Crunchy Coconut Key Lime Baked Chicken Sticks (or nuggets) with Spicy Greek Yogurt Dip
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: About 4 servings
 
These crunchy baked chicken sticks (or nuggets) seriously taste deep-fried! If you don't like lime, use lemon.If you don't like lemon, use orange or another citrus. If you don't like citrus, leave it out entirely and just make coconut chicken sticks. If you don't like shredded coconut, just make simple panko breaded chicken sticks. These chicken sticks can be customized to your taste in so many ways!
ingredients:
Chicken
  • 2 key limes, zested and juiced. If you can't find key limes, use just 1 regular lime, juiced and zested.
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 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 horizontally to make 'nuggets', if desired.
  • ½ cup flour + ½ cup flour **
  • salt and pepper to season both measurements of flour
  • 2 eggs beaten with ¼ cup of coconut milk or coconut water
  • 1½ cups Panko breadcrumbs (lightly toast them first for an even crunchier coating!
  • ⅔ cup desiccated coconut shreds *
  • Oil spray, doesn't matter what kind
Spicy Greek Yogurt Dip
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons Asian chile-garlic sauce (or less, depending on how much heat you like)
  • 1 small handful cilantro leaves, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
directions:
  1. In a bowl, stir together lime juice, zest, coconut milk, 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.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with foil sprayed lightly with oil. (you can optionally place a rack over the foil lined sheet pan, and spray it with oil, to place the chicken strips on, but it's okay if you don't)
  3. In a wide bowl,miix the ½ cup of flour (or more if needed to make a paste) , salt and pepper and egg/coconut milk mixture together to form a paste like batter. Place the remaining ½ cup flour plus a pinch of salt and pepper, in another bowl, and place the toasted panko and dessicated coconut together in another wide bowl. Remove the chicken strips from the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F*** see notes
  4. Lift up each chicken strip and shake off some of the marinade so it isn't overly-saturated. Lightly coat each chicken strip in the bowl with ½ cup seasoned flour, shaking off any excess. Dip each floured chicken strip in the batter/paste, knocking off any excess, then dredge both sides in the panko - dessicated coconut mixture, pressing it well onto each strip. Place each chicken strip on the oiled baking sheet (or the oiled rack over the baking sheet) and continue until all chicken has been coated.
  5. Lightly spray some oil on the breaded chicken strips, then bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown, turning them over half way through. IMPORTANT - Do not let them sit on the baking sheet once out of the oven. Transfer them to a wire rack if not eating within a few minutes, or the bottoms will get soggy.
  6. 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.
notes:
* If you can't find desiccated coconut, you can use unsweetened, shredded coconut. If you can't find unsweetened, shredded coconut, sweetened is fine.
** If you have RICE FLOUR on hand, use that instead. Even crunchier chicken strips!

[b]***[/b ]If you prefer, you can also deep fry the chicken strips or nuggets. Heat about 1-inch of a neutral oil (like vegetable oil) in a shallow pan to 375F. Deep fry about 2 to 4 minutes on each side until golden brown and the chicken is cooked through. Place on a paper towel lined wire rack to absorb any extra oil while you finish frying the rest of the strips. To keep them warm while frying the remaining strips/nuggets, place on a baking sheet and put them in 200F oven until they're all ready to serve..
Recipe by parsley sage sweet at https://www.parsleysagesweet.com/2012/04/09/crunchy-coconut-lime-chicken-strips-for-src-and-part-9/