These coconut chicken strips are crunchy on the outside but juicy on the inside! Easy to make, they are a recipe that both kids and adults will love! You can easily make them Paleo/Whole 30 approved by using almond flour. It's the perfect weeknight meal!
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I first made coconut chicken strips several years ago when we were on a Paleo diet. Our family instantly fell in love and this became one of our regular menu staples. It is close enough to chicken nuggets to be kid-friendly, but flavorful enough to feel like a treat for grown-ups.
- Eggs: Eggs are the binder for this recipe. It helps the coconut and flour stick to the chicken.
- Unsweetened Coconut: You can use fine or coarse coconut flakes for this recipe(not coconut chips). Just make sure it is unsweetened!
- Flour: Most days I use all-purpose flour, but if you have bread flour it works really well in this recipe! It gives it a great texture like it was cooked at a restaurant. For Paleo or Whole 30 diets, use almond flour. I do not recommend using coconut flour in this recipe. Coconut flour absorbs liquids really well, which results in a gummy breading.
- Seasonings: We keep it simple with salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. For a little kick, add ¼ teaspoon of cayenne.
- Oil: Any high-smoke point oil will work well for this recipe. We usually use canola oil or refined coconut oil, but avocado oil is another good option.
Step One: Dip Chicken Pieces in Eggs
Cut your chicken into 1-inch by 3-inch strips then coat in the eggs. If you wish to make this recipe in advance, add the chicken to the eggs and place in the refrigerator. This can be done up to 4 hours prior to cooking.
Step Two: Shake Them in the Breading
The coconut, flour, and seasonings go into a large plastic bag. Drop in the chicken and shake it to coat each piece. I like to spend a little extra time here pressing the coconut into the chicken. I do this by squeezing the chicken through the bag, tossing it around, and squeezing some more. If you have any pieces where coconut didn't stick to them well you can press some into those pieces when you pull them out to pan-fry.
Step Three: Pan Fry Until They Are Golden
Put 1-2 tablespoons of oil (I use canola or coconut) into a large stainless steel skillet and heat just below medium heat. That's a 4 if you have a stove with numbers as the settings. I like this temperature for chicken because it is hot enough that the outside gets crispy, but not so hot that it burns before the inside is done cooking.
Cook for about 3-4 minutes, until you see the chicken turning opaque almost to its center. Flip over and cook another 3-4 minutes, until they are golden.
Tips and FAQs
Chicken is fully cooked once it has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees. I use an Infrared Thermometer to check the chicken for doneness. Difference shapes and sizes cook at different speeds.
These are best eaten fresh, right after they are cooked. But if you would like to freeze them, place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer. Put in the freezer for 1-2 hours. Once hardened, remove and store in a freezer bag. They will keep for up to 3 months.
When ready to cook, remove from the freezer. Place on a baking sheet and cook in a 350-degree oven for 15-20 minutes, or until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
What Should I Serve with Coconut Chicken Strips?
- We usually have sweet potato fries with our coconut chicken strips. I love this recipe: Sweet Potato Fries
- They are also delicious with these Parmesan Truffle Fries!
- Don't forget your favorite dipping sauce: I make honey mustard by mixing equal parts honey, mustard, (Dijon or yellow, whichever you prefer), and a tiny splash of balsamic vinegar.
- These coconut chicken strips are delicious on top of a salad!
- If you would like to enjoy along with an adult beverage, try an amber beer, Rosé, or a fruit-forward Pinot Noir.
Coconut Chicken Strips
- 1.5 pounds chicken breast, cut into strips
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- ½ cup all-purpose flour use almond flour for Paleo/Whole 30
- 1 teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons canola or coconut oil
- Cut chicken into strips.
- Place eggs in a shallow bowl and beat lightly. Place 5-6 pieces of chicken at a time in egg mixture, and toss to coat.
- Combine coconut flakes, flour, and seasonings in a large zip-top bag.Remove chicken from the egg mixture and let excess egg drip off, then place in coconut mixture. Toss to coat and press coconut into the chicken. Repeat until all chicken is coated.
- Heat oil in a large skillet, just below medium heat. Once the oil is hot, place chicken in a single layer in pan. You may need to cook in batches. Heat oven to 175 degrees. Cook 3-4 minutes, until the bottom half of chicken pieces are opaque. Flip over and cook an additional 3-4 minutes, until golden brown. The internal temperature of the chicken should read 165 degrees.Place cooked chicken on a baking sheet in the oven to keep warm while you cook the remaining batches.
- Serve warm, with your favorite dipping sauces.