Thursday, March 31, 2011

Coconut chicken tenders with honey mustard

Are you ready for this?  Chicken for dinner!  Surprisingly, it's the first time this week.  Before you start thinking this is any other chicken recipe, stop those thoughts dead in their tracks.  Go ahead and try to tell me these crispy homemade chicken tenders don't look absolutely mouth-watering:

That, folks, is the newest addition to my arsenal of chicken recipes.  Coconut corn flake chicken!  It was sweet and both chewy and crispy at the same time.  And the chicken was moist!  There's nothing worse than a dried out rubbery piece of cooked chicken... blech.  Plus, it can be so drab to look at next to some colorful veggies.  Anyway, where was I?  Oh yes, the persuasive part of this post. 

I'll be the first one to admit that plain grilled or baked chicken is usually a snooze fest.  But, chicken happens to be my favorite protein to buy and cook at home because it's both lean and inexpensive.  Those two qualities mean that I'm constantly on the hunt for some fresh new ways to prepare my beloved poultry.

Enter Gina's recipe for coconut corn flake chicken.  Five ingredients, all of which can be easily found in almost any grocery store.  Less than five minutes from start to oven.  And, hey, it's kosher, too!  

I'm so glad I went with pre-cut chicken tenders for this recipe.  I took the extra 30 seconds to compare the price of trimmed chicken tenders to the price of trimmed chicken breasts and -- voila! -- same price.  Usually the rule of thumb is that the more trimmed a piece of meat is, the higher the price will be per pound.  For whatever reason, this wasn't the case, so the grocery store's oversight meant a few less steps for me.  Thanks, Market District! :)  A few quick steps and the coconut chicken was mine to devour.

And sure, I may have taken some creative license to adapt this to a main dish sans the mixed greens.  Instead, I whipped up some roasted green beans.  If you haven't tried your beans this way yet, you must.  To quote my coworker who recently tried them, "They were like French fries!  I couldn't stop eating them!" she said excitedly.

But, you know, if you really want yourself a salad, then by all means have a salad.  I just swapped one green for another.  I can't really be expected to listen to all of the rules, can I?  After all, this no sweets or desserts thing is testing my willpower, so I can't possibly be held accountable for any other slip-ups elsewhere in my diet.  Right?  That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Coconut Chicken with Honey Mustard Dressing
(adapted, with a few changes, from SkinnyTaste)
-serves 4

A few notes: Though these are a perfect main dish, you might try cutting up the chicken into smaller nugget-sized portions for an appetizer if you have a crowd coming over for some sort of sporting event/movie night.  Or, if you just prefer your food in miniature-sized portions (like this girl does), that's a good enough reason as well.

1 pound boneless skinless chicken tenders (or breasts)
1 cup corn flakes cereal, crushed
6 Tablespoons shredded coconut
Pinch of salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
Honey mustard dressing, recipe follows

Preheat oven to 400F.  In a medium bowl, stir together corn flakes, coconut, and salt.  Using tongs, dip chicken first into egg wash and allow excess to drip off into bowl.  Transfer chicken to bowl of breading and, using a spoon, toss to coat evenly, gently pressing to adhere crumbs to chicken.  Place on lined baking sheet, and cook 15 to 20 minutes until coconut begins to turn golden brown.  Remove and eat immediately.

Honey Mustard Dressing
-makes enough for drizzling 4 servings; double if using as a dipping sauce

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

In a small bowl, whisk together ingredients.  Adjust quantities to achieve desired thick- (or thin-) ness.  Use immediately.


  1. I can't wait to make this! Roasted green beans for me....salad for the husband!

  2. It definitely circumvents the no sweets thing... but the coconut is too healthy to count :)