Coconut Chicken With Pineapple-Chili Salsa

Most coconut-crusted dishes contain lots of fat from heavy egg-based batters and pan-frying or deep-frying in lots of oil, but not this lighter, baked version.
Related To:

Most people love coconut-crusted chicken, fish and shellfish. Problem is, most coconut-crusted dishes contain lots of fat from heavy egg-based batters and pan-frying or deep-frying in lots of oil. That's a shame because coconut "meat" is high in fiber and has a low glycemic index, meaning it doesn't cause a spike in blood sugar. It's also rich in medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA's), which, unlike long-chain fatty acids (LCFA's), have no negative effect on cholesterol levels and protect against heart disease. The good news is, you can create a crunchy coconut exterior without tons of fat and calories. In this recipe, I coated chicken with three simple layers: flour, egg whites and coconut. The crust is light and delicious and also works well with fish and shrimp. The tangy and slightly spicy pineapple salsa takes the dish over the top. Let me know what you think!

Coconut Chicken with Pineapple-Chili Salsa
Cooking spray
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, about 4 ounces each
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 large egg whites
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup diced pineapple, fresh or canned in 100% juice
2 tablespoons hot chili sauce, preferably Sriracha
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat a shallow roasting pan with cooking spray.

Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Place the flour in a shallow dish. Place the egg whites in a separate shallow dish. Place the coconut in a third shallow dish.

Dip the chicken into the flour and turn to coat both sides. Transfer the flour-coated chicken to the egg whites and turn to coat both sides. Transfer the chicken to the coconut and turn to coat both sides.

Transfer the coconut-crusted chicken to the prepared roasting pan and bake for 25 minutes, until the coconut is golden brown and the chicken is cooked through.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the pineapple, chili sauce and cilantro. Mix to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve the chicken with the pineapple-chili salsa spooned over top and on the side.

Serves 4

Nutrition Info Per Serving
Calories: 268
Total Fat: 9.8 grams
Saturated Fat: 6.8 grams
Total Carbohydrate: 15 grams
Sugars: 7 grams
Protein: 30 grams
Sodium: 335 milligrams
Cholesterol: 72 milligrams
Fiber: 2 grams

Robin Miller is a nutritionist, host of Quick Fix Meals, author of “Robin Rescues Dinner” and the busy mom of two active little boys. Her boys and great food are her passion. Check her out at www.robinrescuesdinner.com.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Slow Cooker Dinners 5 Ways

Don’t you love walking in the door after a long day and dinner is waiting? It’s that easy when you put your slow cooker to work. Whip out this underappreciated kitchen appliance and try these 5 mouth-watering dishes.

Applewood Smoked Bacon-Crusted Chicken

A little bit of bacon goes a long way in adding flavor and moisture to ordinary, lean chicken breasts.

Chicken-and-Cheese Taquitos

Deep-fried restaurant-style taquitos can have hundreds of calories per piece, but Robin Miller's lighter, baked tortillas are a healthier, make-at-home alternative.

Perfect Roast Chicken — Simple Scratch Cooking

The real key to the perfect roast chicken is the right cooking temperature; that’s what ensures a super crispy skin, but also keeps the white meat juicy and moist.

Cooking with Key Limes (Try These Chicken Kebabs)

There’s no shortage of uses for key limes – use them anywhere a recipe needs a tangy splash of citrus flavor,

How to Pre-Cook Chicken for a Recipe

When a recipe calls for cooked chicken to be used and you only have raw on hand, what is the best way to cook the chicken for the recipe?

Cook Once, Please Everyone: Tacos

Sometimes I feel like I am a private chef for each one of my three kids, my husband and my grandmother (who dines with us often). Instead of pulling my hair out in frustration, I’ve learned to cook kid-friendly dishes that can be dressed-up for adults too. One of our family favorite dishes is tacos—here’s how I prepare them to please everyone.

15 Healthy Grilled Main Dishes

If you’ve been grilling the same recipes each season, it’s time to shake things up.

We Asked, You Cooked: Ina's Crispy Mustard-Roasted Chicken — Fan Photos

Check out Food Network fans' droolworthy photos of Ina's Crispy Mustard-Roasted Chicken.