Tostones-Coconut Chicken Tenders
Baked not fried, but with a tropical twist!
Naturally gluten-free, tostones chips are ground to a fine crumb along with toasted desiccated coconut to make the coating for the chicken. The flavors are subtly tropical and the texture is decidedly crispy. Since both the tostones chips and the coconut flakes have ample fat, all you need to do is place the chicken fingers on a parchment-lined sheet pan and bake for 10 minutes at 400F. Talk about technique, not torture ! No additional fat, no lengthy cooking times to facilitate browning because the coconut is pre-toasted, and no turning halfway through the cooking process. Serve the chicken tenders with a quick mango-cilantro-ginger dipping sauce or a simple squeeze of lime.
Equipment: cutting board; chef’s knife; dry measuring cups; measuring spoons; small mixing bowl; food processor; rubber spatula; spoons; fork; (3) wide shallow bowls; large sauté pan; wooden spoon; rimmed sheet pan; tongs
4, 6-oz split chicken breasts
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper ½ cup gluten-free or all-purpose flour 2 eggs, lightly beaten 4-6 ounces of tostones chips
1 cup shredded desiccated coconut (unsweetened)
lime wedges for garnish
Mango Dipping Sauce Ingredients:
flesh of 1 ripe mango
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, toast the coconut, stirring constantly, until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes. Set aside.
2. In a food processor, grind the tostones chips to a fine crumb for about 30 seconds. Add the coconut to the food processor and grind for another 15 seconds. Place the crumb mixture in a wide, shallow bowl and set aside.
3. Slice each chicken breast diagonally into 6 strips, making a total of 24 fingers. Place them in a single layer on a cutting board or sheet pan, sprinkle generously with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, and set aside.
"This recipe is easily made gluten-free by swapping GF flour for the all-purpose flour."
4. Combine the flour with a generous pinch of salt in a wide, shallow bowl and set aside. Then beat the egg with a fork in a wide, shallow bowl and set aside. From left to right, line up the seasoned flour, egg mixture, and tostones-coconut crumb, respectively.
5. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper and drizzle with two tablespoons of vegetable oil. Set aside.
6. Dredge one chicken strip in the seasoned flour and shake off excess. Using a fork, dip the flour-coated chicken into the egg mixture, then directly into the coconut mixture. With a dry hand, toss well to coat and set aside. Repeat with the remaining chicken strips.
7. Place the coated chicken fingers in a single layer divided amongst two sheet pans in a 400°F oven for 10 minutes.
8. While the chicken tenders bake, prepare the mango dipping sauce. Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Set the sauce aside.
9. Remove the chicken tenders from the oven and serve immediately with the mango dipping sauce and fresh lime wedges.
Makes 4-6 servings.