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July 02, 2022

For a Finger-Lickin' Fourth, Chef Greg's Beef Tallow Fried Chicken Celebrates a Classic American Dish with Flavor to Spare

For a Finger-Lickin' Fourth, Chef Greg's Beef Tallow Fried Chicken Celebrates a Classic American Dish with Flavor to Spare

New Recipe from Coast Packing’s Corporate Chef Will Have Folks Coming Back for More

While fried chicken caught on as a staple of Fourth of July picnics right after the Second World War, Coast Packing Company‘s Corporate Chef Greg Hozinsky is literally beefing up that tradition this year, with a new recipe that bathes the bird in beef tallow.

“Our fried chicken recipe for this July 4th declares our independence from dry, flavorless fowl and embraces an amazingly moist and savory way to prepare this holiday favorite,” Chef Greg says. “When it comes to frying chicken, there are many choices of fat for deep frying, so why tallow? Because the flavor that tallow imparts gives the dish more complexity. Tallow is also far superior when you want a dry (non-oily) crisp texture. Really, nothing compares for deep frying performance.”

3 ½ – 4 pound whole chicken
2 cups buttermilk
2 egg whites
3 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon dry thyme
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

For the Dredge
4 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
7-8 cups of beef tallow for frying

Prepping the Chicken

Start off by removing the chicken from any packaging and pat it dry; most whole chickens will be around 4 lb. For this recipe, a chicken between 3 ½ – 4 pounds works best.

  • Buy a chicken already cut up, or have a butcher do it for you. Once you learn how to do it, it’s worth the extra effort.
  • A 10-piece bone-in chicken works best — 2 legs, 2 thighs, 2 wings, and 2 breasts, cut in half, for a total of 4 breast pieces.
  • To cut up the chicken, start with the breast side down and remove the wings by cutting them just behind the joint. This is a good time to nip off the wing tips as well.
  • Next, flip the chicken over with the breast side up and cut the skin where the leg meets the breast; apply downward pressure on the legs and thighs until the thigh bone “pops,” then carefully use the knife to cut on the leg and thigh. Then, separate the leg and thigh; note the line of fat on the bottom side; use this as the guide and cut down to separate the leg and thigh.
  • For the breast, use the knife to cut above the spine. When you reach the end, pull the breast up and finish cutting through, saving the spine for stock. With the skin side down, cut through the breast plate and finish separating the breasts. Next, split each breast crosswise, trying to keep the size as equal as possible.
  • Here’s a tip: since a picture is worth 1,000, make sure to watch the video for this recipe.
  • Once the chicken pieces have been cut, season well with paprika, ½ teaspoon black pepper, and 2 teaspoons of kosher salt. This is called a dry brine; let the chicken rest in the refrigerator for about an hour, if possible.

For the Dredge

  • In a large bowl combine, all-purpose flour, cornstarch, salt, pepper and baking soda; mix well with a wire whisk and set aside for later.
  • While baking soda may seem an odd ingredient, it works to balance out the ph-levels of the chicken, resulting in a crispier, longer-lasting crispy crust.

To Prepare the Marinade

  • Start off by separating the egg yolks and the whites, being careful not to break any yolks (or the whites won’t whip). You won’t need the yolks for this recipe, so reserve them for another recipe.
  • Add the salt to a large bowl containing the egg whites. Whip until frothy but not more than is needed to create soft peaks.
  • Add the remaining black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, and thyme, and mix well.
  • Pour in the buttermilk and gently stir to combine; be careful to keep as much air in the marinade as possible.
  • Lightly dredge the chicken in the flour mix; shake off any extra, then submerge in the marinade and let it marinate for about 2 hours.

Dredging the Chicken

  • While dredging — or a few minutes before you start — place the 7-8 cups of beef tallow into a heavy bottom pot or deep fryer. Fill the pot no more than halfway.
  • If using a pot, keep a digital thermometer handy. The ideal temperature for frying bone-in chicken is about 325-335 degrees. This allows time for the chicken to cook in the fryer before it’s transferred to the oven, and it keeps the color golden.
  • Remove a piece of chicken and place into the flour dredge, using your hands to coat the chicken well. Don’t shake off extra flour; you want a nice coating. The extra flour becomes the crispy bits and is often what guests like best about fried chicken.
  • Repeat the process until all the chicken is coated.

Frying the Chicken

  • Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Cook the chicken in batches, gently placing a few pieces into the hot beef tallow (here’s a tip: gently place the chicken into the oil; as you release the chicken, let it fall away from you. That way, if it splashes, you’ll avoid potential burns.)
  • When choosing what pieces to fry together, try to cook similar-size pieces at the same time. A small wing and large breast won’t take the same amount of time to cook. so keeping batches consistent is helpful.
  • Cook chicken breasts for about 8 minutes, thighs and legs for about 6 minutes, and wings about 5 minutes.
  • Finish everything in the oven; when the chicken is golden brown, remove it. When the chicken comes out of the fryer, transfer to a sheet pan lined with a wire rack, place into the middle rack of the oven and cook each piece until it reaches an internal temperature of 165-170 degrees (usually about 15-20 minutes).
  • Serve hot. In the sweet spirit of the Fourth, drizzle with just a bit of honey.