Baked Coconut Chicken Fingers (Gluten Free!)

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These are ridiculously good. Not to mention super simple to make.

The crust is a crunchy and fragrant combo of eggs, sour cream, unsweetened coconut flakes, and coconut flour.

The eggs and sour cream come together to form a magical coating that’s crisp on the outside—and keeps the chicken moist and juicy on the inside.

I like to serve them garnished with fresh basil and a little bowl of sweet chili and garlic sauce for dipping. (Use your favorite brand, I haven’t found a way to reproduce this stuff at home yet. If you have a good recipe, send it my way!)

Seasoning these little guys twice (once on the meat itself, then again in the coating), helps you build layers of glorious, smoked chili-infused flavor.

Adjust the amount of chipotle powder up or down, depending on how spicy you like it. (Me? I like ’em melt-your-face-off hot.)

Oh, and as an added bonus, this recipe is wheat and gluten free, if that’s your jam. Speaking of which…

About the ingredients

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So this recipe packs a triple coconut punch. Let’s talk about the ingredients for a sec, in case you’re not familiar with them. (If you’re an old coconut pro, drop me a line below and let me know what your favorite brands are!)

First, what’s the deal with coconut flour?

Coconut flour is made from dried, defatted coconut meat that’s ground to a fine powder. It’s high in fiber and low in carbs, so it’s a great substitute for wheat flour for peeps following certain diets (think paleo or Atkins).

This recipe also calls for unsweetened, flaked coconut. Sometimes you’ll see it labeled “shredded” (like the kind I bought). The important thing here is to make sure you get unsweetened coconut. You can find it online, at Whole Foods, and at other health food stores. Don’t get the sweetened kind that you’ll find in almost every baking aisle.

Lastly, you’ll get a little extra nutritional goodness, plus coconut flavor, from a big blop of coconut oil. I like Dr. Bronner’s organic extra virgin, but use any kind you like or can find. Grocery stores will either keep it with the oils, or in their special, “natural foods” section.

Basically, read the labels well and you’ll be just fine.

OK, enough talking. Let’s get cooking!

Baked Coconut Chicken Fingers

Breading Mixture
8 oz. unsweetened, flaked coconut
1/2 – 1 teaspoon ground chipotle chili
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 Tablespoon dried parsley

Batter
1 cup sour cream
3 large eggs
1 Tablespoon coconut oil

Chicken
2 lbs. chicken tenders
1 teaspoon – 1 Tablespoon chipotle powder (depending on how hot you like it)
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 cup coconut flour

Garnish
Fresh basil
Chili garlic sauce (we love this brand)

Serves 6-8 as an appetizer, or 3-4 as an entree

Do a little prep

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with foil or parchment paper. Set it aside.

Make the breading mixture

Put the unsweetened, flaked coconut on a large plate. Toss in the ground chipotle, garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt, and parsley. Mix with a fork until uniform.

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Make the batter

Put the eggs, sour cream, and coconut oil in a large bowl. Whisk until uniform.

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It will be super thick and gloppy. That’s just fine. Set it aside for a sec while you deal with the chicken.

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Season the chicken

Put the chicken in a large zip-top bag.

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Toss in the coconut flour, chipotle, and kosher salt. Zip it up and shake around until your chicken is well coated.

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Coat the chicken

OK, now that you’ve done all that prep, you’re ready to coat the chicken. Your countertop should have an assembly line look, like this (plate of breading, bowl of batter, bag of chicken, lined sheet pan).

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Grab a piece of chicken.

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Dip it in the batter to coat it completely.

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Drop the coated chicken onto the breading plate. Roll it around to coat on all sides. (This is a lot easier if you keep one hand for handling the wet chicken, and the other for rolling it around in the crumbs. Either way, your paws are going to get messy…)

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Place the coated chicken on your lined sheet pan.

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Repeat with the rest of the chicken. (You can put them close together on the pan, just make sure they’re not touching.)

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Bake the chicken fingers

Pop the pan into your pre-heated, 400-degree F oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly browned. Your final cooking time will depend on how thick your tenders are. (When in doubt, check the chicken with a thermometer, you’re aiming for an internal temperature of about 160 degrees F. Or, you can go old school and  take a sharp knife and nick the chicken to make sure it’s cooked through.)

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When your chicken is browned and cooked through, yank the pan out of the oven. Place on a rack to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

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Serve, inhale, enjoy!

I like to serve these with fresh basil and chili garlic sauce. (We love this brand in our house, but use your favorite. If you’re not crazy about hot sauce, a milder marinara sauce would work great, too.)

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Enjoy!!!

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Baked Coconut Chicken Fingers (Gluten Free!)

Yields 4-6 servings

These are ridiculously good. Not to mention super simple to make. The crust is a crunchy and fragrant combo of eggs, sour cream, unsweetened coconut flakes, and coconut flour.

Save RecipeSave Recipe

Ingredients

Breading Mixture
8 oz. unsweetened, flaked coconut
1/2 – 1 teaspoon ground chipotle chili
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 Tablespoon dried parsley
Batter
1 cup sour cream
3 large eggs
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
Chicken
2 lbs. chicken tenders
1 teaspoon – 1 Tablespoon chipotle powder (depending on how hot you like it)
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 cup coconut flour
Garnish
Fresh basil
Chili garlic sauce

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with foil or parchment paper. Set it aside.
  2. Make the breading: Put the unsweetened, flaked coconut on a large plate. Toss in the ground chipotle, garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt, and parsley. Mix with a fork until uniform.
  3. Make the batter: Put the eggs, sour cream, and coconut oil in a large bowl. Whisk until uniform.
  4. Season the chicken: Put the chicken in a large zip-top bag. Toss in the coconut flour, chipotle, and kosher salt. Zip it up and shake around until your chicken is well coated.
  5. Coat the chicken: Grab a piece of chicken. Dip it in the batter to coat it completely. Drop the coated chicken onto the breading plate. Roll it around to coat on all sides. Place the coated chicken on your lined sheet pan.
  6. Repeat until you've coated all your chicken.
  7. Pop the pan into your pre-heated, 400-degree F oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly browned. Your final cooking time will depend on how thick your tenders are. (When in doubt, check the chicken with a thermometer, you’re aiming for an internal temperature of about 160 degrees F.)
  8. When your chicken is browned and cooked through, yank the pan out of the oven. Place on a rack to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
  9. Serve garnished with fresh basil and a bowl of chili garlic sauce (or mild marinara sauce) for dipping. Enjoy!
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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie works as an advertising copywriter in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.

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