Coconut Chicken Tenders! Make your own at home! Delicious and so easy to make! Fry, bake these or pop these into your air fryer. Whatever you decide, we hope you try this recipe!
We love fried food. Can’t help it. Do we eat fried food everyday? No, we don’t. But when we do, we enjoy it. My husband and the girls especially.
If you have kids, you are probably very familiar with the Dino chicken nuggets, or Mickey Mouse chicken nuggets or whatever organic frozen chicken nuggets they sell at Whole Foods or Costco.
Make Your Own and Freeze Them
If you’re ever sick of the Dino nuggets or want to have a dredging party with your kid/s (we did this!), give this recipe a try! I give three options for cooking: 1) fry 2) air fryer 3) bake in the oven. If you do enlist the help of your child, I highly recommend having your child, well, the both of you actually, wear these nifty disposable plastic kitchen gloves. I never handle chicken without these. My mom got me hooked.
Make a big batch, bake them and freeze them!
Coconut Chicken Tenders
These Coconut Chicken Tenders are absolutely delicious! Use chicken breast or chicken thigh meat, it’s up to you! We hope you give this recipe a try!
** For more information on Peanut oil vs. Canola oil, see the link below.
Coconut Chicken Tenders
- 2 lbs. chicken breast or chicken thigh meat boneless & skinless, cut into strips
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 to 2 cups all-purpose flour for dredging
- 1 to 2 eggs beaten
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- Peanut or Canola Oil for frying if frying
- Parmesan cheese freshly grated, for garnish
- Fresh parsley for garnish; optional
DIPPING SAUCE VARIATIONS:
- BBQ sauce with some of the shredded coconut mixed in
- Honey Dijon Mustard
- Ranch dressing
- On a cookie sheet, season your chicken strips with salt and pepper on both sides. Set aside. Set up your dredging area with three separate bowls: In a medium bowl, pour in the flour. In a second medium bowl, mix together the coconut and panko crumbs. In the last medium bowl, mix the orange juice, milk, and beaten egg/s until your “wet” mixture is well incorporated. Dip and fully coat each chicken strip in the flour first, then the egg mixture next and then the panko/coconut mix last to coat. Prep all of the chicken strips.
- If frying: using a large heavy bottomed pot, Dutch oven, deep pan or skillet, heat some oil on medium-high heat. Fill the pot or pan with about a 1/2″ of oil and let it get hot. Fry each chicken tender for about 6 to 8 minutes (or 3 minutes on each side) or until golden brown. Transfer chicken to a paper towel lined plate in order to soak up any excess oil. Serve with your choice of dipping sauce and garnish with freshly grated Parmesan and parsley.
- Air fryer: Place chicken strips into your air fryer (I fit about 6 strips of chicken at one time). Close the drawer. Set to 400 degrees and twist the timer to 12 to 14 minutes. Repeat until all of the chicken is cooked. Serve with your choice of dipping sauce and garnish with freshly grated Parmesan and parsley.
- Baking: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray lightly the chicken strips with oil, sprinkle with a touch of salt (optional). Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with your choice of dipping sauce and garnish with freshly grated Parmesan and parsley.
Recipe adapted from Savory Sweet Life.
** Smoking Point: Though canola oil, with its lower levels of saturated fat and high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, appears to be superior to peanut oil, peanut oil may have the advantage when it comes to high-temperature cooking. The smoking point of oil is the temperature at which the oil starts to smoke. The omega-3 fatty acids in canola oil burn easily, giving canola oil a lower smoking point. Read more here.
I made coconut chicken strips for #SundaySupper tailgate party a few weeks ago. I used unsweetened coconut and I thought it was nice that it wasn’t so sweet. I made sweet chili sauce. What is the white sauce you served?
Hey Sarah, it’s listed under “Dipping Sauce Variations” on the recipe card. Phoebe’s fave: ranch dressing with parsley flakes! 🙂 She will eat all raw veggies too if I give her ranch dressing! I ate them with a honey dijon and we also had just BBQ sauce with some of the fried coconut flakes.
John Barrie says
These look amazing. I will be making them for sure.
Thank you, John! Oh good! Let me know how they turn out. 🙂
Linda @ My Foodgasm Journal says
This is such a cool idea, and of course healthier than eating out (aka frozen or fast food). It looks delicious!
Thank you, Linda!! 🙂
girl in a food frenzy says
One of my favourite Malaysian food joints in the local Chinatown here, offers an amazing fried chicken which has coconut in the batter. It’s ultra crispy, sweet & spicy and I think your chicken tenders are one of the closest reicpes I’ve seen to this. I love a myo party which I sometimes do with friends for dim sum etc, I think we’ll need to get creative in the kitchen and make something other than dumplings soon. Looks delish 🙂
Thank you so much! I do hope you try these. . if you do, let me know! 🙂