I’m not sure if I’m just an intolerant, impatient person or if these things bother everyone, but there are a list of things that just really eat at me. Loud noises. Bright lights (including camera flashes). Mindless chit chat. Inconsistent water temperature or pressure. Driving under the speed limit. Repetitive sounds, like a dripping faucet. Depending on my mood and environmental factors, some of these things can put me from zero to sixty in no time flat. Guess I’m a bit of a hot head.
The water pressure and temperature at my work is an absolute joke. It’s a giant building, owned by the city or county, and there is never enough hot water to wash all of my dishes. We’re only talking a couple of containers and a fork or spoon. And I use the term “hot” loosely – it’s more like a comfortable bath tub temperature. If you’re lucky enough to get your dishes washed while there’s still “hot” water, the pressure comes in and out, kind of like when you crimp and uncrimp a garden hose. Sometimes I’ll wait until almost lunchtime to wash my breakfast containers, just because I’m too emotionally volatile to deal with the water.
This has nothing to do with the recipe, I just wanted to rant for a minute. Rant over.
Stupid Easy Paleo came up with a recipe for chicken tenders that are very similar to the Chick-Fil-A tenders. I wanted to make those instead, but we’d just eaten Chick-Fil-A the day before and, while the recipe is slightly different than Chick-Fil-A (aka better), it was similar enough that I didn’t think the guys would be down for it. I also thought about making my Coconut Chicken Fingers, but I wasn’t quite feeling the coconut. So I sort of went with something in between. I don’t have the Stupid Easy Paleo recipe memorized, but there are some similarities in the method and seasonings (but some significant differences, too). These tenders come together a little quicker and easier. Totally not trash-talking SEP in anyway – she is my absolute favorite Paleo food blogger and if she were to walk in front of me, I’d bow down and kiss the ground she just stepped on. Kidding. Sort of. SEP, can we try it??
Anyway, these turned out really great. They were crispy when I served them hot out of the pan, but be aware that you will lose the crispiness if you save some in the refrigerator for later. Still just as tasty, just not as crispy. I really like the ground nuts in the coating. I used the cashews and sunflower seeds, but you could really use any nut or combination of nuts and seeds. Hazelnut, anyone? Macadamia nuts? Pecans?? The possibilities are endless. Oh, and one piece of advice: if your pan is small enough that you have to cook them in more than two batches, dump the coconut oil in the pan and start over. I ended up cooking three batches and the coating burned a little in the last batch before the chicken cooked through.
As far as dipping sauce goes, I’m a Honey Mustard Girl (mix together raw honey and Dijon mustard). Bronco Bear prefers a jalapeno sauce (two jalapenos blended with some water, raw honey and a few seasonings, then simmered and thickened with arrowroot powder). The teenagers like Ranch.
2lbs chicken tenders (about 14)
1⁄4 cup egg whites
2 cups unsweetened, shredded coconut
1⁄2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp onion powder
1⁄4 tsp ground black pepper
2 T. coconut oil
1 small can diced green chilies
1 T. raw honey
1⁄4 tsp onion powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Put chicken tenders and egg whites in a large mixing bowl and toss with tongs to coat.
Combine coconut, sea salt, coriander, onion powder and black pepper in a blender. Blend on low speed for about 30 seconds or until coconut resembles a course powder. Transfer coconut to a large plastic bag with a zipclose top.
Use tongs to transfer chicken tenders to the bag with the coconut. Fill with air, zip closed and shake well until evenly coated. Let as much air out of the bag as possible and zip closed again. Press coconut into chicken tenders.
Transfer chicken tenders to prepared baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes, then remove from oven. Melt coconut oil and use a pastry brush to dab oil on each tender. Note: Do not brush the oil on the chicken as it will pull off the coconut. Return chicken to the oven and cook an additional 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
While chicken is baking, combine honey, chilies and onion powder in a blender (a personal blender like a Magic Bullet works well for this task). Pulse for 30 seconds or until chilies are smooth. Transfer to a small saucepan and bring just to a simmer.
Serve sauce over the chicken tenders.