1 and 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts or tenders
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
3/4 cup panko
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (or all-purpose)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 large eggs
1/4 cup coconut oil
optional for garnish: chopped cilantro or parsley
1/2 cup orange preserves (or marmalade) (sauce)
1/4 cup honey (sauce)
3 tablespoons dijon mustard (sauce)
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (sauce)
salt, to taste (sauce)
1. If using chicken breasts, pound down and cut into strips. If using boneless, skinless chicken tenders (chicken tenders are the lean strips of meat found attached to the underside of chicken breasts – they can also be purchased separately.) – cut in half lengthwise.
2. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside. Pulse the shredded coconut in a food processor or blender to break it down into smaller pieces. Alternatively, you can chop it up. Mix it with the Panko in a medium bowl. Set aside. In a second medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and pepper together. In a third bowl, whisk the eggs together.
3. Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat each chicken strip in flour, shaking off any excess. Then, dip in egg and let any excess drip off. Then generously roll in the coconut mixture, shaking off any excess. Add more Panko to the dish if you are running low.
4. Fry 4-6 chicken strips at a time in the coconut oil– only about 2 minutes per side until the crust is golden brown. Once each is done, place strips onto prepared baking pan.
5. Bake for 6-10 minutes or until chicken is completely baked through.
6. Make the sauce: Whisk all of the sauce ingredients together except for the salt. Taste. Add salt as needed.
7. Serve chicken warm with the dipping sauce. Add an optional garnish like a little chopped cilantro or parsley. Store any leftover chicken in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in a 350°F (177°C) oven for 10 minutes or until warmed through.