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Crispy Grain-Free Fried Chicken

Enjoy the fried chicken you had growing up with our healthy crispy grain-free fried chicken recipe. Drumsticks are brined overnight, then coated in a grain-free dusting that cooks up crisp and flaky. Rather than your normal vegetable oil for frying, sub in Fatworks Grass-Fed Pure Beef Tallow. It’s perfect for higher heat cooking and the density of it keeps it from saturating your foods when frying in comparison to vegetable oils. And bonus: a very subtle, yet deliciously savory flavor added to each bite. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce. (We love a good homemade honey mustard!)


For the brine:
    • 6 chicken drumsticks
    • 1 cup buttermilk or plain kefir (sub ¾ cup light coconut milk plus the juice of 1 lemon for dairy-free)
    • 1 egg
    • 2 tablespoon hot sauce
    • 1 teaspoon sea salt
    • ½ teaspoon black pepper
For frying:
  • ½ cup tapioca or arrowroot starch
  • 2 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground mustard
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • Sea salt & black pepper, to taste
  • Fatworks Beef Tallow, for frying
Prep time: 4-24 hours
Cook time: 35 minutes
Servings: 2-3
Fat: Pure Tallow
Tags: Gluten Free, Keto, Paleo Friendly



To prepare the brine, whisk the buttermilk, egg, hot sauce, sea salt, and black pepper together in a bowl.  Pour the mix into a large ziptop bag and add the drumsticks. Seal the bag and massage it gently to coat the chicken. Place the bag in a wide dish to safeguard against leaks and place the dish in the refrigerator. Leave for 4-24 hours to brine.


To fry the chicken, combine the tapioca starch, coconut flour, baking powder, onion powder, mustard, paprika, and oregano in a wide, deep dish. Whisk until well combined. One piece at a time, place the drumsticks into the dry mixture to fully coat the outside (ensure there is a good coating of the brine on each piece as you move it to the dry mix). Use your hands to press the dry mix to the outside of the chicken until the entire surface is no longer wet. Set the coated drumsticks on a plate to rest for 10 minutes before frying.


Preheat the oven to 350° F. Have a sheet pan ready with a cooling rack fitted inside.


Place a deep skillet over medium heat. Choose a skillet that carries and holds heat well. It also helps if the skillet isn’t too large since the larger it is, the more tallow you will need. Add enough tallow to the skillet to come up about 2” in depth (example: a 10” wide skillet will require about 12 oz. of tallow). Heat until the oil begins to shimmer on the surface. If the oil begins to smoke, it’s too hot. You can test if the oil is ready by adding a drop of water. If it sizzles, it’s ready!


Add the drumsticks to the skillet by carefully laying them down in a direction away from your body (this prevents the oil from splattering toward you). Be careful not to crowd the pan; it can cause the temperature of the oil to drop too quickly to cook the chicken unevenly. Cook the chicken until browned on all sides, about 4 minutes per side. 


Move the drumsticks to the sheet pan fitted with a cooling rack. Cook the chicken in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until cooked through. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper and enjoy immediately!