Josh's Favorite Chicken

Recipe by Mandy Pagano

Recipe originally published on on 1/31/19. It has been heavily edited for re-publication.


My son is, quite possibly, the pickiest child to ever walk the earth. Lord love him, he's an awesome kid, but when it comes to food he kills me. He likes no vegetables.


He likes bacon, but will only eat it if it's at just the right level of doneness. Too limp and he gags. Too crunchy and he complains that it tastes burnt. He says he likes steak, and will sometimes eat it, but if I put just a smidge too much salt or pepper on it, he turns up his nose. He loves seafood like crab, lobster, and shrimp, but that's $$$, and I'm on a budget. Don't even get me started on the numerous breads and desserts I've tried to make for him. While my daughter eats just about everything, almost nothing ever seems to taste acceptable to the boy.

Welcome to a day in the life of the Mom of a Suspected Supertaster.

In a nutshell, supertasters are people who have extra tastebuds, and this over-abundance makes them more sensitive to tastes, most especially those that are bitter. While food preferences can vary between these folks, many supertasters have aversions to strongly flavored foods, like vegetables, and tend to prefer foods most others would consider quite bland.

It's probably a bit of an understatement to say this has been a constant source of frustration in my house. With the amount of time and effort I've put into scouring cookbooks and websites, and painstakingly preparing specialty dishes, only to have everyone in the house rave about how fabulous dinner is, except, of course, for my son, who declares he "isn't a fan" in between dry heaves, it is a wonder that I have any hair left. Cause dinner time makes me want to pull it all out, pretty much every single day since his infancy, and it hasn't improved that much with age.

Enter the chicken strip.

Chicken strips and nuggets are one of the few foods my son can be counted on to eat. I do have to be careful with the spices, especially black pepper, as even a hair too much and it's too spicy for him. As long as I'm not heavy-handed with the spice bottles, breaded chicken is a consistent winner.

As a ketonian, I obviously am not making traditionally breaded and friend chicken. So, I improvised, and what I came up with is quite special, indeed. This breading recipe gets raves from everyone who's ever tried it, including my son, who regularly asks me to make his "favorite chicken."

So, kind readers, today I will share my secret weapon breading recipe with you. It isn't exclusive to chicken, either. While I most frequently use it to bread chicken strips, it can also be used with ground chicken to make nuggets, and it makes a mean crust for chicken fried steak and fish sticks. The trick is the traditional triple-step breading.

Yes, it's a little time consuming, but the best batters, in my opinion, are always triple-dipped because it creates the sturdiest (and crunchiest!) crust. Rolling in a flour, then dipping in egg before the final dredging is a standard breading technique and it holds up significantly better than just wetting and dredging. In a non-keto forum, the standard ingredients would be seasoned flour, then egg (possibly an egg wash of some kind, which is just egg beaten with a little water or milk), and finally seasoned cornmeal or something similar. Obviously all of that, excepting the egg, is out on keto, but I managed to capture a very similar effect by using friendly ingredients such as coconut flour and crushed pork rinds.

While you may bake or air fry this, I have the best and most consistently crunchy results simply pan frying, so that's my recommendation. Also, if your palate isn't quite as sensitive, you could beat a few dashes of hot or Tabasco sauce into the egg for a little added depth of flavor.

[tasty-recipe id="2782"]


Josh's Favorite Chicken

  •  Author: Mandy Pagano
  •  Prep Time: 15 mins
  •  Cook Time: 15 mins
  •  Total Time: 30 mins
  •  Yield: 8 servings
  •  Method: Stovetop
  •  Cuisine: American
  •  Keywords: chicken, breading, comfort-food, chicken-strips


  • 2 lb (32 oz/ 907 g) chicken thighs, boneless, cut into 1-1 1/2" wide strips
  • 4 tbsp. coconut flour
  • 2 oz (57 g) pork rinds, finely ground
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 3/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 6 dashes black pepper
  • Approx. 1/2 c (4 fl oz/ 118 ml) bacon drippings (or coconut oil or avocado oil) for frying


  1. Grab three shallow but wide bowls, or alternatively two plates and one bowl. In one dish, place the coconut flour, in the second bowl the eggs, and the crushed pork rinds in the last container.
  2. Mix the spices together, then evenly divide the seasoning between the coconut flour, the beaten eggs, and the pork rinds. Mix the spices into each.
  3. Step one is to lightly roll each chicken strip in the coconut flour. You want a good dusting on the strip, but not a thick layer, so be sure to tap off any excess.
  4. Step two is to dip each floured strip into the egg, being sure to coat completely, then letting any excess drip back down into the bowl.
  5. Step three is to roll or dredge the strip in the seasoned, crushed pork rinds to cover well, again tapping off any excess.
  6. Repeat the triple breading steps with each strip, and place aside on a plate until ready to fry.
  7. In a large pan, heat your chosen oil over medium-high. Once it is hot enough that a drop of water sizzles when dropped into the pan, it is ready. Add the strips, a few at a time, to the pan to fry. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan. When in doubt, fewer is almost always better.
  8. DO NOT WALK AWAY. Watch your chicken! When the first side is golden brown, and a good crust is formed (it should look very close to a unified piece of breading), flip and continue cooking on the second side. This usually takes four to five minutes, but again, watch and don't ever walk off when pan frying.
  9. When the second side is golden and your crust is well-formed, then remove from the oil to a paper towel lined plate. Let stand to cool, and repeat until all strips are cooked.


  • Serving Size: 1/8 recipe
  • Calories: 337.4 cal
  • Fat: 22.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 2.6 g
    • Fiber: 1.34 g
    • Net Carbs [total carbs - (fiber + sugar alcohol)] : 1.26 g
  • Protein: 29.6 g

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