December 31, 2013

Tapioca Flour

I used the boneless, skinless chicken breasts from the buttermilk experiment to test out dry ingredients. For the purpose of this experiment, I did not season the chicken at all, as I knew that I would be removing the crusts and sharing the chicken with my cats after completing the experiments ( I can only handle so much chicken, guys!).

1. Tapioca Flour
2. Tapioca Flour with an Equal Part Brown Rice Flour
3. Tapioca Flour with Brown Rice Flour and a tablespoon of Cornstarch

The tapioca flour by itself yielded one of the more golden colored, crispy crusts so far. This was a winner. My guess is that the Toreore Korean fried chicken has tapioca flour in it. But because I was told that the flour was corn flour (Maseca) I will want to experiment some more.

The tapioca flour and rice flour option was also excellent but slightly less crispy. And it had a flour aftertaste. Ditto with the added cornstarch. Less crispy and more crackerlike. And a flour aftertaste.

Tapioca for the win.

Update May 21, 2013. Tapioca Flour and/or Rice Flour.
Switched to white rice flour from the Indian grocers instead of the Bob's Red Mill brown rice flour that I had been using.

An interesting night. I brought home the white rice flour and the tapioca flour and ran some experiments with them each by themselves and in various ratios. I even tried to see what adding a touch of sugar would do to the crust. All good (rice flour and tapioca flour, rice flour alone, tapioca flour alone), but tapioca flour by itself was pretty good. What I have noticed (as commented above) is that some of these result in a flour aftertaste on the tastebuds.

I think that I have pretty much exhausted the testing of dry ingredients. Now I will concentrate on picking and choosing interesting recipes and reporting on the results.

Update June 25, 2016. What appears to be a good, Paleo style, tapioca flour recipe for you to try.


Amazingly Crispy Paleo Fried Chicken via StrictlyDelicious
My friends, it’s Wednesday. Hump day. The halfway mark of the week.
That means you’ve had just enough of the work week (and enough of these freezing cold mornings) to wish for the weekend, but the weekend still isn’t close enough for you to feel like that respite is near. So you’re in need of some mid-week comfort food.
And to me, there are few better comfort foods than fried chicken!
Amazingly Crispy Paleo Fried Chicken via StrictlyDelicious
It’s always interesting to me the things that  I get cravings for. French fries, mozzarella sauce, soft pretzels… Things that I never used to eat that often before my allergies, but now that I can’t have them, I want them weekly! The law of forbidden fruit, I guess…
Fried chicken is another one of those things. I used to have fried chicken about twice a month when the comfort food craving hit. But recently, after going grain free and coconut free, when my craving hit, I found myself marooned on a fried chicken-less island! And that, my friends, is a very sad place to be.
Amazingly Crispy Paleo Fried Chicken via StrictlyDelicious
But I’ll tell you, one of the greatest blessings of having such a limited diet is that it has forced me to become quite the creative and tenacious cook!
Which is good, because my body can be pretty persistent and pretty persuasive. It doesn’t really take “no fried chicken” as an answer…
So, one thing led to another, and now I have a perfect midweek, paleo, gluten and grain-free fried chicken recipe for myself!
Amazingly Crispy Paleo Fried Chicken via StrictlyDelicious
And what fantastic fried chicken it is! Golden brown, perfectly crispy, and decadently tender. I almost prefer this new paleo fried chicken to traditional fried chicken because the crispy “grain” is finer and almost melts in your mouth! (Is that a weird thing to say? Do you know what I mean??)
And really, I don’t taste a difference at all. It might even be a bit richer than traditional fried chicken because I fry it in lard instead of the traditionally used vegetable oil! But then again, I am biased… 😉
This is the perfect weeknight, Wednesday comfort food because it’s super easy. You mix the “breading” in a big plastic bag and then coat your chicken by shaking it in the sealed bag. New fashioned shake-and-bake, y’all! No flour-egg-flour dipping required.
A crisp in the skillet and a finish in the oven gives you some bomb good, crispy, juicy fried chicken.
Amazingly Crispy Paleo Fried Chicken via StrictlyDelicious
Now those last two days til the weekend don’t even seem that long. 😉
Going grain-free doesn’t have to mean missing out!
Amazing Grain-Free Crispy Fried Chicken
  • 6 pieces of chicken (I only used four, but had enough flour mixture left over to make more if I wanted)
  • 1 cup tapioca flour (also called tapioca starch)
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons sea salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper {omit for AIP}
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric (or paprika, if you're not nightshade free)
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder, optional
  • 1/2 cup lard, shortening, or oil
  • leaves from 3 sprigs of fresh thyme for sprinkling, optional
    (Make this recipe into buttermilk fried chicken by marinating the chicken overnight in enough buttermilk to cover the meat before following the rest of the recipe.)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Dry all of the moisture off of the chicken pieces with a few paper towels. Set the chicken aside.
  3. Add the tapioca starch, sea salt, black pepper, sage, turmeric, and garlic power, if using, to a ziplock bag. Seal and shake until all the ingredients are well combined.
  4. Add 2 pieces of chicken to the flour mixture in the bag. Seal and shake until the chicken is evenly coated. Gently shake the chicken as you remove it from the bag to shake off the excess flour mixture. Repeat with the remaining chicken, two pieces at a time.
  5. In a large cast-iron skillet, heat the lard over medium-high heat until it spatters when a drop of water is added to the pan. One by one, with tongs, add the pieces of chicken to the hot oil. Do not crowd the skillet. Do this in batches if you're using larger pieces of chicken. Fry them in the lard until the breading is crispy and golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side. 
  6. Remove the chicken to a wire rack placed on a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake the chicken until it's done all the way through, about 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of the pieces.
  7. Sprinkle the chicken with fresh thyme leaves if desired, serve warm, and enjoy! 
The weekend countdown begins!

Amazingly Crispy Paleo Fried Chicken via StrictlyDelicious

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