When I first eliminated grains from my diet two years ago, I was always putting together various "breadings" made from just about anything crunchy I could find in the pantry. Almonds, sunflower seeds, coconut flakes,...ground up and baked on my chicken and fish. I haven't made anything like this in a while. I guess I kind of forgot about it. I really like the added flavors and textures it gives to the meal.
You could bread these with any nut/seed mixture you like. I like the coconut because it toasts so well and cashews because they're awesome.
For the chicken:
- 1 lb boneless chicken (I used tenders)
- 1 egg, whisked
- 1 C cashews
- 2/3 C unsweetened shredded or flaked coconut
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp garlic
- 1/8 tsp cardamom
For the sauce:
- 1 C pineapple juice (or juice from 1 can pineapple chunks)
- 2 Tbsp coconut aminos
- 3 Tbsp honey
- 3/4 tsp ginger
- 1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 Tbsp arrowroot starch
- 1/8 tsp fish sauce (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 375ºF.
- Roughly chop cashews using a food chopper or a food processor. You can make the pieces larger or smaller depending on your personal preference. Larger pieces will likely result in leftover breading.
- Stir together cashews, coconut, and all the seasonings listed under chicken ingredients. Place in a shallow dish or bowl.
- Cut chicken into small pieces – about bite sized.
- Dip chicken pieces into egg then coat in the nut mixture. Place the breaded pieces on a large baking sheet.
- Bake chicken for 15 minutes then use a spatula to flip each piece and continue to bake another 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked throughly and the breading is lightly browned and crispy. If the chicken pieces stick to the pan while attempting to flip them over, not enough oils have been released from the nuts. Wait a few more minutes and try again.
- While chicken bakes, start on the sauce.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the pineapple juice, coconut aminos, honey, ginger, red pepper flakes, and fish sauce.
- Once the mixture is hot, whisk in the starch and turn heat up to medium-high.
- Wait for the sauce to barely come to a boil, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t burn. Continue to heat until the sauce is thickened then immediately serve with chicken.
I’ve also made this sauce as a topping with pineapple chunks as opposed to a dipping sauce. If you would like to try this, add a handful of pineapple chunks to the sauce while you are waiting for it to boil. The pineapple immediately absorbs the flavors in the sauce giving it a sweet and spicy flavor.