I have one favorite thing about this chicken.

Crunchy Coconut Chicken Fingers with Peach Honey Mustard I howsweeteats.com

And it’s that I made it for lunch one day, then packed up the leftovers and stuck them in the fridge, only for my husband to find them a day later and take them for his own lunch.

He hates coconut.

I mean, hate hate hate. And it’s not like how he “hates” ricotta, since we all know he doesn’t really hate that anymore. He can’t stand the texture of coconut, which I can’t do a darn thing about. He loves the taste (think: rum or gelato) but the squishy-squeak-beneathe-your-teeth thing? Can’t do it.

I had no idea he took them that day – I just happened to ask him when he came home what he ate for lunch. He responded with… “those chicken fingers that were in the fridge?”

Oh. I stopped dead in my tracks.

Crunchy Coconut Chicken Fingers with Peach Honey Mustard I howsweeteats.com

Before I continue I should mention that reheated (most likely microwaved) crispy baked chicken is about as high on my list to eat as steamed broccoli or a bowl full of fennel seeds is. I am weird about stuff like that. Like if it’s supposed to be crispy, I want it to be crispy. Annnnnd I’m pretty sure that tossing it in the microwave for 30 seconds is not going to do that. Oh well. He could care less.

Makes my life easier.

So while I’m stopped dead in my tracks, I turn to look at him and ask, “were they good?” I was pretty hesitant but kind of hysterically laughing inside. For once, I wasn’t trying to trick him into eating the chicken – in fact, I had fully intended on telling him I coated the chicken in coconut, FYI, so he might want to stay away. But I forgot. Really.

He said they tasted odd. Different, he claimed. Not like the usual ones that he wants once a week.

Ha. Ha ha ha ha ha. I don’t know why I found it hilariously hilarious.

Crunchy Coconut Chicken Fingers with Peach Honey Mustard I howsweeteats.com

On another note…

There is something about photographing chicken fingers that I simply loathe. I can’t do it. All my pictures end up looking the same and I have no idea how to place the chicken and ugh… life is hard. Whine whine whine. 

What’s so funny is that crispy chicken fingers made a two time appearance in my 2012 recipe disasters – and mainly just because I didn’t like the photos. And when something doesn’t look appealing, I automatically assume it doesn’t taste good and scrap it. Even if I liked it. It’s like I have no filtered recipe memory.

One was even nearly the same as this recipe but I’m so glad I waited on it. These are so much crunchier (high heat, a wire rack and a spritz of nonstick spray/oil is necessary to reach this!) and seriously, my life revolves around crunch. And I actually soaked these in coconut milk instead of buttermilk. YES.

It’s weird. But not.

Crunchy Coconut Chicken Fingers with Peach Honey Mustard I howsweeteats.com


Crunchy Coconut Chicken Fingers with Peach Honey Mustard

Yield: serves about 2

Prep Time: 2 hours

Cook Time: 40 minutes


1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken tenders
1 can of full fat coconut milk
1 1/4 cups unsweetened, shredded coconut
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 cup dijon mustard
1/4 cup honey
1 ripe peach, peeled and chopped


Add the coconut milk to a blender and puree until completely smooth and creamy.
Place chicken tenders in a baking dish, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and cover with coconut milk. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack on top. Spray the rack with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, combine coconut, flour, panko, salt and pepper. Stir well to coat. Remove dish with chicken from the fridge. It should have a thick coating of coconut milk on it, so remove each strip and dredge it through the coconut mixture, pressing gently to adhere. Place the chicken on the well-greased wire rack and repeat until finished.

Spray all the chicken tenders with a spritz of coconut oil spray or nonstick spray. Bake for 15 minutes, then gently flip and spray the other side. Bake for 15 minutes more, until golden and crispy.

While the chicken is baking, add peach chunks to a blender or food processor until pureed. In a bowl, whisk together honey, dijon mustard and peach puree. Serve chicken fingers!

[adapted from all my favorite chicken fingers]

Crunchy Coconut Chicken Fingers with Peach Honey Mustard I howsweeteats.com

Also weird but not: the peach honey mustard. It’s so summery. I swiped the idea from making this strawberry honey mustard last year. Just do it.

