chicken tenders with apricot sauce chicken tenders with apricot sauce Israeli Kitchen These dippable tenders invoke a hint of sweetness with coconut coating. (Photo: Sarah Berkowitz)

Coconut-crusted chicken with spicy apricot dipping sauce

Hawaiian-inspired chicken tenders with a flaky crust and a sweet and spicy sauce.

  • Yield: Serves 6
  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes

Sometimes you’ve gotta go a little out of your box instead of repeating the same old recipes. This was me stepping out of my comfort zone – big time. Not a big fan of coconut flakes, and didn’t see how it would work on chicken. But found this recipe in a Costco cookbook – of all places – and thought it was worth a try.

My son got all excited when he saw it thinking those flakes were shredded potatoes, which gives me an idea to try for another recipe, but this one’s sticking with coconut flakes. They’re mildly sweet, have a light al dente texture, and are perfect with the tender chicken and spicy apricot sauce. The reviews I got when I served these at a small luncheon were fabulous. I’ll be stepping out of my culinary box again – you can count on that.


  • 1 1/2 pound chicken tenders (or sliced cutlets)
  • 3 cups shredded coconut flakes
  • 1 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 egg whites
  • Oil, for frying
  • Dipping sauce:

  • 1 cup apricot preserves
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Dash red pepper flakes


In a small bowl, beat egg whites until frothy.

In another small bowl, mix cornstarch, peppers and salt.

Place coconut flakes in a third bowl.

Heat oil in large frying pan. (You may have to add more oil in subsequent batches to be sure the bottom of pan is coated)

Dip cutlets in cornstarch mixture, then egg white, and coconut flakes.

Fry chicken 3 minutes on each side on medium heat. Slice a piece open to check for doneness.

Repeat until all chicken is cooked.

Mix together all sauce ingredients. Best to serve chicken immediately. (If you need to store and reheat, spread chicken out in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and reheat on 300°F for 10 minutes.)

Related Topics: Appetizers, Meat and Poultry

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