Eating chicken strips (AKA fingers – which always weirded me out as a name btw) transports me right back to the big chains restaurants of my childhood.
Ahhh, the 90s.
No matter the chain, I could always count on a plate of these scorching hot…delicacies, generally complemented by an equally elegant…sugar sauce.
Though my palate has matured, chicken strips still turn my crank.
Criteria being: MUST be crispy (generally deep fried), must NOT be overcooked and MUST have a kick-ass dipping sauce.
Homemade strips, historically, haven’t made the cut. I usually don’t go to the trouble of deep frying at home and baked strips have a bad rap for lacking a good crunch and/or being overcooked.
All this to say, I’ve got a cure for shitty homemade baked chicken strips!
And it’s pre-toasting the crumb! In this case a magical combo of panko and coconut.
This simple 5 minute trick seriously revolutionizes the homemade chicken strip, guys. This is high level stuff. By pre-toasting, you’ll still get a golden brown, crispy exterior without drying out the chicken.
Add a super flavourful batter to lock in the moisture, and a slightly sweet (but way more grown up and complex) dipping sauce and CHABANG! Chicken strips are back baby!
It almost makes me want to relive the 90s.
Crispy Baked Coconut Chicken Strips and Mango Curry Dipping Sauce
Adapted from Recipe Tin Eats
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 cup medium unsweetened coconut
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 Large egg
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard (or your mustard of choice)
- water (a few teaspoons, as needed)
Mango Curry Dipping Sauce
- 1/2 cup mango chunks (thawed frozen work well)
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon liquid honey
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/8 teaspoon curry powder
||Preheat oven to 375F. In a small bowl, combine panko crumbs, coconut, canola oil and salt until the whole mixture is evenly and lightly coated in oil. Transfer mixture to a lined baking sheet in a shallow layer. Bake for 4-5 minutes until golden brown, stirring halfway through. |
||In a separate bowl, whisk to combine egg, flour, mayonnaise, and mustard. Whisk in water, by the teaspoon, as needed to make a batter that evenly coats the back of a spoon and runs off slowly. |
||Add chicken pieces to the batter and toss to coat each piece well. Transfer chicken piece by piece to the panko/coconut baking sheet. Cover each piece generously with crumbs, pat gently and flip to repeat. Transfer coated pieces to a second lined baking sheet. Bake for 11-12 minute until chicken is just cooked through. |
||Meanwhile, combine all of the ingredients for the mango dipping sauce in a blender and puree. Alternatively, use an immersion blender. |
||Serve hot and crispy chicken strips with dipping sauce immediately. |