These Crunchy Coconut Lime Baked Chicken Strips aka Chicken Fingers aka Chicken Nuggets, are so perfectly crispy/crunchy, they taste deep-fried!
For this month’s Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned the blog, Edesia’s Notebook (love the name) authored and photographed by Lesa. For the first time since I joined, I didn’t have the urge to grab some gorgeous dessert, which Lesa has plenty of, and play with it. Instead, the same thought kept going through my head.
You don’t often see posts where I just make dinner, nothing fancy, nothing outrageous, nothing you would only make for a special occasion. It’s not that I don’t have a decent amount of simple recipes, but I just felt the need to cook dinner and blog it. I chose her Crunchy Lemon Chicken.
Of course, I ended up futzing with it because I truly believe it’s nearly impossible for me not to futz with recipes, and I think I say this in almost every post (annoying).
So, I cut each breast into strips, used limes instead of lemons, and added soy sauce and garlic to the marinade. I also added desiccated coconut to the panko bread crumbs and beat the eggs with coconut water for the breading station. Add to that a few other minor alterations, like the baking time and temperature, and there you have it.
Otherwise, it’s just dinner, and it was delicious. I think these are the crunchiest, most delicious baked chicken strips (or fingers or nuggets) I’ve ever had, and kids will go absolutely berserk over these. Just my completely unbiased opinion..I swear.
Even though they were flavorful enough as is, I decided to make a dip to go with them, a Spicy Greek Yogurt dip, or what I call a garbage dip, where you rummage through your fridge and cabinets and just throw something together. It was interesting and tasty, (it looks like Thousand Island dressing that sat out too long, doesn’t it?), but, again, the chicken strips had so much flavor, it really wasn’t needed. But, I love dips with my chicken strips, fingers, or nuggets. I think it stems from my McNugget phase in High School. I always got two of each dipping sauce, and used up all of them.
That said, I hope you try these crunchy baked chicken strips, and I hope you enjoy them!
Crunchy Baked Coconut Lime Chicken Strips with Spicy Yogurt Dip
- 2 limes, zested and juiced
- ¼ cup light olive oil
- 4 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 2 large garlic cloves, smashed and chopped finely
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 chicken breasts (About 1 lb) cut into 1-inch wide strips. Cut each strip in half to make 'nuggets'.
- 1½ cups Panko breadcrumbs
- ⅔ cup desiccated coconut shreds
- ¾ cup flour
- salt and pepper to season flour
- 2 eggs, beaten with 4 tablespoons of coconut water (you can use coconut milk if you can't find coconut water)
- Oil spray, doesn't matter what kind
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 2 to 3 tablespoons Asian chile-garlic sauce
- 1 small handful cilantro leaves, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a bowl, stir together lime juice, zest, light olive oil, ginger, light soy sauce, garlic and salt. Add the chicken strips and stir until they're completely coated with the marinade. You can also pour the marinade with the chicken strips, into a ziplock bag, which is what I did. Marinate for 4 to 5 hours at the most..stirring the strips in the bowl of marinade or squeezing around the bag every hour to an hour and a half to insure even marinating.
- Line a large baking sheet with foil sprayed lightly with oil. Mix the flour, salt and pepper in one bowl, the beaten eggs and coconut water or milk in a second bowl, and the panko and dessicated coconut in a third bowl. Remove the chicken strips from the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Lift up each chicken strip and shake off some of the marinade so it isn't overly-saturated (I just ran two impeccably clean fingers down each strip, sliding off the extra marinade). Coat each chicken strip in flour, knocking off the excess, then dip and coat well in the egg mixture and then dredge it in the panko - dessicated coconut mixture, pressing it onto each strip. Place each chicken strip on the oiled baking sheet and continue until all chicken has been coated.
- Lightly spray some oil on the breaded chicken strips, then bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. IMPORTANT - Do not let them sit on the baking sheet once out of the oven. Transfer them to a rack if not eating within a few minutes, or the bottoms will get soggy.
- Make the Spicy Greek Yogurt Dip. Mix all the ingredients together, then cover and refrigerate for at least an hour to let the flavors mingle.
If you get a chance, please click on the blue frog below to see all the amazing dishes recreated by Group A of The Secret Recipe Club. Also, click on over to Edesia’s Notebook for some fantastic sweet and savory recipes!