Fast food chicken can be a guilty pleasure for many but with untold additives, wheat and stabilisers added to each batch it is going to leave you feeling tired, bloated, and usually very regretful. Over the last few years there has been a plethora of chicken restaurants popping up which focus on providing high quality versions of this fast food treat using free range chickens and high quality ingredients. Whilst it is great to see people becoming more concerned about what they are consuming the higher quality alternatives are rarely going to be accessible for anyone following a Paleo lifestyle as buttermilk and wheat are commonly used.
A great finger food recipe, perfect as a snack or when entertaining plus the kids will love them! Based on a popular fast food choice this is a Paleo friendly alternative using a coconut crumb instead of the traditional breadcrumbs or batter.
I wanted to try and create a Paleo friendly option that you can enjoy as a snack (great for lunchboxes), when entertaining or maybe even as a healthier dinner option for the kids. To start off with I used good quality, free range chicken thigh meat from my local organic store. This was gently flavoured using dried oregano and cayenne pepper but you could add any combination of herbs and spices that you like. I prefer to keep the flavours subtle and then combine with a flavoursome dip but this is a personal choice so please feel free to experiment.
The coating for my chicken bites is made using desiccated coconut; you could use a combination of blanched almond flour and tapioca flour instead if you are not a coconut fan. This would create a more subtle crumb coating but would not have the chunkier texture that the desiccated coconut brings. Always make sure that you buy desiccated coconut which does not have any added sweeteners. If you can find shredded coconut (difficult to find in the UK but popular in the US) then this would also work for this recipe.
I used chicken thigh meat as this has a great flavour and also a higher fat content which helps to keep the chicken bites moist. You could also try this recipe with chicken breast if preferred. You can either cut the meat up into small cubes/pieces or place into a food processor and quickly blitz together. Use whichever method works better for you; the food processor method is quicker so good if you are short on time.
To accompany my chicken bites I made a paprika mayonnaise which worked perfectly. I personally love the heat of smoked paprika and added a good portion of this to flavour the mayonnaise but if you wanted something more subtle you could add some chopped fresh tarragon or a squeeze of lemon.
- 500g chicken thigh or breast, cubed
- 3 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
- Pinch of sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 eggs
- 3 tbsp coconut milk
- 100g desiccated coconut (no added sweetener)
- Preheat the oven to 200C and line a baking tray with some foil.
- Place all the ingredients for the chicken into a mixing bowl and combine together.
- Once thoroughly mixed tear off small pieces of the mixture and roll into bite size pieces. You should get around 35 pieces.
- Place the chicken pieces into the fridge for 30 minutes to set.
- Mix the egg and coconut milk together and place into a shallow bowl or dish.
- Place the desiccated coconut onto a plate and place next to the egg mixture.
- Take each chicken piece and roll in the egg mixture then place in the desiccated coconut. Finally place each chicken piece onto the baking tray.
- Place into the oven until the chicken is cooked through and the crust has started to brown. This should be anywhere between 10-15 minutes depending on the size of your chicken pieces.
- Once cooked remove from the oven and serve as finger food with your favourite dips. I served mine with a homemade paprika mayonnaise.