Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Citrus Coconut Chicken Tenders

I am a big Food Network fan so naturally John and I watch the show "The Best Thing I Ever Ate". After a season or two of listening to the stars favorite foods and even seeking some of them out at local restaurants we started our own "Best Thing We Ever Ate" list. This recipe was inspired by Michael Simon's pick of his favorite fried chicken that he found at a restaurant down in Miami, Florida. It sounded so good I decided to try and make something similar. I will have to admit it took me more than one try to get it right but I'm proud of it because it's the first recipe I have made up all by myself so far.

Ingredients for Marinade:
1 Cup Orange Juice
2 Tbsp Lime Juice
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 Clove Garlic - Minced
Salt & Pepper

Ingredients for Breading:
1 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
1 Cup Shredded Sweetened Coconut
1 Cup Flour
1 Cup Lite Coconut Milk

1 package Boneless Skinless Chicken Tenders
2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
Pam Spray
Chinese 5 Spice Plum Dipping Sauce

Start by combining all of the citrus juices in a medium sized bowl and mix well. Add the garlic, salt, pepper and mix again. Add the chicken tenders and marinade them covered in the fridge for at least 3 hours. The longer it marinades the better.
When you are ready to cook, preheat the oven to 400 F. Then take out all of your breading ingredients and make yourself an assembly line of shallow bowls or plates. Place your marinade bowl on the counter, than a shallow dish of flour, the a bowl of coconut milk and lastly a shallow dish of the panko breadcrumbs mixed with the shredded coconut flakes. At the end of the assembly line have a large skillet over medium heat with the vegetable oil ready for the chicken.
Saute the tenders about 5 minutes each side, be careful only to flip each tender once or the breading may begin to fall off. Frying them quickly before they are baked will give them a nice crisp texture. I didn't do this the first time I made these but it really made all the difference. Once they are browned spray a baking sheet with Pam Spray and put them in the oven for 10 minutes to finish cooking the inside of the chicken. You can serve them as an appetizer with Asian Plum Dipping Sauce or as a dinner with some white rice and broccoli.
Enjoy!! - Nicole

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