Coconut Chicken Tenders with Pineapple Rice

Yum! We just had this for dinner, like just last night. It was recommended by a friend and I could kiss her feet, because the recipe really delivered and I think it’s going to go into regular rotation around here.

I tossed the rice together at the last second, and it really worked well with this dish, so I included the recipe here. Also: it took trips to 3 different grocery stores to find the elusive pineapple preserves (finally found it at Checkers, for you Larryville folks). If you can’t find pineapple preserves, by the way, either (1) check your local Trader Joes (I’ve heard they carry it) or (2) use apricot preserves instead, I think that’d be really close taste-wise.

The chicken is great, crispy with a nicely toasted flavor – the original recipe called for chicken cutlets but it works nicely with tenders too. We then used the sauce for dipping, but by all means: smother the rice with it as well. The sauce is what really makes this dish: sweet and tart and spicy, I think I’ll double it from now on, because that stuff would be awesome on all sorts of things (I think it’d make a perfect dip for jalapeno poppers, for one).

Make! Eat! Enjoy! And thanks for sharing, Kim 🙂

Coconut Chicken Tenders
(from Rachel Ray)

Ingredients:
8 chicken cutlets, slightly pounded
Salt and pepper
1 cup flour
2 eggs
1 c. panko breadcrumbs
1 c. grated unsweetened coconut
1 to 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1/2 c. pineapple preserves
1/2 jalapeño, seeded and sliced into rings
1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar or tamari
1 to 2 Tbsp. chicken stock

Preheat oven to 250F. Place a cooling rack over a baking sheet and place in oven.

Arrange 3 shallow dishes: Place about a cup of flour on first plate to dredge the chicken. Beat eggs with a splash of water in second dish. Combine the panko and coconut in the third dish.

Heat a thin layer of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper, then coat them in flour, then egg, then breadcrumb-coconut mixture. Fry in 2 batches until deep golden in color, 3-6 minutes on each side. Keep chicken crisp in warm oven and repeat with remaining chicken.

In a small skillet over medium-high heat, stir together pineapple preserves, jalapeño slices, rice wine vinegar and chicken stock. Reduce until thickened, about 2 minutes. Allow to cool before portioning into individual dipping cups.

Pineapple Rice

Ingredients:
2 c. water
1 tsp. salt
1 c. white rice
1/2 c. shredded unsweetened coconut
1/4 c. pineapple preserves
2 scallions, whites and greens sliced

Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add salt, rice, coconut, and preserves. Cover and simmer on low until rice is cooked through, about 25 minutes (or: toss it all in your rice cooker and flip the switch). Sprinkle scallions over each serving on plates.

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