Sunday, August 21, 2011

Oven-Fried Coconut Chicken

Now that's a pretty All-American meal (well aside from the Japanese breadcrumbs)

Tonight I took over my college roommate Jim's kitchen to kick off my Texas adventure. I decided to ease into this by using a recipe I had previously made the vegetarian counterpart of (see, I told you it's easy to substitute). I set aside my weird phobia of raw chicken germs (I only washed my hands 20 times making this meal) and prepared this delicious take on fried chicken.

Oven-Fried Coconut Chicken
Servings: 4
Time: 2 hours (1 hour inactive)

I fought gallantly and eventually bested the raw chicken.
4 chicken breasts
14 oz can of light coconut milk
1 tsp tabasco
1 tsp lemon juice
Panko Japanese breadcrumbs
Sweetened flaked coconut
  1. Marinade the chicken in a mixture of the coconut milk, tabasco and lemon juice in the fridge for an hour. Be sure to flip the bag occasionally.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400.
  3. Dredge the chicken through a mixture of panko, coconut flakes, salt and pepper (you want about 1.5 times as much panko as coconut flakes)
  4. Bake the chicken on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Then flip and repeat.

The breading just wanted to explore the world.
The chicken came out fabulous. It wasn't overcooked like chicken tends to be, and the sweetness of the coconut was a wonderful addition to your typical fried chicken. The only real issue was that the breading had a little trouble staying on. I think this is because the chicken pieces had too much coconut milk, which kept them a little soggier than I would have liked. Another minor grievance is that the chicken pieces I used were pretty thick, so you got some bites without any breading at all. All in all, though, it was a great meal with the mashed potatoes and corn helping to round things out. In the future, I'd love to try this breading to deep-fry shrimp.

I previously made this with Gardein chick'n scallopini, and to be honest I couldn't really tell the difference. It was probably the closest to tasting like real chicken of anything I've made. The only downfall was that it was a little too thin, so there was too much coconut compared to "meat".

Finish off the meal with creamy mashed potatoes and corn.

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