Ever since Curt and I stumbled on a little Thai restaurant in Hawaii right after we were married, and I tasted the cuisine for the first time, I’ve been hooked. I adore ordering coconut shrimp when we are out. This Coconut Curry Chicken dish reminds me of coconut shrimp, but with much more depth of flavor.
The sweet, salty and crunchy panko/coconut crust delights, and then you get a zing of the curry rub underneath. Irresistible. I love serving it with my Spicy Thai Garlic Ginger Peanut Sauce for dipping. My Peanutty Noodles or my CPK Thai Crunch Salad go along great for sides. Oh! And I have a delish Pad Thai recipe to share …..coming soon.
Confession…….when I hear the words “boneless, skinless chicken breast, I instantly zone out of the conversation and stop processing anything spoken after it. All I hear is blah….blah….blah, like when the adults speak on the Charlie Brown TV specials. Sorry. The conversationalists are surely not to blame. (I try to hang out with engaging, intelligent & witty folks.) No, it’s the topic: boneless, skinless chicken breast.
So, I’ll apologize in advance to my gal Rita. (She’s in the pink dress on the right in the picture below.) I’ll admit I didn’t really listen when she told me all about the great new chicken dish she was bringing to our annual girlfriend’s Christmas brunch – Coconut Curry Chicken Breasts!
Then. I. Tasted. Them. OMG.
Alright! I’ll admit most nights I couldn’t get dinner on the table without boneless, skinless chicken breasts. They are a workhorse in my kitchen. But they are sooooo boring and predictable. Not sexy at all! You know what I mean. Well, this recipe def brings sexy back.
The chicken was so good I couldn’t wait to expediently post the recipe on my blog! (Ahem…more on the delay in timing later.) My friend Kerri also made this to-die-for Pad Thai for the brunch which I promise I will post soon too. Only one of many reason why we’ve dubbed the annual girlfriend’s Christmas brunch as “the best day of the year”.
Rita originally sourced the recipe from Sunny Anderson on The Food Network. We tweaked it a bit for my post. I love this recipe because it is so easy and packs a flavor punch you won’t believe. The boneless, skinless chicken breasts are first dry rubbed with curry, then dipped in flour, egg and a mixture of panko bread crumb and shredded coconut, flash fried and finished in the oven.
These are quick enough for weeknight dinners and fancy enough for entertaining. Enjoy!
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1-2 Tablespoons good, fresh curry powder (think Penzy's or Spice House)
generous salt and pepper, to your taste
flour (about a cup)
2-3 eggs, whisked with a fork
1/2 to 1 tsp cayenne pepper (depending on how much heat you like)
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut flakes
1 cup panko bread crumbs
peanut oil for frying
Dry the chicken off with paper towels. Sprinkle both sides with curry powder. Salt and pepper as desired. Vey important** Allow the chicken to rest at room temperature for one hour on the counter. This allows the curry to penetrate and flavor the chicken. Also, the breasts cook more advantageously when at room temperature.
Meanwhile, set up dredging station. You will need three plates. Put the flour on the first plate. Put the whisked eggs on the second plate. Combine the panko bread crumbs, shredded coconut and cayenne pepper on the third plate.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
On the stovetop, add enough peanut oil to a large frying pan to be about 1/2 inch deep. Heat the oil to around 300-325 degrees. Please use an instant read thermometer to gage oil temp. (You can pick one up at grocery store for about seven bucks.)
After the chicken has rested on the counter for an hour, work with one piece at a time. Dredge both sides of the curry rubbed chicken breast first in the flour. Shake off excess. Next, dip both sides in the egg. Shake off excess. Then plunge it into the panko/coconut mixture, generously coating all over.
Flash fry the breast in the oil. Cook only until coconut crust is a nutty brown, then flip over and cook the other side. Be careful, it is easy to burn the coconut. It should only take about 45 seconds to a minute for each side. Remove from oil and place on baking sheet. Repeat for remaining chicken breasts.
Bake the breasts in the oven until done. Mine usually need to bake for about 25 minutes, but it all depends on how thick your breasts are. Use a little knife to cut into the breast to check it is fully cooked before removing from the oven.
Serve immediately. Enjoy!