Spicy Coconut Chicken Tenders

Spicy Coconut Chicken Tenders

Sweet and Spicy is one of my favorites flavor combinations. These Spicy Coconut Chicken Tenders will excite you with the dozens of electrifying flavors from the sweet and crisp coconut breading to the garlicky homemade sweet chili sauce and the spicy tex-mex black pepper hot sauce. These tenders are far from regular and if you too are a fellow flavor king/queen, you will be obsessed!

Spicy Coconut Chicken Tenders

When I am dining out, sweet chili sauce is usually the first condiment I request if my food requires dipping sauces (and I usually eat an unsettling amount of condiments in one sitting!). And don’t get me started on chicken tenders! Call me a 5 year old, but my obsession for chicken nuggets and chicken tenders is sooo real. In fact, on my first date with my husband he took me to a semi-fancy restaurant and guess what I ordered? Yup, chicken tenders with ranch, honey mustard, ketchup and sweet chili sauce on the side. You could call me the queen of condiments. They elevate food and make each bite THAT much more interesting.

I often shy away from what I call “one dimensional food”. To me that is regular ole spaghetti, pizza, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I crave pizza and I love spaghetti but after a few bites, it’s so MEH. And guess what I do next, find interesting ways to make it less simple. Garlic butter dipping sauce and ranch for my pizza or lemon zest and chile flakes for my spaghetti. I love an array of exciting flavors and these Spicy Coconut Chicken Tenders are perfect to satisfy that sensation.

Spicy Coconut Chicken Tenders

What are Spicy Coconut Chicken Tenders?

Spicy coconut chicken tenders are a crunchy seasoned panko and sweetened coconut breading surrounding juicy chicken tenders. Then dipped into two delicious homemade warm sauces that you’ll be scraping the bowl and fighting your loved ones for the last drop.

Side note – I usually double the sauce recipes so I can have them in the fridge for future use. They last a few weeks if stored properly.

Spicy Coconut Chicken Tenders

Have you tried my Best Ever Crispy Baked Oven Fries? I paired these tenders with those super crisp fries and they are a perfect match. Plus, the fries are even better dipped in these homemade sauces!

How to Make Spicy Coconut Chicken Tenders:

Coconut Chicken Tenders

  • In a medium bowl or zip-top bag, combine milk, eggs and sriracha. Mix well and set aside.
  • In a second medium bowl or zip-top bag, combine coconut, panko, cayenne, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine.
  • First dip the tenders into the egg mixture to fully coat. Allow excess liquid to drip off, then coat in the coconut mixture. Patting the coconut on to adhere to ensure full coverage. Transfer the chicken strips onto a plate and repeat the process with all the strips.
  • Set oven to 200 degrees and line a baking sheet with paper towels. Set aside to keep tenders warm while cooking them in batches in a frying pan.
  • Fill a cast-iron skillet or frying pan with 1/2 inch of oil. Heat over medium until the temperature reaches 350-375. Work in batches to fry the chicken, around 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to collect any burning coconut that fell to the bottom of the pan throuoghout cooking.
  • As the chicken finishes, transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Place in oven to keep warm. Repeat with all the chicken.

Black Pepper Sauce

  • Stir together the melted butter, 1/2 cup hot sauce, 2 teaspoons fajita seasoning, and a pinch black pepper (to your taste).

Sweet Chili Sauce

  • In a saucepan over medium heat, add vinegar, water, sugar, garlic, soy sauce, cayenne pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Bring to a gentle boil until the sugar dissolves then reduce to low and simmer for another 2 minutes.
  • Add the sambal oelek (or sriracha) and mix through. Let it cook for a few minutes until it’s slightly thickened.
  • Mix the cornstarch and water until smooth and pour into sauce. Simmer the sauce for another few minutes until it thickens. You can add a splash of water if the consistency is too thick. Remember that it will continue to thicken as it sets.
  • Once sauce has cooled, store into glass mason jars. Sauce is best served warm.

 Helpful Recipe Tips:

You can absolutely substitute the chicken for shrimp!

Coconut can be tricky to work with when it comes to adhering to the chicken or when it burns at the bottom of the pan. Don’t get frustrated because I have lost lots of coconut breading in the cooking process and they still turn out incredible. Just try to pack on as much breading as you can, so if you lose some, you will still have plenty.

