Cooking for kids can sometimes be a challenging affair, especially when all they want are chicken nuggets or mac n’ cheese. So I had to upgrade the chicken nuggets to Coconut Chicken and the best part was, no one complained!

Coconut Shrimp is on every menu in warm vacation destinations and for good reason, too – they are delicious. So I used that dish as an inspiration to make this recipe. I decided to bake these in the oven because let’s face it, deep frying is not all that healthy and I wanted to make an option that was more healthy than the processed, deep fried nuggets you get at virtually every restaurant everywhere.

That being said, these Coconut Chicken tenders can fry up very nicely, especially if you want a nice crisp to the breading. I will occasionally use the deep fryer for these, but that’s only when I’m feeling naughty.

However, staying with the Coconut Shrimp inspiration, I kept most of the spices, except for the hot chili peppers, which typically give the dish a kick. Instead, I chose paprika, it has an excellent flavor, it’s similar to peppers in that it has a nice full flavor, but used it in moderation to avoid the hotness.

Also, most recipes for Coconut Shrimp use sweetened coconut flakes, which does provide a great deal of sweetness, however, I wanted the dish to be a bit more savory and not have the kids bouncing off the walls after dinner, so I used unsweetened coconut flakes. You can use either, but unsweetened is my preference.

This can be served with many different sauces, in the picture below I simply threw two mangos, half a banana, and 1/4 cup of orange juice into the food processor then squeezed half a lime into the mix until it was a smooth consistency. The sauce brings a flavorful and fresh taste to the chicken.

So I hope you enjoy this recipe, it can be your weeknight “vacation in your mind” meal!

Coconut Chicken
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Coconut Chicken
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Servings
4
Servings
4
There is no Nutrition Label for this recipe yet.
Ingredients
Servings:
Units:
Ingredients
Servings:
Units:
There is no Nutrition Label for this recipe yet.
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Spray a cookie/baking sheet with vegetable cooking spray
  3. Trim the chicken and then cut into 1/2 to 3/4 inch strips. Season the chicken strips with salt and pepper.
  4. Combine the flour and garlic in a shallow dish. In a separate bowl or shallow dish combine the eggs and pina coloda mix. Finally, in a third shallow dish combine the coconut, panko, paprika, and a few dashes of salt and pepper.
  5. Now batter the chicken, one piece at a time. Dip the chicken first into the flour (both sides), then second dip the chicken into the egg mixture, then dip the chicken into the panko/coconut mixture, then place on the sprayed baking sheet.
  6. Bake in the oven until golden brown and the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees F. This shoudl take between 10 and 20 minutes depending on the thickness of the chicken.
  7. Serve the chicken with a dipping sauce or with lime wedges.

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