.1g carbs | 39g protein | 0.14g net carbs
Talk about a guilt free fried chicken recipe!
What You Need To Know
Below are the key details and answers to commonly asked questions you need to make this recipe perfect every time.
If you have everything you need, jump to the recipe to make it now!
Choosing the chicken
I always opt for bone in skin on chicken thighs for recipes like this.
Not only is it cheaper, it tastes better, and the skin becomes wonderfully crispy while preventing the chicken from drying out it’s just the best option. I’m not usually a fan of drumsticks, but of course that’s an option as well.
Can I use boneless chicken or chicken breast?
Yes you absolutely can!
The process is pretty much the same, but the cooking times will be different without the bone.
If you are going to use boneless skinless chicken for this recipe, you may want to check out my pork rind coated chicken finger recipe which will have the proper cooking time and temperature for boneless chicken.
Should I brine the chicken beforehand?
Brining is a great way to increase the flavour and juiciness of the chicken. It’s not required but if you have the time for it, a brine in salt water or even pickle juice can really add a nice touch.
Low Carb Pork Rind ‘Panko’ Breading
The low carb breading used in this fried chicken recipe is made of finely crushed pork rinds.
Pork rinds are already crispy and fried and contain their own fat as does the mayo and the chicken skin. This combination in the oven essentially “fries” the chicken in its own fat and creates a wonderfully crispy breading that tastes like deep fried chicken but without the deep frying mess.
Pre crushed pork rind panko can be purchased from some stores as well as online.
Or you can easily and affordably make your own with the instructions below.
How to make Pork Rind Panko at Home
To make pork rind panko you’ll need fresh pork rinds. Fresh is better than older stale ones since stale pork rinds become chewy and hard to crush.
You’ll also need a large freezer bag (or you can use the bag they come in) and a rolling pin.
Add the pork rinds to the freezer bag and partially seal leaving a small gap for air to escape.
Crush the pork rinds in the bag as much as you can with your hands, add them start rolling it out with the rolling pin in all directions. Keep rolling until the pork rinds have become a fine breading like consistency.
Remove any large hard pieces that don’t crush well and eat them.
Seasoning the breading
You could use crushed pork rinds as is, for a fully carnivore version, but a little bit of seasonings really adds to the flavour.
Garlic powder, dried onions flakes, black pepper, and a hint of cayenne or paprika, and salt is plenty, but feel free to experiment with other seasonings.
Dredging the chicken
For this baked fried chicken, you only need a little bit of mayonnaise to brush over the chicken which will help adhere the crushed pork rinds as well as protect the chicken in the oven and prevent it from drying out.
This is the same as my pork rind crusted chicken finger recipe. Since I started using mayo in my dredge my baked breaded chicken has just gotten mouth wateringly delicious.
Egg vs. Mayo for dredging
Using a beaten egg instead of mayo is a more traditional way to dredge something.
I prefer the mayo coating because its easier and quicker with less fuss. It also seems to get the pork rinds to stick to the chicken better. With an egg dredge, the coating can sometimes just slide off in the oven.
A coating of mayo also creates crispier baked chicken because it has very little water content (it’s mostly egg and oil) that needs to be cooked off in the oven before it will crisp.
However the choice is yours..
If you are fully carnivore or paleo and do not want to consume any processed oils, then you can use an egg to dredge your chicken instead of mayo or use a paleo or carnivore friendly mayo.
You may want to increase the cooking time slightly as the egg has water that needs to be cooked off before the chicken will crisp.
Breading the chicken
Brush the chicken lightly with mayo using a basting brush or your hands. You only need a very light coating. Too much mayo will just make this greasy.
Next, lay the chicken in the crushed pork rinds and press down on each side to stick the pork rinds to the chicken.
Gently shake any excess pork rinds loose, and lay them on a foil lined baking sheet for cooking.
Cooking Time, and Temperature
This part is pretty straight forward.
Cooking method: Sheet pan in the oven
Oven Temperature: 390°F to 400°F [200°C – 205°C]
Cooking time: 40 to 50 minutes
You Know It’s Done When: The chicken is cooked through (internal temperature of 165°F [74°C] or the fluid runs clear when pierced) and the coating is golden brown and crispy.
Optional step: Turn on the top broiler for the last 2-3 minutes to really crisp up the coating.
A deeper dive
Make sure your chicken is evenly spaced on a foil lined baking sheet (the foil helps with cleanup) and bake in a 390°F [200°C] oven for 40 – 50 minutes until the chicken is cooked though and the coating is crispy.