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97 Responses to “Crunchy Coconut Chicken Fingers with Peach Honey Mustard.”

  1. #
    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — June 19, 2013 @ 6:52 am

    I love coconut chicken and the peach honey mustard sounds amazing~ What a great dish! LOVE it!!!


  2. #
    Alisa — June 19, 2013 @ 7:07 am

    I’m with you on the reheated chicken! I don’t eat much chicken anymore (after a few years as a vegetarian, it just doesn’t appeal to me all that much), but I’d much prefer leftovers cold. I especially hate bone-in chicken reheated. The smell of it makes me gag. ick!


  3. #
    Hope @ With A Side Of Hope — June 19, 2013 @ 7:19 am

    Coconut chicken is my favorite! The peach honey mustard sounds so good. Definitely want to try making this! :)


  4. #
    Tieghan — June 19, 2013 @ 7:23 am

    These sound so good and the story that comes with them is equally good! Not sure my brothers would have choked these down, but then again, I don’t know. I mean they look like normal chicken fingers! Whatever, they sound and look awesome to me! Coconut anything is were it is at!


  5. #
    Jamie @lifelovelemons — June 19, 2013 @ 7:33 am

    hahaha love the story behing these… and they look amazing!


  6. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — June 19, 2013 @ 7:33 am

    I used to totally LOATHE coconut up until about 2 months ago when I started adding coconut extract and coconut milk to things. I still really don’t like the flaked kind (it kind of reminds me of eating shredded paper) but otherwise I’m ok with it! And about that photographing chicken – I whole heartedly agree. Unless it’s grilled with gorgeous perfect grill marks, it’s not a very easy subject to work with!


  7. #
    Marie @ Little Kitchie — June 19, 2013 @ 7:42 am

    Soooo many things I love about these! Soaking them in coconut milk is genius, and that peach honey mustard sounds incredibleeee. I WANT.


  8. #
    Belinda @themoonblushbaker — June 19, 2013 @ 7:47 am

    I normally soak my chicken in yoghurt, but coconut milk sounds so much better. I love coconut especially with meats; this could go really well with a mango mayo in a crusty bun.


  9. #
    Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat — June 19, 2013 @ 7:49 am

    OMG…I have to make these! They sound soooooo amazing! I’m pinning this right now! ;-)


  10. #
    April @BarbellsandBellinis — June 19, 2013 @ 7:51 am

    Agreed. Slightly reheated (think warm) grilled or roasted chicken is okay. Reheated chicken with any coating – no thanks. It turns out a soggy mess. I leave that for the fiance who will eat just about anything.


  11. #
    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — June 19, 2013 @ 8:10 am

    That crusting is absolutely perfect!! I need these.


  12. #
    Elizabeth — June 19, 2013 @ 8:18 am

    These look AMAZING!!!!!


  13. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — June 19, 2013 @ 8:26 am

    I want to put peach honey mustard on everything! I make my own mustard and honey mustard. I don’t know why I’ve never thought to add something like peaches! Awesome idea!


  14. #
    Katie — June 19, 2013 @ 8:41 am

    I would eat anything dipped in that peach honey mustard.


  15. #
    RavieNomNoms — June 19, 2013 @ 8:43 am

    YUM! Maybe I can get my fiance to eat coconut in this way! It looks absolutely delicioso!


  16. #
    Devon | the food bitch blog — June 19, 2013 @ 8:47 am

    Need these in my life STAT!


  17. #
    Angela @ Health's Angel — June 19, 2013 @ 8:50 am

    Ugh, recipes like these make being a pescatarian hard. I LOVE COCONUT EVERYTHING.
    Maybe I’ll make some coconut shrimp soon.


  18. #
    Joelle (on a pink typewriter) — June 19, 2013 @ 8:50 am

    Peach honey mustard sounds magically summery.


  19. #
    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — June 19, 2013 @ 9:00 am

    Oh, this is SO up my alley! Totally mouthwatering and magical. I’m making this soon fo’ shizzle.


  20. #
    Lauren @ The Highlands Life — June 19, 2013 @ 9:01 am

    My husband haaaatttees mayonnaise. He’s totally un-American for not loving the artery clogging goodness but he’s totally liked recipes I’ve made with it in it. All without knowing of course. It’s actually still my little secret.


