Baked Coconut Chicken Fingers are a great alternative to traditional chicken tenders packed with coconut, turmeric, and just a hint of heat from red pepper flakes.
A few weeks ago, after sitting in traffic for what felt like hours, we made an impromptu stop for lunch and had the most amazing baked coconut chicken fingers. They were coated in the perfect amount of coconut with just enough Panko to make sure they stayed nice and crispy.
Like any good food blogger, I grilled our server to find out how they were made and luckily, she was happy to do some investigating for me and talk to the chef. Turns out they spend some time marinating in a combination of yogurt, turmeric, ginger, and a hint of red pepper flakes before being coated and breaded. Then they are baked until they are nice and crunchy and served with a variety of dipping sauces. Delish.
To make these at home, it’s easiest to start with chicken tenderloins or you can cut larger chicken breasts into strips. From there, toss them with the yogurt mixture and if you have time, let them marinate for a few hours. The yogurt almost ensures a moist chicken tender and the longer they sit the more flavor they’ll get. Then it’s a simple breading of Panko and shredded coconut. You can use sweetened or unsweetened coconut depending if you like a sweeter breading. And if you are low carb or Paleo, you can use all coconut for the breading.
When it comes to dipping sauce, the key to any good chicken tender, the possibilities are endless. Personally I love to use a sweet Thai chili sauce since it adds a nice touch of spice. Honey mustard works surprisingly well as does a quick pineapple salsa or mango chutney.
Here’s some things to keep in mind when preparing these Baked Coconut Chicken Fingers:
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