Thursday, April 12, 2012

Weeknight Meal: Coconut Baked Chicken Fingers

Back in April of 2010, I posted a recipe for Wicked Easy Baked Chicken Fingers, in which I share with you my super easy way to make breaded chicken fingers in the middle of the week with no deep frying, next to no work, and easy cleanup (hint: it involves mayonnaise).  Recently, I tinkered with the recipe ever so slightly and I have a new variation to share with you involving coconut.   Mmmmm....Yum!

Coconut Baked Chicken Fingers

- 1/4 cup Mayonnaise
- 1 pound fresh chicken tenderloins (about 6)
- Salt & Pepper
- 1 1/2 cups Seasoned Breadcrumbs (or plain with Italian herbs added)
- 1/4 cup Sweetened Shredded Coconut
- Cooking Spray

1) Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.  Place a cookie cooling rack on a rimmed baking sheet.

2) Pound each of the chicken tenders with the flat side of a meat mallet or the bottom of a heavy saucepan to an even thickness of about a half-inch.  The objective is to get them the same thickness so that they'll cook evenly and quickly.

3) Spoon the mayo from the container into a small dish. Using a pastry brush, or a butter knife if you don't have a pastry brush, spread mayo generously onto each side of the chicken pieces. It doesn't matter if a little rubs-off onto the cutting board while you work.

4)  In a shallow dish such as a baking dish, combine the breadcrumbs, herbs (if using), and coconut. Mix well with dry hands.

5)  Using your hands, coat each side of the chicken with the breadcrumb mixture and gently place on the baking rack. You might need to press the chicken into the mixture to get it to adhere.  Once the whole rack is done, spritz the tenders very lightly with cooking spray.  This will help with browning.

6) Bake at 375 until the chicken is cooked through (about 165-175 degrees) and the bread crumbs are starting to brown and the texture seems crispy and dry when you press it gently with your finger.

7) Remove from the oven and serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce.

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