Coconut Crusted Chicken Salad
with avocado / almonds / oranges
This fresh summery salad was first featured in 2016.
Smarts: The key to getting the coconut crust a nice golden brown is controlling the temperature of the pan as it cooks. Keep a close eye on it and reduce the temperature if the coconut starts to brown before the chicken is cooked through.
- Lettuce, green leaf - 1 head , chopped (sub any lettuce)
- Chicken breasts, boneless and skinless - 1 lb , sliced
- Oranges - 2 , segments (sub canned mandarin oranges, drained)
- Avocados - 1 , chopped
- Flour, all-purpose - 1/2 cup
- Salt - 1 1/2 tsp
- Black pepper - 1 tsp
- Eggs - 2
- Coconut, shredded - 1 cup
- Oil, cooking - 2 Tbsp (use coconut oil for even more coconut flavor)
- Almonds, sliced - 1/4 cup
- Mustard, Dijon - 1 Tbsp
- Honey - 1 Tbsp
- Vinegar, red or white wine - 1 Tbsp
- Oil, olive - 4 Tbsp
Make honey mustard dressing - Combine mustard, honey, and vinegar. Add olive oil while whisking. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Lettuce - Chop lettuce. (Can be done up to 2 days ahead)
Chicken - Slice chicken into 1/2” / 1.3 cm strips. Season with some salt and pepper and tenderize with a fork. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
Prep breading stations - Set out three shallow baking dishes or bowls. Combine flour, salt, and pepper in the first dish. Whisk eggs in the second dish. Put coconut in the third dish.
Heat a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add cooking oil to heated pan. (Note: Don’t let the pan get too hot while cooking or the coconut will burn.)
Working quickly (it’s easiest to use your hands), coat chicken slices first in flour, then in egg, then in coconut, pressing coconut into the chicken if it doesn’t easily stick. Gently place chicken in heated oil.
Cook chicken slices, without moving them, until the bottom turns golden brown, ~4 minutes. Turn and cook on the other side until chicken is cooked through, ~3 minutes more.
Transfer chicken to a paper towel-lined plate.
Gently toss lettuce with oranges, avocados, and almonds. Top with chicken slices and drizzle salads with honey mustard dressing. (Alternatively, serve the salad on the side tossed with half the dressing. Dip chicken strips in the other half of dressing.) Enjoy!