Saturday, April 10, 2010

Coconut Chicken

If Mike wasn't allergic to shrimp, this post would be entitled, "Coconut Shrimp," but he is, so I exchange chicken fingers for all things shrimp in the kitchen. That's not to say I haven't tried to force Mike into eating shrimp. On our first real date (we had been friends for more than a year before we started dating), I fed him sushi with a big wad of shrimp in it, completely forgetting his allergy. His response? Jokingly something along the lines of "wait until my life insurance is paid up next time."

He's so cool.

Anyway, this recipe is simple and gives a huge return on your investment. I especially love the juxtaposition of sweet coconut crunch to savory juicy chicken. The most difficult part is waiting for the oil to heat up in the deep fryer that my good friend Jessica gave me. I'm such a kitchen dork that I squeal with honest and unabashed delight when the box reveals something like a deep fryer. I didn't measure anything while I was making it, though, so you'll have to bear with me on the volumes of the ingredients. Take everything with a grain of salt (no pun intended) and tweak it as you go along.

1 package chicken fingers, optionally soaked overnight in buttermilk
2 quarts peanut oil
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Tony Chachere's
1/2 cup flaked coconut
2 eggs
1/2 cup Louisiana hot sauce
Orange marmalade and cilantro for dipping

  1. Heat the oil to 350 degrees in a deep fryer, or if you don't have a deep fryer, use the deepest frying pan you can find. Either way be very careful with hot oil, watch out for smoke, and keep a fire extinguisher handy. Never ever ever use water to put out an oil fire.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, pepper, salt, Tony's, and coconut.
  3. In another medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and hot sauce.
  4. Once the oil is hot enough, dip a chicken finger in the egg mixture, then in the flour mixture. For extra-krispy, go back to the egg and in the flour one more time.
  5. Slowly slip the finger into the oil.
  6. Work in batches of 4 or 6.
  7. After about 5-9 minutes, the chicken should be a golden brown.
  8. Remove from the oil and drain on a cooling rack over newspapers.
  9. Finely chop the cilantro and mix well into the marmalade.
  10. Try not to burn your tongue by eating them too soon after frying.

Goes great with onion rings.


Cindy said...

Thanks for including Tony Chachere's in your recipe! We appreciate you!

Cindy Ardoin
Food Scientist
Tony Chachere's


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