Coconut Chicken Tenders Recipe

by Alice Currah on June 30, 2009. Updated January 10, 2010

coconutchicken
You’ve heard of coconut prawns or shrimp. Meet its cousin, coconut chicken. Last weekend we celebrated my daughter’s 8th Birthday with a house filled with girls, Hannah Montana, and food fit for a princess. When deciding on a menu my daughter requested her favorite dish, coconut chicken tenders. Who could blame her? Each tender is dipped in sweetened egg batter, coated with a panko coconut mixture and pan-fried to perfection.

Although the kids prefer them without a dipping sauce, my husband and I love dipping them in a marmalade honey sauce. This kid and adult friendly finger food will be a hit with or without sauce. You are going to love these! Enjoy!

Recipe: Coconut Chicken Tenders with Honey Marmalade dipping sauce

Ingredients:

2 lbs of chicken tenders

1 1/2 cups of panko bread crumbs (can be found in the Asian aisle of grocery stores)

1 cup of shredded sweetened coconut

1 egg

1/2 can of condensed milk

1/2 cup of orange juice

salt and pepper to taste

Peanut Oil for frying

Directions:

coconuttenders
On a cookie sheet, season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Set aside.  In a medium bowl, mix orange juice, condensed milk, and a beaten egg until your “wet” mixture is well incorporated.  In another bowl, mix coconut and panko crumbs.

coconutchickenbowls

Heat peanut oil in a medium pan or skillet on medium-high heat. Fill pan to about 1/2″ of oil. Dip and fully coat each tender in the egg mixture first and then the panko/coconut mix.

coconutchickenbatter

coconutpankochicken

Set each coated chicken on a cookie cooling rack.

batteredcoconutchicken

Fry each tender for 6-8 minutes until golden brown. Serve with Honey Marmalade dipping sauce. Enjoy!

coconutchickenfry

Honey Marmalade Dipping Sauce Recipe:
1/2 cup of honey
1/2 of marmalade
Directions: In a small bowl, add honey and marmalade. Heat in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir everything until well mixed and serve with coconut chicken tenders.

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{ 62 comments… read them below or add one }

Nutmeg Nanny June 30, 2009 at 4:53 pm

How delicious!!! I have had coconut shrimp but never thought of doing the breading on chicken. That sauce looks super tasty too:)

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Jim June 30, 2009 at 5:37 pm

Alice,

These look better than tasty. Thanks for sharing!

~Jim

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Kate @ Savour Fare June 30, 2009 at 5:39 pm

I’m not entirely convinced the Nuni would eat it, but that’s OK because she’d have to pry it out of my hands.

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jenn June 30, 2009 at 5:58 pm

I never thought of using coconut with chicken tenders. This looks great. I love the honey marmalade dipping sauce you made for it to. Looks and sounds delicious.

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Deborah June 30, 2009 at 7:13 pm

I love coconut chicken, but have never made it at home. This sounds wonderful!

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Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction June 30, 2009 at 9:18 pm

These look so good! I KNOW I will be making these. My husband’s favorite dish on our honeymoon in Jamaica was the coconut breaded chicken. I’ve never been able to duplicate it… but this sounds close! He will be sooo happy!

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Humingbird Appetite June 30, 2009 at 11:32 pm

They look lovely and yummy!

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Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer June 30, 2009 at 11:51 pm

I cannot wait to try these as I have all the ingredients already in the kitchen! Looks great

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Amrita July 1, 2009 at 2:44 am

Nom nom nom! This is definitely going on my “try-out” list!! Looks absolutely delish!

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Danica July 1, 2009 at 1:39 pm

I have always wanted to make coconut chicken and never have….this looks and sounds fantastic – I NEED to make it now :)

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Kevin July 4, 2009 at 1:01 pm

That coconut crusted chicken whit dipping sauce looks really good!

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Quynh July 5, 2009 at 6:28 pm

I just made these for dinner, and they were so delicious! I have found a new blog to follow :)

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jaden July 8, 2009 at 4:03 pm

hey those are gorgeous photos! i love your counter tops

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joy in the Burbs July 16, 2009 at 12:52 pm

Hi Alice, it’s Joy. I’m looking for some inspiration for dinner tonight. Think I found it. Miss your other blog. Glad your doing this one.

Joy

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Alice July 16, 2009 at 12:53 pm

Thank you everyone for your kind words.

QUYNH: I am really glad you liked them!

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joy in the Burbs July 19, 2009 at 5:38 pm

I made them Friday night and loved them. Soooo Good!

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Danielle July 21, 2009 at 8:45 pm

These were absolutely delicious! I substituted the panko bread crumbs since I couldn’t find them at my grocery store for crushed rice krispy cereal. It was absolutely wonderful and everyone loved it! Thank you for the fabulous recipe!

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Alice July 21, 2009 at 9:28 pm

Danielle, what a fantastic substitute! You’re brilliant. I bet crushed Corn Flakes would work too!

