Gluten Free Coconut Fried Chicken Tenders

There is just something absolutely decadent about Fried Chicken!  It’s so juicy, moist and tender.  Mmm Mmm Mmm!  It’s also not something that we make on a regular basis.  Admittedly, it is a bit messy to make, but it is well worth the effort!

Gluten Free Coconut Fried Chicken

Coconut Fried Chicken Ingredients

Chicken Breasts

The easiest chicken to use for this recipe is skinless, boneless chicken breasts.  I cut them into 1/4″ slices.  This way, they cook up super fast, so you don’t have to worry about the coconut burning.  There’s also plenty to go around.

The “Breading”

At Christmas time we came across Christopher Kimball’s new show on PBS, called Milk Street.  We tried his Japanese Fried Chicken recipe, and enjoyed it.  However, the process they used, of drying the chicken, coating it in the first layer of breading, drying it again, then coating in the final layer was very time consuming.  After looking at some other methods of breading and frying, we came up with this our own version.  This four step version gives us incredibly moist and flavorful chicken.

  1. Dip the chicken slices into milk.
  2. Dredge the chicken slices in a Potato Starch mixture (see recipe below).
    1. Shake off any excess starch.  The chicken should look very lightly, but evenly dusted.
  3. Dip the chicken slices into beaten eggs.
  4. Coat the chicken slices in Unsweetened, flaked coconut.
The Oil

We use Peanut Oil, and naturally high heat oil, for frying.  It doesn’t give off any strange peanut flavors, or taste.

Frying The Chicken

We have found that we enjoy using the wok for this process, too.  (Other Mama C wok recipes include Stir Fry and Curry)  The wok is deep enough to comfortably have enough oil to fry in.  However, the wide top on it makes it easy to work with, and keeps the kitchen a little bit cleaner.

An Excellent Family Cooking Activity

We have found that this is a cooperative cooking effort.  While, you could do it all yourself, by first preparing the chicken, running it through the breading process, and then frying it all a few pieces at a time.  It is much more fun, and much quicker, to work together in the kitchen.  We have a prep station, a frying station and a floater (or two, depending on who’s home).  The floater makes sure the breading containers stay full, salts the finished chicken tenders and moves them to a clean serving plate.  Cooking this way makes the whole kitchen warm with family and friends, and lively with conversation.

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Print Recipe
Gluten Free Coconut Fried Chicken Tenders
The most tender, flavorful fried chicken I've ever had!
Gluten Free Coconut Fried Chicken
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Homemade
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings
servings
Ingredients
The Basics
The "Breading"
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Homemade
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings
servings
Ingredients
The Basics
The "Breading"
Gluten Free Coconut Fried Chicken
Instructions
Preparation
  1. Using a large, very sharp knife, cut your chicken breast into 1/4" slices, set aside
    Sliced Chicken Breast
  2. Prepare you frying vessel. We really enjoy using the wok for this, as it heats efficiently and keeps the mess down to a minimum. We fill the bottom of the wok with about 3" of Peanut oil, and heat until a coconut piece put in starts to fry.
  3. For the end of the process, set a small drying rack (like used for cookies) into a cookie sheet, or other pan. This is to drain the chicken when it is pulled out of the fryer.
  4. In four separate containers, create a "breading line". Container 1) Milk. Container 2) Potato starch, garlic salt and Italian herbs. Container 3) Beaten Eggs. Container 4) Unsweetened Coconut flakes. Add a separate fork into each container.
    Coconut Fried Chicken Breading set up
Breading
  1. Take each piece of chicken and first dip it into the milk, pick it up and give a little shake. Then coat both sides with Potato starch mixture, pick it up and tap or shake to remove anything that is loose. (you only want a very fine dusting of starch). Next, dip into eggs to coat both sides. Pick up and let allow any excess to drip off. Finally, coat with coconut on both sides.
Frying
  1. When the oil is hot enough to fry (we test with a small piece of coconut), carefully place a couple pieces of breaded chicken into the hot oil.
  2. When chicken starts to float, carefully turn it over to cook the other side. For about a minute. (cooking time will vary based on the thickness, and size of your chicken pieces) Then remove the cooked chicken, and place on the prepared rack. Sprinkle with a little salt to taste, while still hot.
Recipe Notes

We really enjoy this with a sweeter, Asian style dipping sauce, such as a Korean Barbecue sauce.  The coconut picks up on both the salty and the sweet flavors.

The high fiber content of the coconut makes this a very filling meal.  I was surprised to find that we comfortably fed four adults, and still had left overs.  To re-heat the left overs, place on a rack, on a cookie sheet and heat under a low broiler for about 2 minutes.  I think putting them in the microwave would leave them soggy.

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