  21. #
    Ashley@BakerbyNature — June 19, 2013 @ 9:19 am

    I LOVE when my boyfriend eats something he “hates” and doesn’t even realize it. Oh, sweet victory. And these pictures are all awesome, lady! xo


  22. #
    Meagan @ A Zesty Bite — June 19, 2013 @ 9:22 am

    Talk about sneaky! I guess thats how you could make him eat more things that he doesn’t like. I agree chicken fingers are super tricky to photography but I think you made them look great!


  23. #
    Erin | The Law Student's Wife — June 19, 2013 @ 9:24 am

    Girl, your pics look good to me! And YES for tricking the husband. I don’t know what it is, but I totally love those moments. May much more coconut be in your life :)


  24. #
    Ameerah@ Valiantly Varnished — June 19, 2013 @ 9:34 am

    OMG! My two favorite things coconut and crunch!! This is on my “to-try” list!


  25. #
    Annie @ Annie's City Kitchen — June 19, 2013 @ 9:46 am

    Well I think you did a swell job of photographing these because my mouth is actually watering just thinking of them. My boyfriend/fiance (whatevs) hates coconut too so I’d be curious to see if I could sneak this past him…..


  26. #
    FashionEdible — June 19, 2013 @ 10:01 am

    Wow! This looks amazing! My husband has some of those weird food aversions too – once I made an African stew that happened to have peanut butter in it and I didn’t tell him. He loved it and was enjoying his seconds until I confessed what I’d put in it. He stopped eating it almost immediately – shame on me for ever saying anything, right? ;)


  27. #
    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes — June 19, 2013 @ 10:03 am

    I’m the same way – reheated chicken fingers is just not happening in my life. Love the peach honey mustard!


  28. #
    Kate — June 19, 2013 @ 10:09 am

    This looks delicious! Think you could do the same basic thing to make coconut shrimp, if you baked it for less time?


    • kadkin — June 19th, 2013 @ 12:09 pm

      Yes, you could do it with coconut shrimp! There is a Bobby Dean cooking channel show where he uses a similar technique to this but with shrimp. I have mad it a few times and it is really good! The key is using the cooking spray or a light drizzle of oil on top of them before baking.


    • Jessica — June 19th, 2013 @ 2:42 pm



  29. #
    Meg — June 19, 2013 @ 10:19 am

    Yummm, looks good. But I think there’s a typo in the recipe. You’ve written coconut milk, when you want to say dry coconut mixture…. Otherwise you never coat the chicken with the dry ingredients.


    • Jessica — June 19th, 2013 @ 2:42 pm

      oops, fixed it – thanks!


  30. #
    Kari@Loaves n Dishes — June 19, 2013 @ 10:37 am

    These look so crispy and yummy and I adore the peach honey mustard, I just might start putting it on everything!


  31. #
    Heather — June 19, 2013 @ 10:47 am

    Girl, if anyone can make chicken fingers look amazing, it’s you – I almost wanted to lick the screen ;)


  32. #
    allie@sweetpotatobites — June 19, 2013 @ 11:12 am

    mmm coconut chicken fingers – so trying this!


  33. #
    Kim — June 19, 2013 @ 11:19 am

    Coconut makes EVERYTHING better! Yum!!


  34. #
    Maya — June 19, 2013 @ 11:25 am

    Um, these look amazing. My husband claims to not like coconut either, but I still don’t totally believe him. (He does like coconut curry, for instance). Maybe it’s the texture for him too.

    PS: I had a mango margarita with jalapeno and bacon a few weeks ago and thought you may be interested. Literally a whole slice of bacon was in there, like celery in a bloody mary.

    PPS: if you don’t have songza, you should download it. They may or may not have stations with names like: 90s 1 hit wonders, 00’s pop divas, 90s school dance…etc.


    • Jessica — June 19th, 2013 @ 2:39 pm

      that sounds incredible.


  35. #
    Rayna — June 19, 2013 @ 11:42 am

    I could not think of a food I would want more! My aunt loves coconut, so instead of making nothing with it I’m frequently making everything with it..Ha!


