In between the nightmare that is potty-training my son and pondering my existence on this here Earth, I realized that I’ve had a GIANT bag of shredded coconut sitting around forever. I mean, not FOREVER, obviously, because I haven’t been alive that long. It had been lounging in my pantry for a long time and I needed to figure out what to do with it. Every time I opened my pantry, it was sitting there, looking really put out.
Which is just dumb on my part, because why the heck did I buy it in the first place?
I was going to make some sort of coconut confection. With SUGAR. And probably WHEAT.
The two items I decided to eschew.
Oh wow. I just used the word “eschew” in a sentence.
After giving it some thought, I wondered if I could make chicken tenders using this stuff instead of flour, and bake them instead of frying them.
Turns out, it’s totally possible.
I did some research, and other people have done this in various ways, but many of the recipes I found also included breadcrumbs or flour, which I don’t want, so I thought I would experiment with my own version and put it out here on the innerwebs.
Here’s what I did:
- 1 1/2lbs chicken tenders
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 cups Unsweetened, Organic Shredded Coconut (I use Tropical Traditions)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- Additional seasonings as desired – I used the Costco brand of non-salt seasoning shown here. You can use whatever you like – the coconut flavor is very mild so you can use pretty much anything.
Preheat oven to 400.
In one dish, beat the egg. In another dish, mix the coconut, salt, pepper and spices. Dip each tender in the egg, then transfer to coconut mixture and coat, shaking off excess. Place on cooling rack over a foil covered cookie sheet as shown:
I like to use a cooling rack over a cookie sheet (and spray the rack with olive oil to prevent sticking) so that the heat is circulated around the tenders and they get evenly baked. You can just lay them on a cookie sheet if desired, but you might want to flip them in the middle of cooking so they don’t get too soggy underneath.
Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until chicken reaches temp of 160-165 and they are slightly browned. Let the chicken rest after removing them from the oven for about 5-10 minutes.
The tenders don’t exactly get “crisp”, but the coconut has a nice texture and the flavor compliments the chicken well.
You’ve got to have a dipping sauce, right? I found that a honey-mustard sauce works really well, and it’s easy to make.
Honey Mustard Sauce
- 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
- 1 squirt of lemon juice
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Mix in a bowl and serve with the tenders!
Or you can try a plum sauce – I’m still looking for a low sugar version with real plums.
What fun things have you done with shredded coconut that doesn’t include sugar or wheat? Got any good dessert recipes to share?