This is the flavor combo you have been looking for. It is sweet, savory, spiced (not spicy), and overall a winner. This recipe is very easy and was made to adapt to our gluten-free (GF) lifestyle, but can easily be gluten-filled. Plus, if you have little ones that might not like coconut or curry, it is really easy to give them plain battered chicken strips and give yourself the delicious coconut curried adult version!
This recipe is really easy because it has few ingredients (besides lots of spices), a small amount of prep, and tastes amazing! The sweetness of the toasted coconut pairs well with the warmth of the curry and gives this dish a lovely crunch. Plus, the whole thing is made in the oven making this an even easier weeknight meal.
When I first told Derek that I really wanted coconut coated chicken strips, he looked at me like I just said I wanted to batter them in matcha powder (which could be good, I ain’t judging). If you haven’t had sweetened coconut on chicken, GET READY. This is such an ingenious combo because it’s mixing a classic flavor combo of sweet and salty. This dish is taken to a whole new level of flavor with the addition of curry powder. After I first made this for Derek, he proceeded to ask for it for three nights in a row and I of course delivered.
Coconut Curry Buttermilk Chicken Strips
Sweet, salty and spiced to perfection. Try this easy recipe tonight.
Gluten-Free Flour Mix
You can replace this blend with a little less than a cup (105 grams) of regular all-purpose flour or your favorite gluten-free flour mix. Although, if you have the ingredients I highly recommend this for both GF and non-GF peeps.
This flour recipe is from Gluten Free on a Shoestring’s Xanthan Gum Free GF Flour Blend.
- 70 grams white rice flour
- 23 grams potato starch (not flour!)
- 13 grams tapioca starch or flour (they’re the same thing)
Just mix all of these together, and boom, GF flour. This is also great to use in a roux for thickening soups and sauces.
Coconut Curry Chicken
- 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips (about two medium breasts)
- 1 cup buttermilk
- About 1 cup (~105 grams) of your choice of flour (see above).
- 1 1/4 cup (~120 grams) sweetened coconut flakes (use sweetened, I promise it’s waaay better than unsweetened)
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt (I used sea salt)
- Several cracks of black pepper (or an average pinch)
- A sprinkle of cayenne pepper (or more if you want them spicy, add red pepper flakes to your ketchup for a real spicy kick)
- 1/8 teaspoon paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon curry powder
- A generous sprinkle of cumin (less than 1/8 of a teaspoon)
- A generous sprinkle of garlic powder (less than 1/8 of a teaspoon)
- 5 tablespoons of salted butter, melted
- Ketchup (it is a must and tastes amazing. Ranch isn’t bad either)
- Marinate the chicken. Take the chicken that you trimmed and cut into strips, and place in buttermilk for 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.
- Heat oven. Turn on your broiler to low and let it heat up.
- Make the flour and spice mixture. Take whatever flour you want to use (or a combination thereof) and mix it with all the spices: salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, curry powder, cumin, and garlic powder.
- Toast Coconut. After you have made the flour mixture and given the oven a few minutes to heat (will more evenly brown the coconut), place the sweetened coconut on a sheet pan covered with aluminum foil and place in the middle of your oven. Watch this very closely, and after 3-4 minutes your coconut will just start to brown on the very edges. When this happens, stir the coconut (wear an oven mitt if you refuse to take it out of the oven to stir it, like me) and continue to stir the coconut every 20-30 seconds to get an even color. Once the coconut is golden brown (after another 2-3 minutes of stirring) remove from the oven and let cool. After you remove the coconut, preheat your oven to 400°F (~200°C).
- Mix coconut and flour. Once the coconut is cool enough to touch (remove from pan to cool faster) start crushing it with clean hands (or not so clean, it’s your food). After the coconut has been pulverized into smaller pieces (about the size of confetti or something IDK) mix it into the flour and spice mixture.
- Prepare pans. Take two sheet pans and cover with aluminum foil. Pour or spoon a quarter of the melted butter on to each pan (leaving half the melted butter in total). Spread the butter around with a spoon to roughly coat the whole pan. If you want to use a different oil, feel free to, but IDK how it’ll turn out (definitely not as deliciously as butter 😉)
- Coat chicken. After the chicken has sat in the buttermilk for 30 minutes or more, start coating each piece. I like to use one hand to grab the chicken and wait a few seconds for the excess buttermilk to drip off, then place into my coconut flour mixture. I then scoop the flour on top of the chicken piece with my opposite hand and pat the mixture into the chicken. I turn the chicken over and cover it again with flour and press the flour into the chicken. Then place the piece of chicken onto the buttered sheet pan. I think this way ensures the coconut really sticks and gets each piece evenly coated. Do this with each piece of chicken.
- Add more butter! Once your chicken pieces have all been coated, take the remaining butter and spoon a small amount of butter on to a piece of chicken then quickly, but lightly pat it with the back of the spoon to spread the butter around a bit. Do this with each piece. (I would skip this step if you are using a different type of oil, unless you are using oil from a spray can, then just spray the darn things).
- Cook. After each piece is nice and buttered, place the chicken strips in a preheated oven. Leave for ten minutes, then flip. After another ten minutes (20 minutes total) or golden brown, remove the chicken from the oven.
- Enjoy. After the chicken is cooked and golden delicious, enjoy with ketchup.
Please rate and let me know how you enjoyed the recipe down below. Also, share with me any of your favorite sweet and salty combinations!
Enjoy these chicken strips with a blueberry mojito by adding 1/2 an ounce of blueberry concentrate (or a splash of blueberry juice) to this recipe.