Coconut Chicken Bites with Apricot Jalapeño Jelly Dip

Need a an appetizer for a party and looking for something besides the usual chip and dip or cheese tray? These coconut chicken bites with apricot jalapeno jelly dip are easy and a great combination of sweet and spicy and runs circles around the regular chicken nuggets. It is a great recipe from Food.com that I modified and they turned out absolutely delish. (The link to their original recipe is at the end of this post.)

Ingredients:
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1 inch strips Modification: Because I was making them as an appetizer I cut them into bite size pieces.
1 egg, lightly beaten Modification: I used Egg Beaters and they worked great
1/3 cup melted butter

Dip:
1 cup apricot preserves (I used low sugar Smuckers apricot preserves in an attempt to make it a bit healthier and the results were yummy.)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Modification: I wanted an extra kick to my dip and a sweet and spicy flavor so I added Jalepeno Jelly. Can usually be found in most grocery stores jelly section.

Let’s Get Cookin’:

1.Mix together coconut, flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder in flat dish. I added a couple of extra shakes of the pepper and garlic salt and I was glad I did.

2.Dip chicken strips into egg, then coat with coconut mixture.

3. Place in shallow baking pan and drizzle with melted butter.

4.Bake at 400° for 25 minutes or until brown and cooked through, turning once

5. Make sauce by combining apricot preserves and Dijon mustard.

Tips for this recipe:
I bought the tenderloins already cut into strips and then cut them into bite size pieces.
Also, I had to make a little bit more of the coconut and flour mixture as I ran out for the last quarter of the pieces. I wanted my chicken bites well coated so if that is also your preference keep in mind that you can either add nother 1/2 cup of coconut and 1/4 cup at flour at the beginning or make more when you run out.
I used the coconut flakes so that the pieces of coconut were smaller and didn’t overpower the recipe.
I recommend using a bit of cooking spray for your baking dish because some of the bites stuck.
I added most of the leftover coconut and flour to the bites after I put them on the pan (it wasn’t a lot) but not sure I recommend this as a few of the pieces were a little “flour-y” (Is that a word??)

This recipe is definitely a winner and deserves the 5 star rating it has on Food.com. It was easy to do, only took about 15 minutes of prep, and they turned out so so good. Tender chicken and the sweetness of the coconut and apricots was a great complement for the kick of the pepper and the jalapeno jelly (so I’m glad I added it!). Both the dip and the chicken bites were a hit at the party and I had a few requests for the recipe. Definitely beats chicken nuggets!

Link to original Food.com recipe: http://www.food.com/recipe/crispy-coconut-chicken-fingers-93688

This recipe was contributed by Kathy Penney – Blogger, Wannabe Chef & Crafter at www.pinnertakesall.com

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