coconut crusted chicken

Here’s a fun twist on an old classic! Thinking about doing fried chicken and potatoes this summer? Maybe to pack for your Fourth of July picnic? This recipe is fast, easy, and is a crowd pleaser. Instead of a typical breadcrumb breading, the crust on this chicken is made of dried coconut and panko. If you wanted to make it gluten-free, you could even omit the panko and it would still be delicious!

I fell in love with sweet potatoes when I was doing a Whole30, which is basically a one-month cleanse that follows the principles of the paleo (or caveman) diet. Although I don’t think the paleo lifestyle is for me in the long haul, I do keep its principles in mind while meal planning. I try to use more complex, more nutritious carbs when I can, instead of relying on refined grains. White sweet potatoes are an excellent substitute for traditional mashed potatoes. They mash up soooo easily and they have such a great flavor.

These days, I mostly love recipes that are easy and fast, and that can be left to cook by themselves while I play with my toddler. This coconut crusted chicken fits the bill! Just add a tossed salad for a quick and healthy meal.

coconut chicken

Coconut Crusted Chicken
4 servings

10 chicken drumsticks
2 eggs
1 cup dried unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs (optional)
Lawry’s seasoning salt
olive oil

Note: Omit breadcrumbs to make this gluten-free. Instead, add more coconut as needed. If you’re planning to make this paleo, you may also need to sub salt, pepper, and your own spices (I like smoked paprika) in stead of the seasoning salt.

1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
2. Sprinkle seasoning salt all over the chicken and rub in gently with your hands.
3. Beat the eggs in a medium bowl. Mix panko and coconut together in a shallow bowl. Dip each chicken drumstick in the eggs, and then dunk them in the coconut mixture.
4. Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Using tongs, transfer half of the breaded drumsticks to the hot skillet. Fry, turning once, until browned on both sides. Transfer them to a greased cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining drumsticks.
5. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until juices run clear.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

3 medium-large white sweet potatoes
salt and pepper
3 tbsp butter
1/4 cup whole milk (optional)

Note: butter and milk are optional if you want to make this paleo.

1. Peel and cut sweet potatoes into 1-inch cubes.
2. Place in medium saucepan and add cold water to cover.
3. Cover; place on stove over medium-high heat until water boils. Lower heat to a simmer.
4. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork. Drain sweet potatoes.
5. Mash in a bowl with salt, pepper, butter, and milk. Serve!

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