Crispy, delicious and addictive, these crispy coconut chicken tenders with hot honey sauce will be your new favorite once you try it. The super crispy coconut coating on the chicken is amazing and the homemade hot honey dipping sauce could not be tastier or easier to make. This crispy coconut chicken makes a really fun weekend meal to make with friends or family and it is so delicious.
Really Crunchy Coconut Chicken Tenders
This crispy coconut chicken is really easy to make and can be served as an appetizer or as a meal. The chicken tenders are not deep fried but instead shallow pan-fried so there is not a lot of oil mess.
The coating to the chicken has some added corn starch to really crisp things up although if you do not have it on hand that is fine. If you like a nice crunchy chicken tender, these are it.
The homemade hot honey is made up of just two ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry and is so delicious for dipping that crunchy coconut chicken in.
- Chicken tenders (or chicken breasts cut into thin strips.)
- Shredded coconut (I use unsweetened).
- Panko Bread Crumbs. Panko is much more coarse than regular bread crumbs really helping with the crunchy outside of the coconut chicken.
- Corn starch. Optional but recommended.
- Cayenne pepper
- Kosher salt
- Garlic powder
- Vegetable oil
- Sriracha or whatever hot sauce you have on hand.
Notes about the ingredients
To get the crispest outside to those coconut chicken tenders, make sure to use the corn starch in the recipe. Not a lot is needed but the little bit does help.
When cooking the coconut chicken, make sure you are using vegetable oil. It has a higher heating point and will not smoke up on you. Avoid olive oil.
How to Make Crispy Coconut Chicken Tenders (that are crunchy)
You are not going to be deep frying the coconut chicken. Instead, you are doing a light shallow fry.
This makes the chicken crispy but not oily. It also really keeps down the mess and smell in your house too. Here are the steps:
- Make the hot honey dipping sauce: Set aside.
- Prepare your chicken tenders: Cut them in half length-wise. This makes them a little thinner and makes them crunchier after frying. I do this for my chicken satay as well and it always works.
- Prepare 3 bowls for the breading: One for the flour coating, one for the egg, and the third for the coconut and breadcrumbs.
- Bread the chicken: Dip the chicken into each of the 3 bowls.
- Fry up the coconut-breaded chicken: This takes about 3 minutes per side.
- Cool: The fried coconut chicken will need a couple of minutes to cool before eating it.
- I really like to cook these crispy coconut chicken strips in cast iron. If you are working with cast iron when making these, let the pan pre-heat without any oil added for at least 5 minutes. After that, add the oil and let the oil heat for a few more minutes. If you do not have cast iron, any heavy bottom pan with high sides will do.
- If you want lots of coconut flavor in your chicken, use virgin coconut oil to cook the chicken with. The shredded coconut will only give off a very light flavor when it is cooked in vegetable oil. Virgin coconut oil has the flavor of coconut and will really boost the coconut flavor.
- Make sure you let your chicken rest for a minute on a drying rack to let any excess oil drip off. It will also help it retain its crunch.
What to Serve with these Crispy Coconut Chicken Tenders:
- Yogurt Biscuits
- Turmeric Potatoes
- Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes
- Roasted Potatoes and Cauliflower with Turmeric
- Roasted Radicchio Salad with Arugula
- Red Potato Salad
- Pinto Bean Salad
- Mediterranean Bean Salad
- Easy Mini Cheesecake Bites
More Chicken Recipes
Truly Crispy Coconut Chicken Tenders
- 1 lb chicken tenders cut in half length wise or chicken breasts pounded out and cut into 1 inch strips.
- 1 cup Vegetable oil
- 1 ½ cups shredded coconut unsweetened
- 1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
- 1 cup All purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- ⅛ cup Corn starch
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for sprinkling over cooked chicken
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
For the Hot Honey
- ½ cup honey
- ⅛ cup Sriracha Or whatever hot sauce you have on hand.
- Make your hot honey by mixing your honey and hot sauce in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Prepare your chicken tenders by cutting them in half length wise.
- Grab 3 large shallow bowls and a large plate (the plate is for the chicken after it is coated).
- First bowl: Add your flour, corn starch, salt, cayenne pepper, garlic powder and mix well.Second Bowl: Add your Eggs and mix well.Third Bowl: Add your Panko bread crumbs and shredded coconut and mix together.
- Dip your chicken in the flour mixture and shake off any excess.
- Now dip the chicken in the egg and then into the breadcrumb/coconut mixture.
- Place the coated chicken on a plate and repeat these steps until all the chicken is coated.
- Pre-heat your pan on medium heat for 3-5 minutes.
- Once your pan is pre-heated, add your vegetable oil and let it heat for a few minutes.
- Drop a piece of chicken into the pan. If it starts to sizzle right away the pan is ready.
- Add your chicken in two batches to the pan.
- Cook the chicken for about 3 minutes and then flip. The chicken should look brown and crispy when it is ready to flip.
- Cook the other side of the chicken for another 3 minutes or until the chicken is nice and golden brown.
- When ready, remove the chicken from the pan and place on to a cooling rack.
- Sprinkle lightly with a little kosher salt while the chicken is still hot.
- Finish cooking the remaining chicken by following the same steps.
- Serve immediately with the hot honey on the side for dipping.
Nutrition Values are estimates only.See full nutrition disclaimer here
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