Be sure to strain out the burning coconut at the bottom of the pan with a slotted spoon. This will help prevent it from sticking to your next batch of chicken or from smoking up your kitchen.

Candy thermometers are highly recommended for the frying process. It helps you to maintain your oil temperatures because they will be constantly shifting as you add more chicken.

The sauces can be made ahead if stored in an airtight container (I prefer mason jars) in the refridgerator. Just be sure to reheat them in the microwave before serving as they are best served warm.

Spicy Coconut Chicken Tenders

Looking for other comfort food recipes? Check these out:

Chicken Egg Rolls with Warm Sweet & Sour Sauce Recipe

Rib-Eye Sliders with Garlic Parmesan Cream Sauce Recipe

BBQ Brisket Sliders with Jalapeno Mac & Cheese Recipe

Chicken Alfredo Fritta Olive Garden Copycat Recipe

Cheesecake Factory Orange Chicken Copycat Recipe

Grilled Buffalo Chicken Dip Recipe

Spicy Coconut Chicken Tenders

I truly hope you enjoy these spicy chicken coconut tenders. Feel free to comment below with any questions or feedback, I monitor my comments regularly. If you make these or any other recipes, be sure to tag me on IG @BadBatchBaking and use #BadBatchBaking to be featured on my story. Seeing your results makes my day!

Spicy Coconut Chicken Tenders

Spicy Coconut Chicken Tenders are the perfect combination of sweet and spicy. With a crispy, coconut exterior surrounding juicy chicken tenders, they are perfectly paired with delicious homemade black pepper hot sauce and sweet chili sauce.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Keyword: chicken tenders, coconut
Servings: 4 portions
Author: Mallory Austin

Ingredients

Coconut Chicken Tenders

  • 2 pounds chicken tenderloins tendons removed
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoon sriracha sauce
  • 3 cups sweetened flaked coconut Baker's Coconut is ideal
  • 1 1/2 cups panko crumbs
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne optional

Black Pepper Hot Sauce

  • 4 teaspoons fajita seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper use to your taste
  • 1/2 cup salted butter melted
  • 1 cup Frank’s Original Hot Sauce

Sweet Chili Sauce

  • ½ cup rice vinegar unseasonsed
  • 3/4 cup filtered water
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 7 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or Tamari for GF
  • 2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sambal oelek sriracha could be used instead + 1 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water

Instructions

Coconut Chicken Tenders

  • In a medium bowl or zip-top bag, combine milk, eggs and sriracha. Mix well and set aside.
  • In a second medium bowl or zip-top bag, combine coconut, panko, cayenne, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine.
  • First dip the tenders into the egg mixture to fully coat. Allow excess liquid to drip off, then coat in the coconut mixture. Patting the coconut on to adhere to ensure full coverage. Transfer the chicken strips onto a plate and repeat the process with all the strips.
  • Set oven to 200 degrees and line a baking sheet with paper towels. Set aside to keep tenders warm while cooking them in batches in a frying pan.
  • Fill a cast-iron skillet or frying pan with 1/2 inch of oil. Heat over medium until the temperature reaches 350-375. Work in batches to fry the chicken, around 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to collect any burning coconut that fell to the bottom of the pan throuoghout cooking.
  • As the chicken finishes, transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Place in oven to keep warm. Repeat with all the chicken.

Black Pepper Sauce

  • Stir together the melted butter, 1/2 cup hot sauce, 2 teaspoons fajita seasoning, and a pinch black pepper (to your taste).

Sweet Chili Sauce

  • In a saucepan over medium heat, add vinegar, water, sugar, garlic, soy sauce, cayenne pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Bring to a gentle boil until the sugar dissolves then reduce to low and simmer for another 2 minutes.
  • Add the sambal oelek (or sriracha) and mix through. Let it cook for a few minutes until it’s slightly thickened.
  • Mix the cornstarch and water until smooth and pour into sauce. Simmer the sauce for another few minutes until it thickens. You can add a splash of water if the consistency is too thick. Remember that it will continue to thicken as it sets.
  • Once sauce has cooled, store into glass mason jars. Sauce is best served warm.

Notes

Candy thermometer is ideal anytime you are frying. If you do not have a candy thermometer, you can tell if the oil is ready when small bubbles form when the back of a wooden spoon is placed in the oil.

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