Crispy Coconut Chicken is the healthy meal that tastes like an indulgence – make them baked or fried!
You can bake the coconut chicken in the oven or fry it on the stove top. Both are delicious options.
How do you fry chicken in coconut oil?
Coconut chicken can be fried or baked. Ours picture here are baked, but if you prefer the golden color from frying then that’s a great option too.
To fry your chicken in coconut oil, you’ll want to heat a layer of coconut oil in a shallow pan on the stove top. Test by adding a drop of water to the pan, if the water dances then it’s ready.
When the oil is to temperature, lay in the chicken strips and fry on each side until golden brown and cooked through. Add more coconut oil to the pan as necessary. You could also fry the chicken other oils or in ghee or clarified butter.
Can you make friend chicken with coconut flour?
The short answer is yes, you can make fried chicken with coconut flour. The longer answer is that we don’t recommend using coconut flour to fry chicken.
Coconut flour tends to be very dry and give the chicken an almost sandy or grainy texture. Instead of coconut flour, we recommend using shredded coconut, which has retained some of its moisture and makes a delicious coating for coconut fried chicken.
We make our Baked Coconut Shrimp using the same method.
Is coconut chicken gluten free?
Many versions of coconut chicken use traditional wheat flour, but ours is both gluten and grain free because we use tapioca flour.
Tapioca flour or tapioca starch is similar in texture and feel to corn starch and is totally grain free and paleo compliant.
How do you make fried coconut chicken?
Fried coconut chicken and baked coconut chicken is so easy to make. We like to double dredge ours to give it extra flavor.
First we marinate the chicken in egg whites, lime juice, and honey, then we dredge it in a mixture of tapioca flour and seasoned salt, then dip the chicken back in the marinade, and finally roll the chicken in unsweetened coconut flakes.
At this point, you can either bake the coconut chicken in the oven or fry it on the stove top.
Recipes that go great with Coconut Chicken
- Mango Pineapple Salsa – I like to pile this Mango Pineapple Salsa right on top of my coconut chicken. It’s a great combination of sweet and sour.
- Cilantro Garlic Sauce – If you’re in a dipping mood, this Cilantro Garlic Sauce is a zingy, creamy, delicious sauce inspired by the one at Pollo Tropical.
- Curry Mustard Sauce – My husband’s favorite dipping sauce! This Curry Mustard sauce, made with just a few ingredients, is also inspired by Pollo Tropical.
- Tropical Fruit Salad – A great dessert idea, and still super healthy! This tropical fruit salad goes great with cinnamon pita chips and can even be frozen!
Tools for making Coconut Chicken
- Le Creuset Braising Pan – This pan is fantastic! We have a stainless steel version and call it the everyday pan because we use it nearly every single day! You can see us using it on the live cooking show regularly.
- Stainless Steel Spider Strainer – Perfect for grabbing chicken, or shrimp, or anything else you have sitting in marinade or liquid. I love how nice and wide it is.
- Premium Locking Tongs – It’s so important to have a good pair of tongs in the kitchen. You’ll need these for turning the coconut chicken over if you fry it.
- Cuisinart Stick Blender – I have a lot of mixers and blenders (a lot), but this stick blender is by far the one I use more than any other.
How to make Coconut Chicken
- 2 - 3 pounds chicken breast tenders
- 8 egg whites
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 cup tapioca flour/starch cornstarch or arrowroot flour will work as well
- 4 teaspoons seasoned salt
- 5 - 6 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
- Optional: coconut oil for frying
Place chicken into a large bowl. Blend together egg whites, lime juice, and honey. Pour it over the chicken and stir well to coat everything. Allow to marinate in refrigerator at least 15 minutes.
In another bowl, combine tapioca flour and seasoned salt. Mix well.
Using a slotted spoon, remove chicken from marinade. DO NOT discard remaining marinade.
One by one, dredge each piece of chicken first in the tapioca flour mix, then in the remaining marinade, then in shredded coconut.
TO BAKE: Place on a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for approximately 15 - 20 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and coating is starting to brown.
TO FRY: Heat a layer of coconut oil in a shallow pan on the stove top. When oil comes to temperature (test by adding a drop of water to the pan, if it sizzles and dances then you’re ready to fry). Place chicken tenders in pan and fry on each side until golden brown and cooked through. Add additional coconut oil as necessary.
Serve with some sweet chili sauce or our famous cilantro garlic sauce.