Thursday, October 10, 2013

Coconut Chicken With Sweet Chili Sauce

Last night I tried out a new recipe, and it was such a hit! I had a few requests to share the recipe when posted a picture of it last night on Instagram, so here it is.  This dish piqued my interest because I already had all of the ingredients on hand and the prep time was very short- two major pluses in my book.

 Coconut Chicken With Sweet Chili Sauce 
(recipe adapted from

photo by

  • 12 chicken tenderloins
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup coconut milk (you can substitute regular milk)
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 cup sweet chili sauce (found at most grocery stores in the Asian section)

  1. Prepare your breading station by gathering three bowls. In the first bowl combine the flour and salt. In the second bowl, combine the eggs and coconut milk. Whisk together until well combined. In the third bowl, stir together the panko bread crumbs and shredded coconut.
  2. Place ¼ cup of vegetable oil in a large heavy duty skillet and heat over medium/high heat until it is just below smoking. You can test the heat by throwing in a little bit of flour. When it is hot enough, the flour will sizzle and create a lot of bubbles.
  3. While the oil is heating, dredge the chicken strips. First, coat each strip in the flour and salt mixture. Then dip each into the eggs/coconut milk and finally coat each in panko and shredded coconut. I find it easiest to coat all of them in the flour then go back and then do the egg wash and panko/coconut for each before moving onto the next.
  4. After breading the strips, the oil should be hot enough. Place about 4 strips in the pan at once. There should only be one layer in the pan and there should be about an inch between each strip. If you over crowd the pan it will get too cold and the strips will soak up a lot of oil instead of frying. Fry the strips for 2-3 minutes on each side or until they are golden brown and crispy. Place them on a wire rack (like this one) to drain and move on to the next batch. After a couple of batches you may need more oil so you can add the second ¼ cup to the pan. Allow the oil to come up to temperature before frying the next batch (2-3 minutes). Because the strips are thin, they should be cooked through by the time both sides are browned. You can tell by the texture of the chicken; it should be stiff when pressed. 
  5. When all of the strips are done frying, serve immediately with sweet chili sauce for dipping.
(Serves 4)

I loved how the panko and coconut helped the chicken tenders stay crispy.  I can't stand when the breading on something ends up falling off or turns out soggy.  This was great served as part of our entree, but I could also see this served as an appetizer.  I'm also eager to try the same preparation with shrimp, I think that would be so good!

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  1. Oh I love that this has a sweet chili sauce to go with it!

  2. ohh man these look so good! Is it strange that I love coconut breaded shrimp/chicken but can't stand coconut on desserts?! yum. have to try!

  3. I never thought to combine coconut with chicken, but it sure does look delicious (and that's coming from someone who is not a big fan of coconut)! The sauce looks like it would go so well with it. I'll definitely have to show this to my husband. Thanks for sharing the recipe :)

  4. This looks so good! I love coconut shrimp so I'm sure I'd love coconut chicken too! The sweet chili sauce looks yummy too! Thanks for sharing!

  5. OMG I think this looks so good and I'm going to try it this weekend.

  6. This may sound like a strange question ... sweetened coconut or unsweetened. Thanks.

    1. Joan,

      I use sweetened coconut. I get mine from Aldi and it's super cheap.



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