Coconut chicken is delicious. It can also be hit or miss----but not this recipe.
This recipe calls for 3 types of coconut product, a coconut cream for marinating, shredded coconut for coating, and coconut oil for frying.
It's a little time consuming, as anything involving creating a coat or frying does. But it's worth it.
I generally prepare this dish to go on top of Cesar Salad, but not just any salad dressing will do, it has to be Lily's Cesar Dressing---the pair just work extremely well together.
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Step 1: Ingredients
-Chicken breasts or tenders
-Shredded coconut (ground in a food processor, this makes the coconut stick easier)
-Eggs (and a little water)
-Salt and pepper (to taste)
-Coconut oil (for frying)
Step 2: Chicken
Prepare your chicken as you normally would. I'm a little anal so I clean it, cutting off all the icky looking stuff and then cut it into easier to manage pieces.
Put your chicken in a sealable bag and add a 1/4 cup of coconut cream. Let marinate 4-12 hours in the fridge.
Step 3: Dredging & Coating
You are going to need 3 shallow containers.
In one container, mix the flour and salt and pepper. I like to do this in a separate bowl and add more flour as needed.
In the second, mix the ground shredded coconut and panko crumbs together.
In the third, mix the eggs and a little water.
First thing you will do is dip the chicken in the flour and coat it. Shake off the excess and then plunge in the egg mixture and coat. Shake off the excess egg and then transfer the chicken to the coconut-panko mix. It's annoying and a bit time consuming, but all of these steps give you a fantastic crunchy coat that stays on your chicken and doesn't fall off when frying.
Step 4: Frying
Preheat your oven to 400.
Add about 1/4-1/2 cup of coconut oil to a frying pan and cook at medium heat. You want to cook your coated chicken pieces on both sides for 1-3 minutes. Use your judgement. You want both sides to be browned, but not burned. Remove from oil and put on a baking sheet.
Depending on how much chicken you are cooking, you may need to add more coconut oil or change it in between batches.
This step gives your chicken a great crunch!
Step 5: Bake
Now that all your chicken is "flash" fried, bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes (longer depending on how thick your chicken is). You want the inside of the chicken to be white and the juices to run clear. The internal temperature of the chicken should be around 185.
Step 6: Enjoy!
I generally make this recipe to go with Cesar salad, specifically with Lily's Cesar Dressing---it's fantastic, a Massachusetts product. For some reason it just goes really, really well with coconut chicken or coconut shrimp.