Should you buy coconut flour?
When I went to the supermarket at some point last year I noticed a new product on the shelves. Coconut flour! Very excited by the potential of healthier ingredients and more gluten free recipes I bought the horrendously over priced coconut flour with no idea how to use it or what I would make with it. Thus started a very tough relationship with coconut flour. I had a few attempts at using it in the same ways I would use regular wheat flour and I had lots of very questionable meals. One day, I used it to to make a coconut chicken nugget recipe. They smelled beautiful! They looked beautiful! I really thought I was onto a winner. I served them up to my son to try and held my breath whilst I waited for a response. Would this be the chicken nugget recipe to save the coconut flour? I got a thumbs up and a muffled “good” so I ran back to the kitchen to try them for myself excited by his enthusiasm. As I bit into one, my enthusiasm drained away…had my kid just pranked me? Was he really that hungry? They tasted as good as they smelt but the golden coating was a mirage, it had the same texture of dry uncooked flour!
Turns out that my son hadn’t pranked me, he did genuinely like them but this was not a recipe I could share just yet. So I worked on finding a way to keep the coconut flavour and the gorgeous smell but actually have it go crispy the way a chicken nugget recipe should be. I did lots of research into coconut flour and found that coconut flour is notoriously difficult to use and generally just isn’t the best of ideas to try and use it as a proper flour. I even came across a blog post called “it’s not you, it’s the coconut flour” and it was so helpful. Eventually I had to compromise and substitute almost half of the coconut flour for regular plain flour. So we still have the beautiful coconutty flavour in the chicken but enough plain flour for it to take on the crispy cooked texture that we all know and love. You could also make traditional chicken nuggets by swapping all of the flour for plain flour if you don’t have coconut flour to use up, I don’t recommend buying coconut flour just for this recipe as its so tricky to use up!
Step 1: Prepare the ingredients
Allow 1 chicken breast per portion (I used 2 for the photos) cut these into chunks, size is completely down to preference but if you don’t want to have to worry about changing the cooking times then keep them at around 1.5-2″ cubes.
In a bowl mix up 40g of coconut flour and 30g of plain wheat flour. We’re also going to add 2 tsp paprika and 1/2 tsp of salt. Mix well. In another bowl add 1 egg and beat well.
Step 2: Coat the chicken
Before we start dredging as it’s known, line a baking tray and then pop a wire rack on top, like you would use for cooling cakes. The less your chicken nuggets touch surfaces the less chance there is of loosing that coating. It would also be a good idea to preheat the oven to 200°c around now.
Dip the chicken into the egg using one hand, let the excess drip off and then coat in the flour mixture using your other hand. Repeat this so that your chicken nugget has two layers of flour and egg for a nice crunchy coating.
Repeat this step for every piece of chicken and place them onto a wire rack on to the wire rack. Bake the chicken nuggets for 25 minutes or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and the coating is crispy.
Serve with baked fries, hasselback Potatoes or loaded potato skins! Do I recommend that you go and buy coconut flour just for this recipe? NO!!! But if you did unwittingly buy coconut flour like I did, this is a great way to use some of it rather then chucking it in the bin.
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