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Appetizers / Snacks

Coconut Chicken Bites

This recipe for Coconut Chicken Bites is totally worth celebrating. Meant to keep things nearly effortless — and sure to bring cheer to every hostess — these nuggets are a perfect year-round appetizer option. Crispy, crunchy, and sweet, it wins the trifecta of textures and flavors, too.


20 "bites"

Total Time

35 minutes

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Be sure to use unsweetened coconut for coating the chicken. Sweetened varieties are much more likely to burn while frying.


For the chicken, combine cornstarch, 1 tsp. salt, and cayenne in a plastic bag. Pour coconut milk into a bowl. Combine coconut, panko, and remaining 1 tsp. salt in a shallow dish. Coat chicken chunks in cornstarch mixture, then in coconut milk.

Dredge chicken chunks in coconut-panko mixture; transfer chicken to a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Chill chicken chunks until ready to fry, up to 2 hours.

Heat ½ inch oil to 350° in a large sauté pan over medium. Fry chicken chunks in batches until golden, 23 minutes per side; drain on a paper-towel-lined plate.

For the sauce, purée bell peppers, sugar, vinegar, ginger, and pepper flakes in a food processor or blender; transfer to a saucepan and simmer over medium heat, 45 minutes.

Combine cornstarch and water; whisk sauce and simmer until thickened, about 2 minutes. Season sauce with salt; chill before serving.

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