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"Yes, you can be flour-free and indulge in fried chicken—and my coating, made with cornstarch, is so crunchy, our next-door neighbors will hear you biting into it! As much as I'd like to, I don't eat fried food every day. So, when I do, I want it to really satisfy my craving for crackly, crunchy goodness. This process might seem a little involved, but the shatteringly crisp results are worth it. You can apply the same technique to white meat chicken, fish, or even vegetables; just adjust the fry time accordingly." –Michael Symon 

Catch Michael’s new Food Network show "Throwdown with Michael Symon" on Tuesday nights at 9:30/8:30c, and for more recipes from Michael, check out his Cheesy Broccoli Gratin and Pumpkin Bread Pudding On The Grill Or In The Oven


  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
  • ½ cup grated carrot
  • 1 small jalapeno, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
  • ¾ cup cornstarch
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • Peanut oil, for frying
  • ¼ cup rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons vodka
  • 1/3 cup water or seltzer


Serves: 2


In a large bowl, whisk to combine the vinegar, ginger, honey, and olive oil. Season with a pinch of salt and a twist of pepper. Add the cabbage, carrot, jalapeno, and scallion and toss to combine. Add the sesame seeds and refrigerate the slaw until needed.  

In a gallon-size zip-top bag, add ½ cup of the cornstarch, 1 teaspoon of the baking powder, and a pinch of salt and shake to blend. Season both sides of the chicken with a few pinches of salt and twists of pepper. Dredge the chicken thighs in the cornstarch, making sure to coat all sides well. Shake off the excess. Place the chicken on a wire rack set in a sheet pan and refrigerate, uncovered, at least 2 hours and up to overnight.  

Pour 4 inches of peanut oil in a deep fryer or deep heavy-bottomed pot. Set over medium-high heat and heat oil to 360°F.  

In a large bowl, combine the rice flour, turmeric, remaining ¼ cup cornstarch, remaining ½ teaspoon baking powder, the paprika, and a pinch of salt and whisk to blend. Add the vodka and water or seltzer and stir until no lumps remain. Let stand for 1 minute. 

When the oil is hot, dip the chicken into the batter and allow the excess to drip off. Carefully add it to the oil and cook until lightly golden brown and crispy, about 6 minutes. Remove using a slotted spoon and drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Season with a few pinches of salt.  

Serve immediately with the slaw. 

Excerpted from Fix It with Food by Michael Symon. Copyright © 2021 by Michael Symon. Used with permission by Clarkson Potter. All rights reserved.