Tags: Chicken Breasts, Chicken Fingers, Chile Garlic Sauce, Cilantro, coconut, cooking, Dessicated Coconut, garlic, Ginger, Greek Yogurt, Lime, Panko, Soy Sauce
For this month’s Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned the blog, Edesia’s Notebook (love the name) authored and photographed by Lesa. For the first time since I joined, I didn’t have the urge to grab some gorgeous dessert, which Lesa has plenty of, and play with it. Instead, the same thought kept going through my head.
You don’t often see posts where I just make dinner, nothing fancy, nothing outrageous, nothing you would only make for a special occasion. It’s not that I don’t have a decent amount of simple recipes, but I just felt the need to cook dinner and blog it. I chose her Crunchy Lemon Chicken.
Of course, I ended up futzing with it, because I truly believe it’s nearly impossible for me not to futz with recipes. I cut each breast into strips, used limes instead of lemons, and added soy sauce and garlic to the marinade. I also added dessicated coconut to the panko bread crumbs and beat the eggs with coconut water for the breading station. Add to that a few other minor alterations, like the baking time and temperature, and there you have it.
Otherwise, it’s just dinner, and it was delicious. I think these are the crunchiest, most delicious baked chicken fingers I’ve ever had, and kids would go absolutely berserk over these. Just my completely unbiased opinion..I swear.
Even though they were flavorful enough as is, I decided to made a dip to go with them – what I call a garbage dip, where you rummage through your fridge and cabinets and just throw something together. It was interesting and tasty, (it looks kind of gross in the photos..like Thousand Island dressing that sat out too long, doesn’t it?), but, again, the chicken fingers had so much flavor, it really wasn’t needed.
That said, I hope you try these little delights of crunchy chicken, and I hope you enjoy them!
Crunchy Coconut Lime Chicken Strips or Bites
Adapted from and Inspired by Lesa from Edesia’s Notebook
Yields about 4 servings
2 limes, zested and juiced
1/4 cup light olive oil
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped finely
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 chicken breasts (About 1 lb) cut into 1-inch wide strips. Cut each strip in half to make ‘nuggets’.
1 1/2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
2/3 cup dessicated coconut shreds
3/4 cup flour
salt and pepper to season flour
2 eggs, beaten with 4 tablespoons of coconut water (you can use coconut milk if you can’t find coconut water)
Oil spray, doesn’t matter what kind
1. In a bowl, stir together lime juice, zest, light olive oil, ginger, light soy sauce, garlic and salt. Add the chicken strips and stir until they’re completely coated with the marinade. You can also pour the marinade with the chicken strips, into a ziplock bag, which is what I did. Marinate for 4 to 5 hours at the most..stirring the strips in the bowl of marinade or squeezing around the bag every hour to an hour and a half to insure even marinating.
2. Line a large baking sheet with foil sprayed lightly with oil. Mix the flour, salt and pepper in one bowl, the beaten eggs and coconut water in a second bowl, and the panko and dessicated coconut in a third bowl. Remove the chicken strips from the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
3. Lift up each chicken strip and shake off some of the marinade so it isn’t overly-saturated (I just ran two impeccably clean fingers down each strip, sliding off the extra marinade). Coat each chicken strip in flour, knocking off the excess, then dip and coat well in the egg mixture and then dredge it in the panko – dessicated coconut mixture, pressing it onto each strip. Place each chicken strip on the oiled baking sheet and continue until all chicken has been coated.
4. Lightly spray some oil on the breaded chicken strips, then bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. IMPORTANT – Do not let them sit on the baking sheet once out of the oven. Transfer them to a rack if not eating within a few minutes, or the bottoms will get soggy.
Spicy Yogurt Dip
1 cup greek yogurt
2 to 3 tablespoons Asian chile-garlic sauce
1 small handful cilantro leaves, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1. Mix all the ingredients together, then cover and refrigerate for a few hours to let the flavors blend.
If you get a chance, please click on the blue frog below to see all the amazing dishes recreated by Group A of The Secret Recipe Club. Also, click on over to Edesia’s Notebook for some fantastic sweet and savory recipes!
Tags: Chile Peppers, Cilantro, Daring Cooks, Peanut Sauce, Pork Satay, Satay, Thai cuisine, Thailand, Yogurt
This is a very rare entry for me….wanna know why? Because I have nothing to say. Can you believe it? ME..nothing to say? That’s like Michelle Duggar not popping out a kid every 1.5 years. In any event, this may be the first time I’m actually grateful for blog checking lines.
The January 2010 DC challenge was hosted by Cuppy of Cuppylicious and she chose a delicious Thai-inspired recipe for Pork Satay from the book 1000 Recipe Cookbook by Martha Day. Thanks for a delicious challenge, Cuppy!
To touch on this challenge, one word..YUM. I love Thai food, but then again I love all international cuisines. However, I hadn’t had Thai in a while, so it was a nice change of pace to my dreary meals du jour. I felt the marinade for the meat had more of an Indian flavor, but pairing it with peanutty saucy goodness helped bring it back. Satay is great because you don’t need a fork or knife..just a hand and mouth. Did I ever mention I love food on sticks?
Not the presttiest marinade, is it? Brings the Exorcist to mind.
OK, I suppose I do have a little more to talk about regarding the challenge. I followed it verbatim, only swaying a bit by making my own sauce in conjunction with the luscious peanut sauce..some of which I poured over udon noodles to serve with the pork satay. Since I added quite a few Thai chile peppers to the pork marinade and peanut sauce, I thought a nice, cooling yogurt sauce (completely whited out in the photos..go figure – see below) with cilantro, lime, salt and cucumber would be ideal, and my tongue agrees 100%.
On another note, I’ve been having a lot of trouble with photographs lately. I’ve ended up with ghastly tones, such as blue, green, gray, even when using a white background, in most of my photos. Yes, I futzed with the white balance, but if you’re a reader of my blog, you know I’m without good natural light, and use 2 Lowel Ego Lights on a regular basis. I don’t know if it’s just one of those crappy phases where nothing seems to turn out right, but if anyone has any tips or ideas when it comes to artificial light.., I’d be eternally grateful (well, at least in spirit).
Wow..I feel like I haven’t been here in a long time, even though it’s only been 3 weeks, but then again, 3 weeks is an eternity in the blogging world, isn’t it? Hmm..I seem to be touching on a lot of ‘eternal’ stuff today, huh?
Oh, did I mention I also made some thinly sliced beef satay? Yep, I made pork one week, and beef the next. Are you all yawning yet? I am. Don’t forget to check out much prettier and creative takes on the ‘any meat or veggie’ satays by clicking on the links at the Daring Cooks Blogroll. Until next time, when I KNOW I’ll have lot more to say!
For the recipe and instructions, click HERE.