I love coconut! I know it’s not a universal favorite, to which all I can say is “You don’t like coconuts! Say brainless, don’t you know where coconuts come from?” (Name that movie…)
Seriously though, coconut is a fantastic addition to both sweet and savory foods. It adds great flavor and texture. I’ve always loved coconut shrimp, but we’ve ditched seafood in our house due to my husband’s suspected allergy. So I opt to get that same flavor by making coconut chicken instead.
The chicken turns out great – it has a great crispy texture and an amazing sweet/savory flavor. The curry and pineapple in the dipping sauce blend perfectly with the coconut. If you’re not a fan of curry, you could also use this sweet dipping sauce with your coconut chicken.
Coconut Chicken with Pineapple-Curry Dipping Sauce
- 3/4 c. flour
- 1 t. salt
- 1/2 t. pepper
- 2 eggs
- 2 t. water
- 1 c. panko bread crumbs (or regular bread crumbs)
- 1/2 c. shredded coconut
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Oil, for frying
- 1 15 oz. can diced pineapple, juice reserved
- 2 t. cornstarch
- 2 t. curry powder
- 2 T. water
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes
1. Combine flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish or bowl. In a second dish, whisk together the eggs and water. In a third dish, combine the panko breads crumbs and coconut. Cut the chicken into “fingers” or bite-sized pieces.
2. Pour about an inch of oil into a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat. While oil heats, prepare the chicken. Dredge chicken pieces in flour, dip in eggs then roll in coconut mixture, pressing the mixture onto the chicken to coat completely. Cook the chicken in the oil in small batches until golden brown and fully cooked, about 3 minutes per side, depending on the size of you pieces.
3. While the chicken cooks, drain the pineapple juice into a small sauce pan and heat to boiling over medium heat. While juice is warming, combine the cornstarch and curry powder in a small bowl. Stir in water until smooth. Pour mixture into the boiling pineapple juice and cook for about 2 minutes, until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 c. pineapple pieces, salt and crushed red pepper flakes. Serve warm or cold with the chicken.