I definitely love fried crispy chicken but I don’t love the process and the clean up. Maybe you are lucky enough to have space in your kitchen for an air fryer which would work great with this gluten-free crispy coconut chicken. But I prefer this easy baking process.
I love this crispy coconut chicken because it can be kid-friendly or adult appealing. For kids, cut the chicken into strips for chicken fingers (or use chicken tenders) and mix up the sauce on the sweet, mild side. Make it more adult appealing by leaving the chicken in larger pieces and by making the sauce a bit more spicy and savory.
Gluten-Free Panko Bread Crumbs – I haven’t found any ready-made gluten-free panko bread crumbs that I like, so I use gluten-free crispy rice cereal as a substitute. They have just the right texture when ground up and stay crispy when baked. Nature’s Path Crispy Rice Cereal or Gluten-Free Rice Chex are good choices because they are not too sweet. Use the blender or food processor or put them in a plastic bag and crunch them up using a rolling pin.
Coconut aminos is included in the sauce. I like it as a milder, less salty substitute for soy sauce. It has become more available at markets recently but if you can’t find it, soy sauce will work too.
How to Cut Chicken Breast
Most chicken breasts these days are unusually thick and large. For this gluten-free crispy coconut chicken, thin pieces work best. Most chefs would tell you to pound the chicken to make it thin. But again this is a messy and time-consuming process and I’m just not that patient! So here’s how I do it:
Start with a sharp knife and a stable cutting board. Put a damp paper towel underneath the keep it from slipping.
If the chicken breast is very large, I like to cut it in half this way before cutting thin.
Place one hand on top of the chicken (fingers flat) and hold the knife parallel to the cutting board. Try to keep it as level as possible. With a long smooth stroke, cut a 1/4′ piece. For most chicken breasts this would be 3rds.
Then cut the remaining piece in half using the same technique.
How to Bread Chicken
The breading process can be a bit messy so I’ve provided step-by-step instructions to guide you through you and help you stay organized. The best way to keep the process from getting too messy is to designate the dry hand that only touches the flour and bread crumbs. The other hand will use a fork to dip the chicken in the egg and transfer it to the bread crumbs.