Chicken tenders with a coconut twist

Washington PostJune 10, 2014 


Coconut Chicken Fingers.


Adults with a soft spot for chicken tenders and with children to cook for might want to double this recipe. The nutty, slightly sweet coating makes the chicken almost irresistible. Make these for nights when a stand-up/on-the-run kind of dinner is required.

Serve with a quick mixture of mustard and honey for dipping – or mashed sweet potatoes.

Coconut Chicken Fingers

Adapted from “Coconut Every Day: Cooking With Nature’s Miracle Superfood,” by Sasha Seymour (Pintail, available in June).

Coconut oil, for the baking sheet (may substitute cooking oil spray)

1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

3 scallions

1/2 cup finely ground cornmeal

1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

2 tablespoons sesame seeds (white or a white-black combination)

2 tablespoons coconut milk (may substitute mayonnaise)

2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

HEAT the oven to 500 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then grease the paper lightly with coconut oil.

TRIM off and discard visible fat from the chicken. Cut each breast half into 1-inch-wide strips and place them in a bowl.

CUT the scallions into very thin slices and place them in a wide, shallow bowl; stir in the cornmeal, coconut and sesame seeds.

WHISK together the coconut milk, mustard, salt and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Pour over the chicken and toss until completely coated.

DROP each chicken strip into the scallion coating mixture, pressing to coat all sides. Arrange the strips on the baking sheet as you work. Let them sit on the sheet for 10 minutes to help set the coating.

ROAST for 5 minutes, then turn the strips over and roast for 3 to 4 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through. Serve warm.

Per serving (based on 4): 300 calories, 36 g protein, 18 g carbohydrates, 9 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 80 mg cholesterol, 730 mg sodium, 3 g dietary fiber, 0 g sugar.

Yield: 2 to 4 servings.

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