You can use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature in the thickest part of the meat. It should read 165°F [74°C]. Avoid placing the probe of the meat thermometer against the bone when testing.
Another way to test for doneness is to insert a small knife into the chicken and if the fluid runs clear once the knife is removed that chicken is done. If it’s pink or bloody at all the chicken should be cooked more.
Resting the chicken
Once the chicken is removed from the oven you should allow the chicken to rest uncovered for 2 to 3 minutes to cool down
The Carnivore and Paleo Option
Although this recipe is considered carnivore-ish or as I like to call it semi-carnivore. There are simple substitutions that will make this fully carnivore and paleo complaint.
Carnivore: Omit and spices or seasonings that may cause issues, and replace the mayo with either carnivore friendly mayo (you can make mayo out of animal fat!) or a beaten egg.
Paleo: Replace the mayonnaise with egg or a paleo friendly mayo.
Note: Egg contains more water than mayo so you may need to increase the cooking time slightly to get the proper crispness.
The coating also may not adhere as well with an egg dredge.
Keto Oven "Fried" Chicken
- Knife and Cutting Board
- Baking sheet
- Cooking foil
- basting brush
- Large Freezer Bag
- 4 cups pork rinds crushed
- 2 teaspoons onions flakes
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 8 large chicken thighs bone in skin on
- ¼ cup mayo replace with whipped egg for carnivore or paleo version
- Preheat oven to 390°F [200°C]
- Crush the pork rinds. Add pork rinds to a large freezer bag and seal partially leaving a small hole for air to escape. Start crushing the pork rinds with your hands and then use a rolling pin to crush until they are the consistency of breadcrumbs.4 cups pork rinds
- Season the pork rind breading. Empty the crushed pork rinds onto a large bowl and add the onions flakes, garlic powder, black pepper, salt, and any other seasonings you prefer. Combine well.2 teaspoons onions flakes, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon black pepper, ½ teaspoon salt
- Brush chicken with mayo and coat with pork rinds. Use a basting brush to lightly coat each piece of chicken with mayo and salt each piece. Press the chicken into the crushed pork rinds on each side until evenly coated. Shake gently remove excess pork rinds and lay skin side up on a foil lined baking sheet.¼ cup mayo, 8 large chicken thighs
- Bake for 45-50 min until crispy. Bake in the middle of a 390°F [200°C] oven for 45-50 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the coating is golden brown and crispy.
- Optional: Turn on broiler to crisp. Turn on the top oven broiler for the remaining 2 to 3 minutes of cook time to add some extra crisp to the coating of the chicken.
- Rest and serve: Remove from the oven, and allow the chicken to rest and cool for 2-3 minutes before serving with your favourite low carb side dish!
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What to Serve With Pork Rind Fried Chicken
Here are some great sides for keto fried chicken
Low Carb Dipping Sauces for Fried Chicken
There are many great condiments to enjoy with fried chicken.
I generally make some of my low sugar honey mustard dipping sauce, details on that can be found in my pork rind coating chicken fingers recipe.
Buffalo sauce or sriracha are great if you like a little heat.
For a real treat, whip up a quick batch of remoulade.
How to make a quick remoulade
It’s not an exact recipe, go more by feel and taste.
In a bowl combine,
- 3 parts mayo
- 1 part sour cream
- Finely chopped pickles
- Finely chopped onions
- Finely chopped garlic
- Finely chopped capers
- A splash of pickle juice or vinegar
- A dash of hot sauce
- A bit of mustard
- A sprinkle of dill
- Salt and pepper
Combine well and voila! A quick low carb remoulade! It is creamy, garlicky, and full of flavour! Kind of like Pizza Pizza’s creamy garlic dipping sauce on steroids!
Variations on This Recipe
Change the pork rinds: Did you know you can get flavoured pork rinds like BBQ flavour, or even dill pickle! That would make a great coating for this recipe
Make it carnivore: Simply omit the seasonings and use egg instead of mayo and this is fully carnivore and paleo friendly!
More pork rind breaded recipes!
Quick Tips to Master This recipe
- Use bone in skin on chicken: It takes longer to cook so the breading will crisp more and the skin is so delicious!
- Crush the pork rinds well: Take your time rolling out the pork rinds until they are the consistency or breadcrumbs
- Preheat the oven: Only add the chicken to the oven once its hot to maximize potential crispness
- Use the broiler to add extra crisp: Sometimes things just don’t crisp how we want. Turn on the broiler in the oven for the remaining 2-3 minutes of cook time to kick it up a notch!