Thursday, August 26, 2010

Baked Coconut Chicken Nuggets

I've had two dinner winners this week, according to my youngest. This recipe, Baked Coconut Chicken Nuggets served with a cherry chutney (leftover from another dinner) was a huge hit. My oldest was disappointed not to find any leftovers the next day. Everyone had at least two helpings, maybe more. They are sweet, but not too sweet, and let me use up a lot of the buttermilk from the Ultimate Chicken and Dumplings (why doesn't buttermilk come in tiny containers, like heavy cream????).

These ones are quick and easy, and if you don't have cherry chutney, I'd recommend any other kind of sweet topping--cherry preserves, a raspberry chutney, whatever you have on hand. The sweetness really made the dish and made me think of the amazing Monte Christo sandwiches I used to get at Magic Pan a thousand years ago. That restaurant is no longer there, sob sob, but they made a great sandwich and awesome pea soup.
Anyway, I digress ;-)

Baked Coconut Chicken Fingers
(note: the chicken marinates for an hour so leave time for that)

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch strips (a tip: freeze your meat for a half hour before slicing it. You'll get much cleaner cuts and with less effort!)
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
3/4 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon curry powder (which I was out of, so I used this substitute: a dash of cumin, coriander and tumeric)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Combine chicken and buttermilk in a shallow dish or zip-type bag. Chill ONE HOUR. Then drain chicken.
Preheat oven to 475 degress. Place baking sheet in the oven to get it nice and hot. In three bowls (I prefer pie plates), put flour in first one, beaten eggs in second, and all remaining ingredients in third. Dredge the chicken in flour, then eggs, then coconut mixture.

Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. Lay chicken on hot cookie sheet, in a single layer. Bake at 475 for 6-8 minutes, turning once, until done.

Serve with a cherry chutney :-)


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