Our Unconventional Thanksgiving Dinner + Gluten Free Air Fried Chicken

This year my birthday landed on Thanksgiving and since I was just coming back home from my recent travels I wanted to have more of an intimate Thanksgiving gathering that included my husband and our two daughters rather than the large traditional gatherings we do with our families every year.

I pulled the birthday girl card and asked for one of my favorite meals which happens to be fried chicken! Jonathan, my partner in crime, makes a mean fried chicken that we adopted from the famous Chef Thomas Keller. If you’ve never been up to Ad Hoc in Yountville, I suggest you go as soon as you can.


We made a very simple gluten free fried chicken dinner using Foster Farms Organic Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks, charcuterie, kale salad, green beans, baked potatoes, and mac and cheese with cauliflower.

I love a good home cooked meal and for the most part we try to prepare all the things we make from scratch, but when our schedules are simply insane, we find shortcuts like picking up a Fresh Organic Sweet Kale Chopped Salad kit by Earthbound Farms. I had the pleasure to check out Earthbound Farms last month courtesy of Safeway, you can read more about their products on my last blog post.


The mac and cheese we made might be one of my favorite recipes that I discovered from the Earthbound Farms website. You can find the recipe here. The recipe calls for you to sneak in a little cauliflower and broccoli rice which I can appreciate for a little bit more of a healthyish dish.


We made our baked potatoes in our Instant Pot which took half the time than it normally does. Below are 4 steps on making the best Instant Pot baked potatoes.


4 Steps for the Best Instant Pot Potatoes

1. Start with similarly sized potatoes. 

This ensures that the potatoes cook evenly.

2. Pierce the potatoes. 

3. Add a trivet and water to the Instant Pot. As with all Instant Pot recipes, it's essential to start with liquid in the bottom of the pot. A cup of water helps create the pressure that allows the potatoes to cook. The trivet keeps the potatoes elevated from sitting in the water.

4. Use potato size to determine the cook time. You can cook any and all sizes of russet potatoes in your Instant Pot. We used medium sized ones.

  • Small russet potatoes (6 to 8 ounces): 12 minutes at high pressure

  • Medium russet potatoes (8 to 10 ounces): 15 minutes at high pressure

  • Large russet potatoes (10 to 12 ounces): 18 minutes at high pressure


Our fried chicken recipe is one that we always go to in our house. It’s by far our favorite fried chicken recipe and one that’s used often when we’re celebrating in our house. Jonathan loves to fry our chicken using a deep fryer, but for Thanksgiving we opted to use our AirFryer because we wanted to keep our meal a little on the lighter side since we were pretty much eating throughout the day.

Yield: 4-6

Gluten Free Buttermilk Fried Chicken Recipe

prep time: 45 minscook time: 30 minstotal time: 75 mins

Chef Thomas Keller's famous Ad-Hoc fried chicken recipe, made a little healthyish!


  • 3lbs of chicken (1.5lbs of thighs and 1.5lbs of drumsticks)
  • Chicken Brine, cold (recipe follows)
  • For Dredging:
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the Coating:
  • 6 cups Bob's Red Mill all-purpose gluten free flour
  • 1/4 cup garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Ground fleur de sel or fine sea salt
  • Rosemary and thyme sprigs for garnish
  • 5 lemons, halved
  • 12 bay leaves
  • 1 bunch (4 ounces) flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 bunch (1 ounce) thyme
  • 1/2 cup clover honey
  • 1 head garlic, halved through the equator
  • 1/4 cup black peppercorns
  • 2 cups (10 ounces) kosher salt
  • 2 gallons water 


For the brine: Combine all the ingredients in a large pot, cover, and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring to dissolve the salt. Remove from the heat and cool completely before using.

Rinse the chickens and place the chickens in the cold brine and refrigerate overnight or for up to 12 hours. Remove the chicken from the brine and pat the chicken dry, removing any herbs or spices sticking to the skin. 

For the coating: Mix the coating ingredients together in a bowl and place the buttermilk in a second container.

Just before air frying, dip each piece of chicken into the coating, patting off the excess, then into the buttermilk and back into the coating. Place the chicken on a parchment lined sheet tray.

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 375 degrees.
  2. Spray dredged chicken with avocado oil (this will keep the chicken from sticking in the airfryer and will help crisp the coating)
  3. Put the chicken pieces in a single layer in the airfryer (don't overcrowd the basket) and fry for 20 minutes.
  4. Open the air fryer, flip the chicken pieces.
  5. Cook the chicken for an additional 10 minutes.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Growing up I had a mixture of large or intimate family gatherings. Some Thanksgivings were filled with family members and family friends. Filipinos love to party, love to host, and love to eat. This year I’m so happy we opted for an intimate dinner for four. As we sat around the table I asked my family to share 3 things that they were grateful for about the each family member. As they girls opened up I couldn’t help but feel the immense amount of pride for how we raise our little family. It hasn’t been easy, but I appreciate the messy, beautiful, and unconventional way we live and love.


This post was sponsored by Safeway, but all opinions are 100% my own. #SWYBloggerTours

Joanne E

I’m a mother of two beautiful daughters and married to a man who completes me. I started my fitness journey as a way to heal my soul and launched my blog in hopes to continue to inspire and empower women to use fitness as a tool to heal depression and find their self worth. I strongly believe that each woman deserves to be in love with herself just as much as her man does. I have an obsession with reusable water bottles, I enjoy action movies, and I’m in love with burpees.