A sweet, tasty spin on a tried and true classic. These Hawaiian chicken tenders are easy to prepare, quick to cook and loved by both kids and adults. Serve them with your favorite sauce (today’s batch is pair with a sweet chili glaze) and dip and dunk to your heart’s content.
Who doesn’t love chicken tenders, chicken fingers, nuggets, bites, or popcorn chicken?! Whatever you like to call them or whatever shape, size or form they come in I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who didn’t love crispy, breaded chicken in finger food form. I will confess that sometimes I am a kid trapped in an adult’s body. I love all types of foods but there is a special place in my heart for the types of food you will usually find on the kids menu. Chicken fingers…love em’. Macaroni and Cheese..one of my all time faves. Grilled cheese, cheeseburgers, chicken nuggets, peanut butter & jelly… you get the idea. Sometimes I have a palette of the child kind, but hey, we’re all just big kids right?!
These chicken tenders have a little extra something going for them. First off, they’re baked, not fried. A win-win always if you ask me. They’re crispy thanks to the panko breadcrumbs. And they’re a little extra tasty thanks to the sweetened shredded coconut flakes. Shredded coconut flakes always add something a little extra special to crispy foods. Have I ever mentioned how much I love coconut shrimp? Oh my goodness I love coconut shrimp, especially when it’s served with a piña colada dipping sauce. Pure tropical food heaven.
These crispy coconut chicken tenders could not be easier to throw together. And they’re impressive. Oh yeah I’m just going to whip of a batch of Hawaiian chicken tenders for lunch, no big deal. Usually this is the kinda appetizer you can order at a restaurant but you can easily make them at home anytime. It’s the kinda food that has a little extra something to it but really is just as easy as anything else you can whip up.
What kind of sauces or condiments do you like with your chicken tenders? When it comes to regular chicken tenders I love honey mustard and ketchup is usually runner up. For this Hawaiian version, I highly recommend dipping them with a sweet chili sauce. You can usually find it at the grocery store where they stock oriental products, mine was located by the duck sauce and the soy sauce. A sweet chili sauce is a wonderful sweet & spicy combo. The perfect compliment to the crispy chicken tenders if you ask me.
- 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut flakes (divided)
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoons ground paprika
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil (I only had olive oil on hand so I used that)
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 lb skinless boneless chicken tenderloins (I had 6 in one package)
- Sweet chili sauce or favorite sauces for dipping
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Light spray a nonstick pan with cooking spray and spread 3/4 cup coconut flakes onto the pan. Bake in the oven for about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally until light golden brown. Remove from oven and pour into a shallow bowl. Add in remaining 1/4 coconut flakes, panko bread crumbs, paprika, and oil. Stir mixture together until evenly combined and damp.
- In a separate shallow bowl combine eggs, salt and pepper and whisk together.
- Place a wire rack (like a cooling rack) on top of a baking sheet and thoroughly coat it with cooking spray. Form an assemble line with both bowls (one for the eggs and one for the breadcrumb mixture) next to the baking sheet with wire rack.
- Using kitchen tongs, dip the first chicken tender in the egg mixture, making sure both sides are coated and shake off the excess. Then dip the chicken tender into the breadcrumb mixture, flipping it over the the other side to make sure it is evenly coated with bread crumbs. Place on the wire rack. Repeat with the rest of the chicken tenders.
- Place the entire rack and baking sheet in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, turning the chicken tenders over to the other side after 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes before serving. Serve chicken tenders with sweet chili sauce or your favorite condiments.
- Original recipe calls coconut oil which I didn't use. I used extra virgin olive oil and the results were wonderful.