There are a lot of recipes out there for paleo/Primal fried chicken, all of them trying to create a crispy, finger-licking good coating using various nut and coconut products. This recipe isn’t for fried chicken, per se, but after tasting it you might give up trying to coat a piece of chicken in anything other than it’s own skin again.
This is likely to be the crispiest baked chicken you’ve ever had, with skin that shatters when you bite into it. And, there’s no messy frying involved. The secret? Dredging the chicken in a mixture of egg whites, baking soda and salt, then letting the chicken air-dry overnight in the refrigerator. This genius method was perfected in Ideas in Food’s recipe for Korean-style chicken wings. The recipe here takes it one step further by not just using wings – drumsticks and thighs are just as delicious using this baking method.
This recipe also ditches the sweet and salty sauce from the original recipe and instead offers a completely Primal sauce made from coconut aminos, rice wine vinegar and toasted sesame oil. Brushing the sauce on the chicken just before it comes out of the oven makes the skin slightly less crispy, but adds lots of great flavor. The coconut amino sauce is also killer simply as a dipping sauce after the chicken is fully cooked.
This chicken is crispy, salty, sweet, totally finger-lickin’ good and totally Primal. Grab a piece right when it comes out of the oven, because it’ll barely make it to the table before it’s devoured.
Servings: 4 to 6
Time in the Kitchen: 1 hour, plus chilling the chicken overnight
- 3 large egg whites
- 2 teaspoons baking soda (10 ml)
- 1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt (8.6 ml)
- 3 pounds skin on chicken wings, drumsticks and/or thighs (1.4 kg)
Coconut Aminos Dipping Sauce:
- 1/3 cup coconut aminos (80 ml)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon unseasoned rice vinegar (7.5 ml)
- 1 1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil (6 ml)
- 1 garlic clove, put through a press or very finely chopped
- 1 scallion, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon or more red pepper flakes or hot chili oil (optional)
In a large bowl whisk together the egg whites, baking soda and salt. Add the chicken and toss really well to coat. Put the chicken on a baking rack set over a rimmed baking sheet, leaving space between each piece of chicken so none of the pieces are touching. You might have to use two pans. Refrigerate, uncovered, overnight.
The next day, preheat the oven to 450 °F (232 °C).
In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut aminos, rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, garlic clove, green onion and pepper flakes (if using). Split the sauce into two bowls. Use one bowl to brush the chicken during the baking process (optional) and one bowl to dip the chicken in after it’s cooked. Set both bowls aside.
Leaving the chicken on the same racks and baking sheets, put it into the oven and cook for 15 minutes. Flip the chicken over and bake for 15 minutes more. At this point the meat should be pretty much cooked – thighs and drumsticks might take longer than wings, so make sure to use a digital thermometer to make sure the temp is getting near 165 °F before brushing on the sauce.
Brush both sides of the chicken with the coconut aminos sauce. Put the chicken back in the oven, skin side up, for 10 more minutes until the skin is nicely browned and crispy.
Serve the chicken immediately with the coconut aminos dipping sauce on the side.
This chicken tastes best if eaten soon after coming out of the oven. After a few hours in the refrigerator, the skin will no longer be crispy.