Gluten Free Coconut Chicken with Sunbutter Sauce Recipe

by Carol Kicinski on October 29, 2010

Post image for Gluten Free Coconut Chicken with Sunbutter Sauce Recipe I love to take classic recipes and change them up a bit to make them a little more budget and family (not to mention allergy) friendly.  In this case I decided to do a new take on chicken fingers and make them ala Coconut Shrimp.

This is a quick recipe that is great for dinner or as appetizers. It is also pretty darn allergy friendly! Just in my family alone I have people who can’t eat gluten, dairy, shell fish and peanuts.  Sometimes thinking of what to make for dinner gets me spinning.  But this recipe is proof positive that eating well is completely possible despite food intolerances.

These gluten-free, dairy-free Coconut Chicken Tenders cook up crispy and crunchy and just cry out for an amazing, exotic tasting sauce. I whipped up a little Sunbutter dipping sauce that quite frankly, almost outshone the chicken.  Seriously, this sauce is yum, yum, delicious. It is also great as a topping for a plain grilled piece of chicken, as a dip for fresh veggies or licked right off the fingers.  I am thinking it would also be pretty awesome tossed with some hot gluten-free rice noodles.  Ahh, the possibilities!

I started stocking Sunbutter as a nut-free alternative for peanut butter but soon found that its rich, roasted flavor makes for a terrific sauce base which is so much more flavorful than peanut butter.  If you haven’t tried peanut sauce made with Sunbutter yet, what are you waiting for?  This isn’t just an alternative for peanut butter – its better!  Trust me on this one.

As an entrée I like to cut the chicken breasts into wider strips – about 2 inches thick (8 pieces out of 1½ pounds of chicken breast) but for appetizers I cut them about ½ inch thick and cook for a few minutes less.

While the chicken is marinating and baking, make your sauce, steam up some rice and stir fry some veggies and you have one great dinner on the table in just about half an hour.

Simply Gluten Free Coconut Chicken with Sunbutter Sauce

Gluten Free Coconut Chicken with Sunbutter Sauce Recipe

Ingredients

1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
¾ cup coconut milk
3 teaspoons fish sauce – use divided
2 limes – use divided
½ cup panko style gluten-free bread crumbs
1½ cups flaked coconut
½ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup creamy Sunbutter
3 tablespoons honey
1 – 4 teaspoons Sambal Oelek (or other chili paste), depending on the heat level you like – 3 teaspoons is perfect for us
1 small garlic clove, finely grated on a microplane grater or pressed through a garlic press
 1 – 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, finely grated
½ teaspoon sesame oil
Water
Olive oil

Directions

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Brush a metal, non-stick baking sheet with olive oil.  Set aside.

Cut the chicken breasts into 2 inch wide strips for serving as an entrée or ½ inch strips for appetizer sized portions.

Combine the coconut milk, 1 teaspoon fish sauce and the juice of 1 lime in a shallow baking dish.  Add the chicken, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

In another baking dish or on a large plate, combine the bread crumbs, coconut, salt and pepper.  Mix well.

While the chicken is marinating make the sauce.  In a small mixing bowl, combine the Sunbutter, remaining 2 teaspoons of fish sauce, juice of the remaining lime, honey, chili paste, garlic, ginger and sesame oil.  Mix well.  If necessary, thin out by adding a little water, a few drops at a time.  Pour into a small serving dish and set aside.

Roll the marinated chicken in the coconut mixture, coating well.  Lay on the prepared baking sheet.  Drizzle about 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the chicken. Bake for 12 – 16 minutes or until browned and the chicken is done (it should feel firm to the touch and have no pick inside but still be juicy).  Let cool slightly and serve with the sauce.

Servings

This Gluten Free Recipe Serves 4 – 6  people as a Main Dish.

Ready for dessert?

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Categories:    Main Dishes
  • Dawn Farias

    This is quite the elegant take on chicken fingers. When my son was on a low carb diet to control his seizures, I would cut chicken breasts exactly in this way, roll them in shredded parmesan, and bake. We also used coconut flour as an alternative flour, too.

    Hope you and your family are doing well, Carol!

  • Kristina @ spabettie

    these look great – I may have to try this! when I first saw the photo I THOUGHT of coconut shrimp… which I LOVE… and the sunbutter sauce sounds fabulous also…

    thanks for sharing!

    HAPPY WEEKEND !

  • I Am Gluten Free

    Oh so lovely, and delicious looking. And the sauce looks good enough to bathe in!!!

  • Tasty Eats At Home

    This looks really tasty! Yum.

  • GFree_Miel

    These are probably the most beautiful chicken fingers I've ever seen! I really have to try some of that sunbutter! It looks really good. :D

  • Sophie

    Waw!! These gf chickne fingers look amazing & look so appetizing too!

    Excellent pictures too!

  • The InTolerant Chef

    Love the asian flavours, my families favourites! Yumm…

  • fiOrdivanilla

    mi ispira tantissimo.. e quella salsa cremosa.. oh my god, dev'essere gustosa!

  • Elizabeth, blogging for SunButter

    Hi Carol,
    Yet another fresh take. I tried your SunButter sauce with noodles and it got rave reviews from even the pickiest eaters around our home. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Aubree Cherie

    Hi Carol,

    These look so perfect! What an amazing combination! Chicken and coconut PLUS a nutty sauce??! YUM :) Just wanted to let you know that I posted it in My Favorite Recipes from Last week post! Thanks :)

    ~Aubree Cherie

  • Michael

    This came out great, though I did reduce the fish sauce and leave out the chili paste. Also, when you click on printable version, it changes the oven temp to 400 degrees.

    • http://www.simplygluten-free.com Carol Kicinski

      Wow – ok. I am going to have to figure out how that hapened and how to fix it. Thanks for bringing to my attention.

  • Pingback: How to Use Coconut Milk: Recipes, Tips & Best Brands - Go Dairy Free

  • Lacy

    I have a lot of health problems and so I’m on 4 different diets. Chicken is something I can eat and I do almost everyday, it gets old very fast. This looks great althoug I will have to change some stuff to fit into my diets but thanks for recipe. :)

    • Carol Kicinski

      My pleasure Lacy and I know what you mean! It seems I ate chicken almost everyday for a year once. Feel free to adapt to your own dietery needs!

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