Adapted from Carslbad Cravings
- 1 pound chicken breasts (or chicken tenders), cut into 1 ½- 2” pieces
- nonstick cooking spray
Coconut Cashew Breading
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 teaspoons coconut or olive oil
- 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes*
- 3/4 cup roasted salted cashews
- 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- 1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple in juice
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon chili garlic sauce (more or less to taste)
- Combine all of the dip ingredients in a food processor. Puree until very smooth. Add to a small saucepan and simmer approximately 5 minutes or until reduced and thickened. Store in the refrigerator while you prepare chicken. (Can be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container.)**
Coconut Cashew Breading
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- Add coconut flakes to your food processor and blend into smaller pieces. Melt 1 tablespoon butter with 2 teaspoons coconut oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add coconut flakes and panko and toast until golden, stirring often. Remove to a large bowl. ***
- Add cashews to food processor and process until the size of panko crumbs. Add to coconut/panko mixture. Stir in 1/3 cup flour and all Coconut Cashew Breading Spices and mix until evenly combined.
Assemble: Remove a handful of chicken pieces from batter, let excess batter drip off, and add to breading mixture. Press mixture into chicken with clean fingers to make sure the coating sticks. Place chicken pieces on prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all chicken is coated.
Bake: Lightly spray chicken with non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Broil for 2-3 minutes or until golden. Serve with chilled Pineapple Dip.
*I used the Baker's Coconut Angel Flakes. They are already pretty small compared to shavings and only need a couple pulses in the food processor.
** I made the sauce the same day. Although easy, it would have reduced the time it took to put the meal together if I had made it the day or two before. As a bonus, the day in the refrigerator allows the flavors to meld, and we preferred it cold! Since it is brought to a simmer, it takes awhile to cool down, even refrigerated.
***Watch your coconut/panko mix carefully and stir often. It will brown quickly once heated through. Remove from heat even if some coconut/panko is not fully toasted if some of the mixture is getting too crispy.
****I often use bags for this type of dunking & breading to ease on dishes. However, since a pound of chicken makes quite a few nuggets, I found that using a large bowl to combine the batter and chicken was actually easier and less messy.
Baked Coconut Cashew Chicken Bites with Pineapple Dip (printable recipe)