Crispy Coconut Chicken

by Amy on 15 July 2015

Crispy Coconut Chicken | www.FearlessHomemaker.comOne of our local Nashville restaurants serves a coconut-crusted chicken that is hugely popular, and for good reason: it’s delicious. So, when I was looking for something new to do with chicken breasts for dinner recently, I decided to use that coconut chicken as inspiration, and make a version of my own at home. I found a recipe that looked somewhat similar to our restaurant’s chicken, made a few small changes, and voila! Amazing coconut chicken that is perfect for weeknight meals, ready in less than 30 minutes from start to finish.

And most importantly, it is scrumptious. The coconut/panko crust is wonderfully crunchy and crispy, and provides an intriguing sweetness that works really well with the tender, savory chicken inside. The original recipe served these like an appetizer, cut in small strips and served with a dipping sauce, but I wanted it to feel more entree-ish, so I kept the chicken breasts whole, omitted the dipping sauce, and served it with rice and a fresh green salad. The secret to the awesomeness of this chicken lies in the flash-frying it gets before being baked in the oven — that gives it that wonderfully crunchy, perfect crust. And this is a recipe where I encourage you to be generous with the salt. The crispy coconut crust is quite sweet, and a good pinch of kosher salt over the chicken when it comes out of the oven provides a delightful sweet/salty balance.

Crispy Coconut Chicken |

Crispy Coconut Chicken

serves 3-4, adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction


1.5 lbs boneless/skinless chicken breasts
1 1/4 cups sweetened shredded coconut
1 1/4 cups Panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 large eggs
1/4 cup coconut oil (or vegetable oil)


Using a meat mallet, pound chicken breasts between sheets of plastic wrap to 1/4- to 1/2-inch thickness.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix the coconut and the panko. In another medium bowl, mix the flour, salt, and pepper. In a third medium bowl, whisk the eggs together.

Coat each piece of chicken in flour, shaking off any excess. Then, dip in egg and let any excess drip off. Then generously roll in the coconut/panko mixture, pressing to adhere, and shaking off any excess.

Heat the coconut oil (or vegetable oil) over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Working in batches (if needed, so as not to crowd your pan), fry chicken for 2-3 minutes per side, until it’s just turning golden brown. Once each chicken piece is nicely golden on both sides, transfer to the prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 6-10 minutes, until chicken is completely baked through.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Amy (Savory Moments) July 15, 2015 at 5:48 am

This chicken looks delicious – I love the bit of tropical flavor for a summer chicken meal.

2 danielle July 15, 2015 at 10:09 am

This sounds delish and perfect for my picky eater. I have one child that eats anything and one that makes me wonder where I went wrong :/ I bet they would both love this!

3 Amy July 15, 2015 at 11:23 am

I’ve found that any sort of crispy chicken is *always* a huge hit with my toddler. I make a bunch of different variations (a panko/parmesan version, a brown butter/italian breadcrumb version, this coconut version, etc). As long as it’s thinly-pounded chicken, and it’s crispy/crunchy, she loves it. =)

4 sarah k @ the pajama chef July 15, 2015 at 2:47 pm

this sounds like so much goodness! i’ll have to try your version and the restaurant version! :) mmmm!

5 Erin @ Simple, Sweet & Savory July 15, 2015 at 4:26 pm

This looks amazing, Amy! I love coconut-crusted anything. And ready in less than 30? Sign me up! Pinning!

6 Bevin July 15, 2015 at 8:00 pm

Can’t wait to try this! I love coconut shrimp, I think the chicken will be just as good. :)

7 Amy July 15, 2015 at 8:33 pm

I hope you love it, Bevin!

8 Anna (Hidden Ponies) July 16, 2015 at 12:20 am

I have the world’s biggest box of panko somehow in my cupboard…I need to try this :)

9 Stephanie @ PlainChicken July 16, 2015 at 8:05 am

Looks so good and crispy! Even better that is is ready in under 30 minutes!

10 Beth July 18, 2015 at 4:24 am

Sounds great, Amy. I love panko coated chicken, and this recipe takes it up a notch! Coconut would be great added into the mix.

11 Agness July 18, 2015 at 2:20 pm

I’m a big fan of chicken, girl and I’ve never tried it with coconut. Yum, yum!

12 Kristi @ My SF Kitchen July 18, 2015 at 2:52 pm

Just stopping by to tell you how amazing this chicken looks!! Can’t wait to make this one :)

13 Sam @ SugarSpunRun July 20, 2015 at 3:00 pm

Oh YUM, Amy this looks fantastic! I’ve been dying to try out coconut crusted anything but my husband won’t eat coconut… I’m just going to have to make this for myself!

14 Amy July 20, 2015 at 7:53 pm

Save it for a day when he’s out of town or working late, + gobble it all up yourself! =)

15 Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie July 26, 2015 at 7:50 pm

I love coconut crusted chicken! I now wish I had this for dinner.

16 Anna S. January 29, 2016 at 8:57 pm

Mmmm looks delicious, thanks for posting the link on your Insta! I will make this for Sunday dinner with rice pilaf and a Greek salad.

17 Amy January 30, 2016 at 9:09 pm

Awesome, Anna! Report back how it turns out — we LOVE this one!

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