  36. #
    Terri A. — June 19, 2013 @ 11:43 am

    I’m with your husband – love the flavor, hate the texture of coconut. I’m going to try these without the coconut in them and will defintely be making that sauce.


  37. #
    Marcie @ Flavor the Moments — June 19, 2013 @ 11:45 am

    I love everything about these chicken fingers. I’m a coconut freak and that peach honey mustard sounds incredible!


  38. #
    Larry — June 19, 2013 @ 12:13 pm

    Would you notice if your husband mysteriously disappeared and I came to replace him….? Cuz seriously, I would be a happy kept man if I had this coming at me all the time.
    I’ll make you a neon clutch!


    • Jessica — June 19th, 2013 @ 2:39 pm

      and wear tons of denim?


  39. #
    Bev @ Bev Cooks — June 19, 2013 @ 12:17 pm

    I might get out of bed for these.


  40. #
    Ashley Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine) — June 19, 2013 @ 12:39 pm

    I love this! I’m struggling to do low-carb and if I sub out the panko for amond flour I think I could do this serious justice. The tenders look sooo freaking good!


  41. #
    Maria Tadic — June 19, 2013 @ 12:46 pm

    I so with you on the leftovers thing. I really dont like soggy “once crunchy” foods. So not yummy!


  42. #
    Eileen — June 19, 2013 @ 12:54 pm

    These sound SO GOOD! They’re almost similar to a Thai curry in chicken finger form, with all that coconut everywhere. :) And don’t worry about the pictures–everyone knows the worst-looking food tastes the best, right? I personally think these look great anyway! So much crispy crust…


  43. #
    steph@stephsbitebybite — June 19, 2013 @ 12:55 pm

    Can I come over for lunch…please?!


    • Jessica — June 19th, 2013 @ 2:39 pm



  44. #
    Melissa @ Treats With a Twist — June 19, 2013 @ 1:16 pm

    I love love love when my fiance eats something and likes it and it has things he “hates” in it! It cracks me up. Then it sends him on a rant about “hiding things” in his food and “secret ingredients.” blah blah…we watch top chef, chopped, iron chef, masterchef…he should know by now that there will always be a secret ingredient.
    Side note: last nigh on Wheel of Fortune (bc I’m 80 and watch it everyday…and love when I win), one of the puzzles was “Tasty Coconut Chicken”!


    • Jessica — June 19th, 2013 @ 2:39 pm

      haha! i’m 80 too.


  45. #
    Laurie E. — June 19, 2013 @ 2:50 pm

    Like Mr. How Sweet- I don’t care for coconut either, unless it’s of the alcohol-taste variety. It’s definately a texture thing.
    Same thing happened to me with my hubby when I made Corn Cake (read: Don Pablos Copycat recipe) and put in sour cream, which my husband loathes. Of course I didn’t tell him BEFORE he ate it, but he proceeded to snarf it down like it was his last meal on earth. After about the 5th time making it, and only because he caught me adding in the sour cream, I came clean. By this time, he didn’t care. Chalk one up for me!! :)


  46. #
    Stella — June 19, 2013 @ 3:25 pm

    I’m with Mr. How Sweet. I can’t stand coconut. I’m okay with the flavor – in booze, candy, etc., but the texture. GROSSSS!! However, it seems like every food blog I’ve read lately has a lot of coconut in the recipes. I wonder if it is the time of year or you are all just trying to help me lose weight by posting recipes I won’t try :)
    I do like the story though. HILARIOUS!


  47. #
    Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence — June 19, 2013 @ 4:06 pm

    Yum, these look good. I just don’t understand why people don’t like coconut texture :P I love everything coconut. It’s the best!


  48. #
    Molly @ Baklette — June 19, 2013 @ 8:25 pm

    A culmination of all of my favorites chicken fingers, peaches, honey mustard, coconut and CRUNCH! LOVE LOVE LOVE!


  49. #
    Courtney @ BakeMeBetter — June 19, 2013 @ 8:47 pm

    Love the story! Did you ever tell him the truth? Peach honey mustard–what a good idea!


  50. #
    Stacy — June 20, 2013 @ 6:03 am

    I made these and served them with a Thai green curry dipping sauce and a side of noodles. Really great, you should try it!



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