Ranch Fried Chicken

September 30, 2020

Southern comfort food favorite, totable picnic recipe, and family friendly chicken recipe to make with your kids (just tell them to stand back when frying with hot oil), this ranch fried chicken recipe is bursting with zesty ranch flavor, made with Primal/paleo-friendly flour, and fried in Avocado Oil for rich, buttery flavor. This ranch fried chicken takes at least an hour to marinate in the refrigerator, but aside from that planning time, it comes together quickly in a few simple steps. Moist on the inside and crisp on the outside, the Ranch Dressing used in the marinade provides an herby, tangy flavor that's more interesting than the usual buttermilk. Delicious hot or cold, you might want to make an extra batch for leftovers.

Ranch Fried Chicken

Ranch fried chicken with pickles on a white plate next to a bottle of Primal Kitchen Ranch Dressing

Time: 1 hour 22 minutes

Servings: 8


*Note: Can substitute 1 cup cassava flour. 


  • Place the chicken on a clean surface. With a sharp knife, cut the chicken into 8 pieces. Our Ranch Fried Chicken video gives a quick visual on how to do this; for step-by-step instructions, jump to our section below, How to Cut Up a Whole Chicken.

First, marinate the chicken:

  • Place your chicken pieces in a dish. 
  • In a large liquid mixing cup, add 1 cup of Ranch Dressing and 1 egg. Whisk together until combined.
  • Pour the Ranch and egg mixture over the chicken pieces. Put the chicken in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 1 hour.

Second, make the Primal/paleo-friendly chicken coating:

  • In a large bowl, add paleo flour, tapioca flour, arrowroot flour, salt, and pepper. Mix together with a fork or whisk.
  • Place the flour mixture on a big plate or baking sheet. 
  • Remove the chicken from the refrigerator.
  • Coat each chicken piece thoroughly in the flour mixture. 

Finally, fry the chicken:

Chicken frying in avocado oil in a cast iron skillet

  • Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. When it's warm, add avocado oil and let it warm up.
  • Place about 3 chicken pieces into the hot oil. Fry for 5–7 minutes on each side until the outside of each side is golden brown. When they're done frying, remove the chicken pieces from the hot oil and allow to drain on a parchment-lined cooking rack. 

Ranch fried chicken resting on a cooling rack

How to Cut Up a Whole Chicken

Save money and get a chicken backbone for making chicken stock or chicken bone broth when you buy a whole chicken and cut it up yourself. Sure, you can save time and a few extra steps by buying already cut-up chicken pieces, but you won't be able to make rich, flavorful broth without the backbone you get from a whole chicken. Here's what you'll need to do.

Equipment needed: 

  • Sharp chef's knife
  • Clean work surface (ie. cutting board, kitchen counter with parchment paper on top)
  • Clean kitchen scissors

Follow the steps below to cut up your chicken to make 8 separate chicken pieces:

  1. Make a slit with your chef's knife through the skin where the leg meets the body. Pull the skin back and pull the leg away from the body to pop the bone out. Cut through the joint to remove the leg from the body.
  2. Repeat with the leg on the other side of the chicken.
  3. To separate the drumstick from the thigh, look for the fat line (turn the chicken piece over where you cut away the skin so you can see the fat line). Cut through the fat line. Repeat with the other leg.
  4. Next, remove the wings. Pull the wing up and away from the body; take your thumb to feel for the ridge of the joint—that's where you want to cut. Lift the wing up and you saw the wing off of the body. 
  5. Repeat with the other chicken wing.
  6. Take your kitchen shears to remove the backbone. Look for the fat line, and cut right along the fat line, cutting through the ribs as you go. Break the backbone off with your hands. Save the backbone to make chicken stock or chicken bone broth.
  7. Separate the breasts into two halves. Make a slit in the bone between the breasts and make a slit in the bone. Flip the breast over and place one palm over the other on the skin side of the breast. Press down on the breast to crack the breast bone. Cut right down the middle of the breasts to separate. 
  8. Now you have 8 pieces of chicken to fry! 

Make sure to sanitize any surfaces you touched with raw chicken. Use a kitchen towel or paper towels that you can wash right away or discard; avoid using a sponge for cleaning. 

Nutrition info (per serving*):

Calories: 402

Carbs: 14 grams

Fat: 26 grams

Protein: 24 grams

Nutrition info calculated using Cronometer. 

*Nutrition calculated with 1 piece of breaded skin-on chicken thigh.

Recipes that Taste Great with Fried Chicken

Try this Paleo Ranch Fried Chicken on its own or with any of the following dishes:

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