Crispy Coconut Chicken Tenders with Pineapple-Chili Sauce

(from castro15’s recipe box)

Categories: Chicken


  • For the chicken and marinade:
  • 1/4 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk, shaken
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice (drained from a small can of crushed pineapple)
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 lbs. chicken tenders
  • For the Sweet Chili Pineapple sauce:
  • 1/4 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
  • 1/4 cup canned crushed pineapple
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1/2 tsp Sriracha
  • For the breading and frying:
  • 1 1/2 cups cornstarch
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2/3 cup panko
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • Vegetable oil, for shallow-frying
  • 2 scallions, chopped, for garnish


  1. Marinate the chicken: In a large bowl, whisk together the sweet chili sauce, coconut milk, pineapple juice, lime zest, lime juice, garlic and salt. Add the chicken and smush it around to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.

  2. Make the sauce: In a small bowl, stir together the sweet chili sauce, pineapple, lime zest, lime juice, garlic and Sriracha.

  3. Bread and fry the chicken: Remove the chicken from the marinade, shaking off the excess liquid. Set up three shallow bowls. Spread out the cornstarch in one, beat the eggs in the second, and mix together the coconut, panko, cayenne, and 1 tsp salt and some black pepper in the third. Dip each chicken tender in the cornstarch, then in egg, shaking off the excess between each step. Press all sides of each tender into the coconut-panko mixture, pressing well to adhere, and place the breaded tenders on a plate or tray.

  4. Heat 1/4 inch of oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Working in batches, fry the tenders until golden and crisp, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels and season to taste with salt.

  5. Arrange the tenders on a serving platter and either serve with the sauce as a dip or drizzle them with the sauce. Garnish with scallions and serve immediately.

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