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Sarah @ This Heavenly Life August 15, 2009 at 2:28 pm

This recipe was perfect! My family ate it up and begged for more :) I hope you don’t mind, I’m writing a blog post about how much my husband in particular loved it, and I’m including the recipe and a link to you. I should have it up by Monday at the latest, so let me know if you’d rather I didn’t post it for some reason. I’m not a food blogger, so I don’t know if it’s considered OK for me to post someone else’s recipe? I hope so, though, because I think my readers would really like it! Have a nice weekend :)

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indy September 6, 2009 at 2:05 pm

Do you think you’d be able to cook these in the oven, as oppose to frying them?

Indy

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Alice September 6, 2009 at 2:10 pm

Indy: Yes you could bake them.. however I’ve found they do not crisp up as much. You will also want to make sure to mix a little bit of butter or oil with the panko crumbs before coating the chicken in order for them to crisp up a little. Baking times will be the same as you would when you normally bake chicken. Hope that helps!
Alice

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uzma November 15, 2009 at 12:25 pm

I love this recipe!!! Am going to try it tomorrow. My kids are tired of chicken steaks and nuggets…thanks for a lovely recipe!!

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Connie January 2, 2010 at 7:49 pm

Alice, such a PLEASANT surprise to find your blog. I was in desperate need of going grocery shopping, but last night decided to create something with the ingredients I had left. I had everything your recipe asked for and actually was looking for a coconut chicken recipe when I stumbled across yours! We made this along with the rice and Korean style spinach. The chicken was FABULOUS! My husband thoroughly enjoyed it, and I’m excited to continue using your recipes. As a Korean American, I’m excited to see that you have Kalbi and Bulgogi recipes as well.

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naomig January 15, 2010 at 12:48 pm

Oh man this looks good! I LOVE coconut prawns, but my husband is not a fan… this will be a great day for me to get a fried meat coconut fix, and for him to not have to eat prawns. :-)

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Tonya January 24, 2010 at 4:36 pm

If you bake them, you can always turn on the broiler at the end for a couple of minute to give them the extra crunch! I’m making these tonight for my 5 year old son and my husband, thank you!

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Melanie Craddock January 31, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Hi Alice!
I’m just curious about something in this recipe. Is it SWEETENED condensed milk, as in Eagle Brand?? the recipe didn’t say sweetened, and I’ve never seen any other type of condensed milk, only evaporated milk, so I wanted to make sure.
thanks!! love your blog and all the beautiful photos!

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ann weaver May 1, 2012 at 11:18 am

Hi Melanie, I’m curious about this too. Didn’t see a response to your question. Is it sweetened condensed milk or evaporated milk? Thanks to anyone who can answer!

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Kris April 13, 2010 at 9:42 pm

These were so easy and delicious!! Big hit with my boyfriend, Mom, Dad and sister! Will make time and time again! Thanks!

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Jessica June 14, 2010 at 12:41 am

Just curious,
do you think it’d be okay to cook with olive oil? I don’t have peanut oil but if you think it will turn out differently I’ll pick some up. I’m so happy I found your blog. Thanks for the inspiration.

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Jessica June 14, 2010 at 12:42 am

Also,
what kind of sides do you make with this? Suggestions?

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alice June 14, 2010 at 1:11 am

Hi Jessica,
I find frying anything in olive oil generally doesn’t work very well. Canola oil or vegetable oil would be a better alternative. These chicken tenders are great as a main dish or an appetizer. If I were to pick a few sides, I would go with some type of lighter salad and perhaps some steamed vegetables to offset the fried food. Let me know if I can answer anymore questions.

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LGof3 July 9, 2010 at 5:04 pm

Sooo excited to try this. Didn’t have all the ingredients so I’m trying a few subs. Soy milk for condensed, no orange juice :-(, and using coconut oil instead of peanut. Side dish of julienned zuchini cooked in coconut oil with a touch of soy and rice. We’ll see how it goes.

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Leslie September 7, 2010 at 4:04 pm

Alice,

I was wondering what other bread crumbs can I use? I couldn’t find panko bread crumbs in my asian isle…

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alice September 7, 2010 at 4:58 pm

Hi Leslie,
Sometimes Panko can be found where regular bread crumbs are shelved. If that doesn’t work, crushed Corn Flakes would be a great alternative. I don’t recommend regular bread crumbs because the texture doesn’t compliment the coconut very well. You could also try just using coconut.

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NiNi January 23, 2011 at 6:11 pm

I am looking forward to tasting this recipe!!! Got everything prepped! Easy and quick thank you for that! The kids are excited for dinner!

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Kristine March 8, 2011 at 2:52 pm

I just made these chicken tenders and now I’m sure that I can make whatever you post here and I can’t do it wrong- it will taste simply wonderful.

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Kathi April 2, 2011 at 2:47 am

I just came across your website and found these wonderful recipes for Coconut Chicken Tenders and the Honey Marmalade Dipping Sauce. I can’t wait to try them out on my family this weekend! I will definitely be back to this website and see what other recipes you have that I can try. Thanks for being here!

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Joan April 28, 2011 at 8:35 pm

Great recipe and very versatile.

Didn’t have some of the ingredients so I used:
skim milk w/ 1 tsp sugar
no orange juice
Fried in Coconut oil
and used Honey Mustard dressing
Put it on top of a big salad.

