Monday, April 2, 2012

Baked Coconut Chicken with Apricot Dipping Sauce

This week, I'm relishing a vacation with my husband.  We're not traveling far. In fact, we're enjoying the sights (and restaurants) in our own backyard.   When I'm "Stay-cationing", Craig and I will dine out more often than usual. We prefer a having a leisurely lunch in places like Big Sur, Carmel Valley or Pebble Beach.  We'll make a pit stop, or two, that are errand driven.
Yesterday, we had a busy day, and I was happy to arrive home by late afternoon so that I could catch up on reading magazines and new cookbooks.  Before I knew it, my stomach was telling me that it was 6:00 and I needed to think about making something for dinner.

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I had some chicken breasts in the fridge, so I looked for inspiration on  Pinterest!   If you haven't come aboard on the Pinterest craze, be warned that it's an addicting website.  I have discovered all kinds of new blogs, and it's fun to see what my other blogger friends are pinning.  Thanks to my blogger friend Cathy, at Wives With Knives, she had pinned a recipe for Coconut Chicken (from Pennies on a Platter)  that looked easy and appetizing.

The recipe had simple ingredients, that I had on hand--  my chicken breasts were quite plump and large.  So I cut them in half, because I didn't want to wait 30-40 minutes for the chicken to be ready. NOTE: You could easily cut the chicken into bite-size bits, as appetizers

I had a bag (of rather outdated, to be honest) sweetened coconut, flour, salt & pepper and garlic powder.

I had one last jar of my homemade apricot-pineapple jam.  The recipe listed apricot jam, but my absolute favorite jam is apricot-pineapple.  I must make more, this summer.  Anyway,  I added two tablespoons of Dijon mustard, to 1/4 cup of jam.  I felt that was just a little too much Dijon for my liking as it overpowered the delicious flavor of the jam.  I simply added another 1/4 cup of jam, and all was good.  To be honest, I think just pure jam would have been just fine-- more on that later. I set it in the fridge to chill.

Preheat the oven to 400F.  

I beat two eggs (the recipe called for one, but I didn't want to run out) and then dip the chicken into the dry ingredients.

Coat each piece of chicken, and gently press the coconut mixture.

Place the chicken on either parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.  

The instructions said to melt 1/2 cup of unsalted butter.  Necessity is the other of invention, because to my horror, I realized I was almost out of butter!  I melted my last 1/4 cup of unsalted butter and added 1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil.  (I think that could be reduced.)

Then drizzle over each piece of chicken..


A little messy, but it's ready to go into the oven.  I set the timer for 15 minutes.

...then flipped them over.

They were lightly golden.  Can I leave well enough alone? No! 

I wanted extra-crunch, so I turned on the broiler and placed the rack on the highest position. Coconut can burn fast, so I watched the chicken closely-- after 2 minutes, I flipped them over.

I present to you extra-crispy coconut chicken.  In less than 45 minutes from start to finish-- including photographing, and wiping off flour and egg from my camera.

 This is family friendly.  Kids would love it, too.

TASTING NOTES:  I dedicate this recipe to my BFF of 35 years.  Patty loves coconut, and I am absolutely sure that she would love this dinner.  This dinner is really fast and easy to make. I loved the crunchy texture of the coconut.  The apricot-pineapple jam was perfect with each bite. Craig loved it, too.  For a moment, I thought that shrimp would be a great substitute, but I'd be afraid of overcooking it. There's nothing worse than rubbery over-cooked shrimp.  I'll stick to chicken, and I will definitely make this again.  Make this. Seriously. It's lip-smacking good with plain white or coconut rice.

Thanks "Pennies on a Platter" for sharing this recipe.  I love Nikki's blog, with her beautiful photographs and mouth-watering recipes. Had it not been for Pinterest, I might not have found her.

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Nikki @Pennies on a Platter said...

Your photos look great! So glad you enjoyed this as much as we do in my home. :) One of my favorite chicken dishes, for sure!

Becki's Whole Life said...

This sounds great and I love the sound of your pineapple apricot jam with it.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I love coconut anything. Will definitely give this one a shot.

Cathy at Wives with Knives said...

I thought this recipe looked delicious when I saw it on Pinterest. I'm so happy to know that you liked it, Debby. I love coconut too and especially like that the chicken is baked and not fried. Thanks so much for the link, my friend.

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

What an incredible photo of a very colorful dish. Well done.

Kate said...

I do love coconut! Your photo is so great that I tried to reach out and take a piece...sadly, I will have to make my own.

Lorrie Bridges said...

Can't wait to try this!!!! I am drooling as I write. haha

Joanne said...

I've made coconut chicken before and I remember it being such a nice change from regular breading! Sounds like you're having fun on your staycation! Sometimes, those are the best.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

It's easy to have a fabulous staycation when you live in the most beautiful part of the U.S. The chicken looks pretty sensational too. I seem to always have a stale bag of coconut stashed in the freezer. This would be a great place to put it to use.Can you send me some of that wonderful apricot pineapple jam?

Lisa @ Snappy Gourmet said...

I love coconut chicken. This looks delicious!

Kay @ The Church Cook said...

Ha, we are having stay-cation here in Savannah while the children are off for their spring break! So much to do in our own backyards, right?

And this recipe with coconut looks fabulous, Debby. Not only your BFF but I just adore coconut with savory meats.

Have a wonderful Easter, celebrating our resurrected Lord! Hugs!

bellini said...

Pinterest is addictive, but if I have to be addicted what better way than to food and photography.As for the chicken this is a great find.

Slice of Southern said...

This looks amazing! Found your blog from I'm a new follower!

SL's Bavarian Adventure said...

Made this last night as a last minute dinner since I had all the ingredients on hand. Turned out wonderful and hubby loved it!!! Temporarily, I am living in Germany and found your website looking for German recipes. My next try and make your kasekuchen! It looks and sounds amazing! Thanks so much!!