We recently started digging through some of our ‘go-to food recipes’ that we’ve created over the years, in search of a dish that is healthy, party perfect, 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 clean up and then crash just in time for bed.
Although most chicken finger recipes are fried, a bit heavy on oil, and not exactly healthy. This recipe for Coconut Chicken Fingers is the entire opposite of that.
It is light, spicy, tasty, and the curry powder gives it a touch of zing that family, guests, and even kids will seriously enjoy.
Crispy Coconut Chicken Fingers
By the Crave Local Test Kitchen
- 12 chicken tenders
- 1-2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 C flour, sifted
- 1 C unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 C panko bread crumbs
- 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 3/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 tsp madras curry powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- Bamboo skewers, optional
Preheat oven to 450º F. Give the coconut a rough chop so it’s about the same size as the panko pieces. Combine it with the bread crumbs and spices in a shallow dish. Mix well. Place the flour in another shallow dish, and the egg mixture in another.
Skewer the chicken pieces, if desired. Working with one chicken tender at a time, dredge in flour, dip in egg, and then in the coconut Panko mixture. Press the coating on with your fingers to make sure the entire piece of chicken is evenly covered.
Spray a foil-lined baking sheet with non-stick oil, and place tenders on it in a single layer, with space between them. Give the chicken tenders a light drizzle of olive oil on top just before baking, to help them crisp up.
Bake in a 450º F oven for about 20 minutes, or until juices run clear. Try not to overcook them because chicken tenders go from perfect to overcooked very quickly. If tenders are on the small side, they could be done in about 15 minutes, with larger pieces taking up to 25 minutes to cook. The coconut should be a light golden brown and the panko crisp, but light in color still.
Freezer Instructions: Prepare chicken fingers through coating stage in the panko and 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 450º. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until juices run clear.
Serve with lemony honey mustard, or curry garlic aioli for dipping.
Check out our Sriracha Teriyaki Chicken Wings recipe for a party-perfect snack that’s sure to please!