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Healthy KFC Style Recipe - Fried Chicken without oil!

11th February 2021

With the doors to our favourite restaurants firmly shut, and plenty of time on our hands, many of us have rediscovered the joy of being in the kitchen and cooking up a delicious meal. 

Whilst we have waved hello and swiftly goodbye to a range of new hobbies and trends this year; from banana bread baking to (attempting) to learn a new language and everything in-between, we have found one trend that's with us for the long haul, and that's the rituals of self-care, health and wellbeing.


Whether it's thanks to Joe Wicks getting the nation moving with his 9am PE classes, the 5K run challenge or a general newfound interested in health, we've been looking at ways to make our favourite meals healthier. Finally, we think we hit the jackpot with this recipe; Kentucky fried chicken...without any oil. 



How is this possible? I hear you ask, surely you can't get crispy crunchy coated chicken that's also juicy and succulent in the middle without using any oil? Well, we're here to tell you that it certainly is possible..thanks to the Tower Air fryer


This air fryer has been our new holy grail for oil-free and reduced-fat dinners, that are also delicious. So without further ado, we reveal our oil-free KFC style recipe! 


(Vegans or Vegetarians, don't fret, we have included the Vegan KFC oil-free recipe below!)



Air Fryer KFC style Recipe:

(Feeds 4)


You will need:

Tower air fryer 

500g chicken rested at room temperature 

2 Free Range Eggs

300g flour

4 and a half tbsp paprika

2 and a half tbsp white pepper

2tbsp garlic salt

1tbsp celery salt

1tbsp black pepper

2tsp mustard powder

1tbsp dried ginger

1tsp thyme

1tsp basil

½ tsp oregano


How to make it:


Preheat the air fryer by setting the temperature dial to 200 degrees and the timer dial for 5 minutes.





Whilst this heats up, measure out your spices and flour combine them in a bowl.





Coat the chicken in the spice mixture, then in an egg wash before coating it in the spices a second time. Repeat this with all pieces of chicken. 




When the chicken is coated, place it in the air dryer with the temperature dial still at 200 and set the timer to 8 minutes. Try not to over-fill the air fryer as it will mean the air can't get to some pieces and as a result they won't come out crispy. We have used a 2-litre air fryer but would recommend the 4-litre air fryer if you wanted to cook all the chicken at once.  




Once the timer goes off, slide out the drawer and give the chicken a little shake before placing it back and setting the timer for a further 10 minutes. 


Wait for the timer to go off and check your chicken is cooked through, if not then simply pop it back in for as long as needed. 


And just like that homemade oil-free Kentucky fried chicken is ready to enjoy! You're free to enjoy this however you wish, whether it's with some air fryer sweet potato chips, on top of a salad or in a sandwich.




If you wanted to take it up a notch, why not make a healthy dip to go with it such as our smokey creamy tahini. This can be quickly made whilst the chicken cooks in the air fryer as all you need to do is stick the below ingredients in a blender and voila it's ready to go! We recommend this Beko Blender as it hs 4 settings and blitzed the sauce up in a matter of seconds.


Ingredients for Smoky Tahini dip


1/2 cup tahini

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 cup warm water

1/4 cup onion powder

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

salt + pepper to taste




Vegan Air fryer KFC Style Recipe:

(feeds 4)


You will need:

Tower air fryer 

One packet of Medium-firm Tofu

4tbsp plain flour mixed with 6tbsp chickpea/gram flour

Warm water to taste

4 and a half tbsp paprika

2 and a half tbsp white pepper

2tbsp garlic salt

1tbsp celery salt

1tbsp black pepper

2tsp mustard powder

1tbsp dried ginger

1tsp thyme

1tsp basil

½ tsp oregano



How to make it:


Freeze the Tofu the night before cooking and then fully defrost it. Once the Tofu is fully thawed, unwrap it and drain it by pressing between two chopping boards, using a towel to mop up any extra liquid. 


Preheat the air fryer by setting the temperature dial to 200 degrees and the timer dial for 5 minutes


Whilst this heats up, measure out the spices and combine them in a bowl


Mix the flour and 1/4tsp salt with warm water until a batter is formed


Break the tofu up into small/medium-sized pieces, dip in the batter mixture and let it soak for 30-60 seconds. Then roll the pieces of tofu in the spices a couple of times until completely covered.


When the Tofu is coated, place it in the air dryer with the temperature dial still at 200 and set the timer to 8 minutes. Try not to over-fill the air fryer as it will mean the air can't get to some pieces and as a result they won't come out crispy. We have used a 2-litre air fryer but would recommend the 4-litre air fryer if you wanted to cook all the tofu at once.  


Once the timer goes off, slide out the drawer and give the Tofu a little shake before placing it back and setting the timer for a further 10 minutes. 


Wait for the timer to go off and voila...your KFC Style Tofu is cooked and ready to eat. You're free to enjoy this however you wish, whether it's with some air fryer sweet potato chips, on top of a salad or in a sandwich. 


We also recommend our smoky creamy tahini dip detailed just above for an extra little touch. 



We hope you've enjoyed our healthy KFC Chicken style recipe and Vegan KFC Style Air fryer Tofu, check out our Box Blogs page for more similar recipes such as Veganuary Mirangue Kisses and Vegan Scones!



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