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. #
    Donna — June 20, 2013 @ 7:25 am

    Wowzers…that’s all…and yet…ANY way to use something other than panko crumbs to get your superlative results for those of us with gluten issues?!…Splendid photography by the way. The peach honey mustard is a perfect unctuous contrast to the golden crust…a match made in culinary heaven!


    • Jessica — June 20th, 2013 @ 7:36 am

      thanks! you can def try almond meal – it will work but might not be *quite* as crispy. however, i make my own panko (link to the recipe is above in the chicken recipe box) and you could try doing that with gluten free bread!


  2. #
    Vicki Bensinger — June 20, 2013 @ 8:27 am

    OMG I love this recipe. They’re Hawaiian chicken fingers. I had a recipe similar that I put away but never made. Now I have to try these. I’m not sure you’d even need the flour. Between the coconut and panko it would be good enough. Then with your peach honey mustard, WOW, these would be gone in no time at all.

    Great recipe and perfect for summer warm or cold.


  3. #
    Kirsten — June 20, 2013 @ 9:38 am

    I have to know – did you tell him there was coconut in it? Did he pull a funny face or did he go silent and walk away as if you hadn’t said anything?!!!


  4. #
    Nessa — June 20, 2013 @ 9:51 am

    I looooove coconut! Can’t wait to try these :)


  5. #
    Erin — June 20, 2013 @ 1:48 pm

    Does it change the outcome dramatically if you use one of the low fat coconut milks, like from Trader Joe’s? I have a couple cans sitting in my pantry and want to make this tonight without going to the grocery store!


    • maura — August 29th, 2013 @ 8:48 am

      I don’t know if it changed the outcome. but i used the low fat Trader joe coconut milk and it came out great. still had a nice thick coating of the coconut milk and the flavor came through. i did let it marinade for more like 4 hours. so i don’t know if that made a difference or not. great easy recipe! my 10 yr old ate the whole thing without a word, so you know it was a winner. :)


  6. #
    Bianca — June 21, 2013 @ 5:06 am

    Hello :) I just came across your blog today and I love it! I have just gone to the shop and am looking forward to trying these this evening.


  7. #
    Gabriella — June 21, 2013 @ 8:24 am

    This sounds like absolute perfection. Can’t wait to try this for dinner next week!


  8. #
    Kristi — June 22, 2013 @ 12:52 pm

    I’m so glad that I have a peach at home to make this honey mustard. How long do you think it would last?


  9. #
    Jess — June 22, 2013 @ 2:57 pm

    Hahaa you’re hilarious- I think you rocked the chicken finger photos :)

    also, excellent job on the accidental coconut chicken husband trickery.

    Jess x


  10. #
    Ashley — June 28, 2013 @ 3:24 pm

    I searched high and low for unsweetened coconut. No luck. Would it be ok to use sweetened coconut flaked, and just eggs instead of coconut milk?


  11. #
    Nutmeg Nanny — July 1, 2013 @ 9:16 pm

    Wow, these sound fantastic! I, unlike your husband, love coconut and would devour these :)


  12. #
    angela — July 3, 2013 @ 9:34 am

    I made these last night and they were delish!! I didn’t have panko on hand and used regular bread crumbs and it still worked. I still have sticking issues with them, I think I need to try different racks.


  13. #
    Cindy J. — July 9, 2013 @ 1:17 am

    Made these last night (the pics made it look irresistible) and it was a hit! So tasty and the peach honey-mustard was the perfect accompaniment. So good, our teenage neighbor begged for the recipe and had his mom buy the ingredients to make at home.

    So glad I discovered your blog!


  14. #
    Chloe — July 15, 2013 @ 5:18 am

    oh my. this was amazing! it’s the middle of winter in Australia at the moment, and was still fantastic! the sauce is to die for! Would be absolutely perfect in the summer.
    Thanks for another great recipe!


  15. #
    Chloe — July 15, 2013 @ 5:21 am

    this was amazing! it’s the middle of winter here in Australia at the moment, but was still so delicious! the sauce is to die for! can’t wait to eat it in the summertime.
    Thanks for another great Recipe!


  16. #
    Paola R. — August 27, 2013 @ 4:41 pm

    look’s great!!! my husband love chicken fingers, coconut can be strange for he but i’ll tryit, y made with shrimps and is delicious, i guess it’s the same flavor :)


  17. #
    Laura Gheorghe — August 30, 2013 @ 8:15 pm

    What garnish did you serve them with?


  18. #
    Suzie — September 27, 2013 @ 9:20 am

    OMG genius idea with the coconut milk!!!!!


  19. #
    Shelley — October 23, 2013 @ 3:55 pm

    I just came across this site. I love the blog before the recipe. Are you Sally, from Sally’s Baking addiction? I recently came across that site, and you sound just like her in your blogs, and your site looks just like hers too.
    Can’t wait to try the coconut chicken recipe!


  20. #
    Cathy Peterson — January 4, 2014 @ 8:24 pm

    I made this for my husband and three kids , and it was a big thumbs up! I had to triple the recipe . I have been on a roll making your recipes lately. I made the Thai Chicken Quinoa Bowl two days ago and had all this left over coconut milk left over and did not want it to go to waste. This was a perfect solution and it was delicious too. I did not have the ingredients to make the peach sauce , but made honey mustard and it was. Still good.


  21. #
    Kristine — February 19, 2014 @ 10:23 pm

    EVERYONE IN MY HOUSE LOVED THIS!! Thanks for the great recipe.


  22. #
    Jordan Taylor — October 18, 2014 @ 7:11 pm

    So funny about Eddie and his hatred of coconut- I am the EXACT same! Can’t stand the texture of it. CAN’T STAND IT. Yet, our local meat and three has coconut chicken for their main entree every Wednesday, and i LOVE it. Maybe the fact that it’s fried, thus the texture is different? It’s weird. So I’m super happy I found this so I can make this at home. Yum! Thanks! :)



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