Hye Thyme Cafe: Baked Coconut Chicken

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Baked Coconut Chicken

Baked Coconut Chicken with Raspberry Dipping Sauce : Hye Thyme Cafe

When I used to live on Cape Cod, there was a restaurant in Hyannis by the name of Starbucks. It was kind of a TGIF or Bennigans type of place. Most of the food was probably pre-packaged garbage, but there were a few things that I really loved, their Coconut Chicken with Raspberry Dipping Sauce being one of them. Then there was the rice it came with - one of only a handful or restaurants that I'll order rice in ... and their awesome salad with creamy Parmesan Peppercorn dressing. And don't even get me started on their frozen cocktails! It was also kind of fun because the chairs were those wicker wing-backed chairs like in the opening of the Addams Family, and they had Trivial Pursuit cards on the tables so you could play while you waited for your order.

When I moved to New Orleans and first heard someone talking about Starbucks, I got very excited. Yup, until I realized it was a coffee shop! Color me disappointed.  :(

Their Coconut Chicken was fried to a perfect golden brown, but I'm not big on frying if it can be avoided, so I choose to bake them. I did, however, like that theirs were in cutlet form rather than the chicken tenders you usually encounter.  

When it came to the eggs, I only had two left in the fridge, so I went with whole eggs, but you can use just egg whites if you like, or a mix of two whites for each yolk. If you want an extra boost of coconut flavor and have some extract on hand, you might want to add a drop or two to your eggs. I know that coconut water and coconut milk are all the rage, but you probably don't want to open any just for this. If you happen to have some leftover from something else, go ahead and add a touch.

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Sweetened flaked coconut
Coconut extract, coconut milk, etc. (optional)

Raspberry jam
Fresh or frozen raspberries
Cayenne pepper
Lemon juice

Between sheets of plastic wrap, pound your chicken to about 1/4" thickness. If they turn out enormous, just cut them in half.

Beat your eggs in one bowl, adding any extract or other flavor you might wish to include.

Load a separate bowl or plate with coconut.  

Dip the chicken first in the egg mixture, then into the coconut, pressing to adhere. Transfer to a rack-lined baking sheet.  Let the chicken sit for about 5" or so, then repeat the dipping process.

Let rest for 5", then re-dip in egg and coconut.Dredge in egg, then in coconut.

Bake at 350° for about 40" until cooked through and golden.

For the dipping sauce, I just scoop some raspberry jam into a small pan and cook it down with a bit of water, lemon juice, and fresh or frozen berries. I was planning to add some ginger this time, knowing I had a knot in the freezer, but I couldn't find it in all the mess, so I switched gears and sprinkled in a little cayenne instead. This was also the first time I included vanilla, but it was a nice touch. You can never go wrong with vanilla ... well, except that one time I tried a recipe I found for Vanilla Potatoes with Cipollini Onions. That didn't go over well with ANYONE!

No measuring required - just play around to find what you like.

Raspberry dipping sauce.

Baked Coconut Chicken with Raspberry Dipping Sauce

Baked Coconut Chicken with Raspberry Dipping Sauce

Baked Coconut Chicken with Raspberry Dipping Sauce

Baked Coconut Chicken with Raspberry Dipping Sauce

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