Husband loved it, Yum!

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Poodia August 21, 2011 at 8:13 pm

Made this for my Husband and son tonight and they loved it. Pretty easy too.

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Katie August 29, 2011 at 6:14 pm

I have tried this recipe twice and liked it both times but i am having trouble with the frying part. It’s the only part of the recipe that I don’t like. Is there any way to bake these?

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Megan October 12, 2011 at 3:42 pm

YES! I would bake them! while I love the greasy, flavorful and colorful result of pan frying….I dont like the extra fat and I hate pan frying when there are a lot of batches. I would use a parchment (my favorite) or non-stick foil lined cookie sheet (or spray with Pam or similar). Oven at 425 degrees. If you want a little extra color or flavor, LIGHTLY drizzle (or spray) the chicken with oil or melted butter before baking. Bake for 6-8 minutes on first side, flip over and bake another 6-8 minutes or until browned and cooked through. I am planning to make coconut chicken tender and coconut shrimp for dinner tonight and plan on baking them all! good luck!

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Robbi September 19, 2011 at 2:10 pm

One question, you mean sweetened condensed milk?

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Megan October 12, 2011 at 3:46 pm

whole thing sounds really sweet! sweetened milk, OJ, coconut, honey, marmelade….making this (or using this recipe for inspiration and will kinda make it up as I go) for dinner tonight. I think I am gonna do my egg mixture with a little reg milk and and OJ. And for the sauce, I plan to add some dijon mustard to even out the sweetness a bit. Love anything in panko! made the best version yet of oven baked crispy zucchini fries the other night with panko- amazing!

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ellen October 22, 2011 at 4:37 pm

i made this for dinner tonight. i couldn’t find panko crumbs or sweetened coconut, since i’m out in italy, so i used stale bread and regular shredded coconut. also, i used orange juice instead of marmalade(i realized i didn’t have any, so i improvised.) and i put garlic in it. and reg. milk instead of condensed. but it was still amazing. thank you so much for this recipe!

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Julia November 7, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Hi Alice!
I’m making these tonight for the first time. This will be the first “actual” recipe I have made from you because up until now it has been nothing but your AMAZING chocolate chip cookies! I can’t wait to see how these turn out. Thank you so much for the recipe! Both my tummy and I greatly appreciate your constantly updating blog. :)

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Madison November 21, 2011 at 9:37 pm

I just made this recipe and it didn’t turn out as good looking as your picture did. Mostly bread crumbs stuck to the chicken and not alot of coconut, so they basically just tasted like regular chicken tenders. And the marmalade/honey sauce was overwhemingly honey-flavored. I ended up using a whole jar of marmalade to the 1/2 cup of honey. It tasted good but it didn’t taste like it was supposed to I don’t think.

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Nikki March 25, 2012 at 1:03 pm

I am making this tonight for dinner and am super excited!! Me and my fiance love coconut and have never made it in anything but bake goods. I saw you said you couldnt find the cocnut and the panko bread crubs. I live in Tennessee in the USA and I live it a small town with a small store I thought i would have to go to walmart 20 minutes away but i called the store in my town and to my suprise they sold both there. The coconut you will find in your super markets in bake goods probably lower down on the shelves under chocolate chips and all that. The panko crumbs are in the same isle with bread crumbs i found mine on a top shelf cause its a single type of crumbs. You can also find the panko crumbs in the asian food isle if you have one in your stores. I really hope this helps for next time you make it.

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Lynn D. Kimbell May 25, 2012 at 11:30 pm

Made these tonight for dinner and even my son (who claimed he hated coconut) loved them! The honey/marmalade dip was really sweet and it was a new experience for me to eat a “sweet” tasting chicken, but I loved it!

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Alice Currah May 26, 2012 at 5:30 pm

Glad you liked it Lynn!

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susan June 21, 2012 at 6:34 pm

Is there another oil you would recommend? I can’t use peanut oil in my house due to allergies.

Thanks

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Pam S. July 2, 2012 at 6:09 pm

I too would like to know if you used regular condensed milk (as in evaporated), or sweetened condensed milk (as in Eagle Brand)?

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Rachel August 31, 2012 at 8:38 pm

I was just thinking I may use coconut oil instead! I would think it would be delicious, and better for you than frying them in peanut oil. I haven’t tried this recipe yet, but I use coconut oil for EVERYTHING, so using it with this seems like it would work beautifully!!

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Pippi September 2, 2012 at 6:40 pm

We made these and not only are the simple they are insanely good!

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Cindy October 31, 2012 at 8:23 pm

Hi Alice,
I made your coconut chicken last night and my husband and I both loved it! I have noticed 4 people have asked you if the recipe calls for ” sweetened” condensed milk, but couldn’t find your reply so I am asking also. I used evaporated milk and we loved the dish. It looked just like yours! Thanks! This will be a regular at our house from now on.

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Alice Currah November 14, 2012 at 10:24 pm

I use sweetened condensed milk, but you could easily use evaporated or regular milk too.

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Kathy December 3, 2012 at 5:38 pm

These were absolutely wonderful! I can’t wait to serve these at our Christmas party! Thanks for posting the recipe!

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