I started digging through some of my “go-to food recipes” that I have stored in my various cookbooks and was looking for a recipe that could be easy to prepare and kid friendly. After all – entertaining means actually spending time with family and friends, not just slaving over a hot stove for hours, only to serve and feed 20 to 30 guests, clean up, and crash with a glass of wine just in time for bed.
I’ve been there, and done that, and frankly, I now want to enjoy myself when company is around.
When I stumbled across this recipe years ago, I was hooked. Most chicken finger recipes are fried, a bit heavy on oil, and not exactly healthy. This recipe for Coconut Chicken Fingers could not be more polar opposite.
It is light, spicy, tasty, and the curry powder gives it a touch of zing that family, guests, and even kids seriously enjoy. Try it, and tell us what you think. If you have a particular party recipe you’d like to share, let us know-we’re all ears!
Crispy Coconut Chicken Fingers
- 12 chicken tenders
- 1-2 eggs
- 1/2 C flour
- 1 C sweetened coconut flakes
- 1 C panko bread crumbs
- 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 3/4 tsp table salt
- 3/4 tsp curry powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Give coconut a rough chop so it’s about the same size as the panko pieces. Combine it with Panko and spices in a shallow dish. Mix well to distribute all of the spices. Place the flour in another shallow dish, and the egg in another. Give the egg a quick beating. Working with one chicken tender at a time, dredge in flour and then dip in egg, and then finally coat in the coconut Panko mixture. Press in with your fingers to make sure the entire thing is well coated.
Place chicken tenders on a foil-lined baking sheet (for easy clean up!) that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. I give mine a teeny drizzle of olive oil on top to help them crisp nicely, but it’s optional.
Bake in your 450 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until juices run clear. Try not to overcook them because chicken tenders go from perfect to overcooked really fast! If your tenders are on the small side, they could even be done in about 15 minutes so keep an eye on them. If they’re big they can take more like 25. The coconut will be nice and golden and the panko crisp, but light in color still.
Freezer Instructions: Prepare chicken fingers through coating them in the panko/coconut mixture. Place in a single layer on a lined baking sheet and freeze for several hours. Remove from freezer and transfer to a gallon-sized Ziploc bag or a freezer safe container. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 450. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until juices run clear.
Recipe inspiration: Our Best Bites.