Coconut Chicken With Pineapple-Chili Salsa
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!
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.