I have one favorite thing about this chicken.
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.
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.
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.
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]
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.