Make This Tonight: Coconut-Lime Chicken Fingers with Coconut Milk Ranch

–Rachael Dart/Spache the Spatula

Just a few months ago I ran some numbers to see what were the 20 most popular recipes on in 2013. A number of them were some form of boneless, breaded chicken breast. Chicken tenders, chicken nuggets, chicken strips, chicken fingers (which is anatomically incorrect and has always bothered me) — whatever you want to call them. The concept is basically the same.

But the message was clear: People like easy, homestyle food that pleases kids and picky eaters alike. I get it. But I’d like to challenge you to take it up a notch.

Plus, this recipe comes with its own dip. And who doesn’t like dip?


(And yes, I realize limes are super rare and expensive these days. But this recipe only requires one and it’s worth it, I promise.)


Coconut-Lime Chicken Fingers with Coconut Milk Ranch

Courtesy of Rachael Dart (@SpacheSpatula) of Spache the Spatula

For the coconut milk ranch:

1/2 cup coconut cream

1/2 cup coconut milk

1 clove garlic

1/4 tsp hot smoked paprika

1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce

3 tbsp fresh parsley

1 tbsp fresh dill

1 tbsp fresh chives

freshly ground pepper

kosher salt

For the coconut-lime chicken fingers:

olive oil

3 chicken breasts, cut into strips

1 tbsp garlic powder

kosher salt

freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

1/4 tsp hot smoked paprika

zest from 1 lime

1 large egg

2 tbsp water



For the coconut milk ranch:

In a blender, combine all of the ingredients and blend just until combined. Season, to taste with salt and pepper as desired.

Store in the fridge until ready to use (it will solidify just a tad in the fridge from the coconut milk solids, but it will get creamy super easily either with being left out for a few minutes, or sticking warm chicken tender in it).

For the coconut-lime chicken tenders:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rub a baking sheet with a thin layer of olive oil.


In a shallow bowl, combine the garlic powder, some salt, some pepper, coconut, panko, paprika, and lime zest. Use your fingers to make sure it’s all evenly distributed.

In an other bowl, beat the egg with the water.

Dip each tender in the egg wash, and then roll it in the coconut mixture. Lay the tenders out on your prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 10-15 minutes then flip with tongs, and bake an additional 8-10 minutes.

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