Friday, October 12, 2007


The Kraft people have a recipe called "Crispy Coconut Chicken Fingers." It had pretty good reviews, except for flavor -- some people thought it was quite bland. So I decided to try to work in more flavor. I added paprika and cayenne pepper and instead of dipping the chicken in egg, I thought I'd try cream of coconut. Instead of flour, I used Panko.   I made my own dipping sauce out of cream of coconut, lime juice and orange marmalade. Well, the chicken fingers were quite delicious, especially with the dipping sauce. But they weren't truly crispy. I don't know why. I wonder if it was the cream of coconut. If it was, I would forego the crispiness, because the flavor of these is amazing, and a lot of that flavor is coming from the cream of coconut. I will have to make these again using the flour and egg specified in the Kraft recipe, to see if they are crispy. As for calories, this is not a low-calorie recipe. I do have to work more on that, I know. But try them just once and I think you'll agree they are divine. Since I was experimenting, I only used one chicken breast. 

Coconut Chicken Fingers
Adapted from Kraft Foods

Chicken Fingers:
1 chicken breast, skinned and boneless, cut into 1" strips
1/8 tsp. sea salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup cream of coconut
1/4 cup Smart Balance buttery spread (not the lowfat version)

Dipping Sauce:
1 Tbsp. orange marmalade
2 Tbsp. cream of coconut
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Pound chicken strips to flatten slightly. Mix salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika and cayenne pepper in small condiment cup. Sprinkle over both sides of chicken strips and press in with fingers. Set aside. Mix coconut with breadcrumbs in small plastic baggie. Dip chicken strips in cream of coconut, one at a time, then into breadcrumb mixture. Place chicken strips on baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Drizzle with melted SB. Bake for 25 minutes, turning once midway through.

While chicken is baking, prepare sauce: Mix together all ingredients and refrigerate to blend flavors. Serve chicken strips with dipping sauce. Yield: 1-1/2 servings. Multiply ingredients for higher yields.

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