Chicken Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Sauces, Salsas and More

Coconut Pecan Crusted Chicken with Sweet and Spicy Apricot Sauce

Coconut Pecan Crusted Chicken

www.karistaskitchen.com

Sauces reign supreme at the Bennett Camp.  And why you might ask?

I blame it on culinary school.  Almost every entrée recipe I learned to prepare had some sort of brilliant sauce.  I loved practicing sauces.  I relished the challenge of tweaking them to my tastes and adding new and unusual flavors.

The Bennett Crew loved sampling my sauces.  In fact, my happy little family came to expect a sauce over every entrée I served.

Until one day… I prepared a Pork Milanese.  Milanese doesn’t have a sauce.  So I served it traditionally. Without a sauce.

www.karistaskitchen.com

Everyone sat quietly at the table, looking at their plates.  Not a peep.  I asked my sassy family why they weren’t eating their dinner and my handsome husband replied “where’s the sauce?”

Hmmm.   Never saw that one coming.  I told my family a Milanese doesn’t come with a sauce.  To which my youngest sassy gal replied “but I’d like to have a sauce Mom”.   Well, who could resist those sweet words coming from a  three year old.

Back into the kitchen I whipped up a little sauce for the Milanese.  Today, almost everything I serve the Bennett Crew comes with a sauce.  😉

Coconut Pecan Crusted Chicken with Sweet and Spicy Apricot Sauce

I’ve paired one of my fave little sauces with this Coconut Pecan Crusted Chicken dish.  You can also find this sauce paired with my Thai Shrimp Cakes and it’s just as lovely over grilled pork and chicken.

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 chicken breasts or 6 chicken thighs (boneless/skinless)

1 ½ cups shredded coconut

1 cup chopped pecans

½ cup all purpose flour

2 eggs, whisked with a tablespoon of water

Salt and fresh cracked black pepper

Chopped Italian parsley for garnish

Parchment lined baking sheet

Sweet and Spicy Apricot Sauce (recipe below)

Directions

Pre-heat the oven to 400F.

In a food processor add the coconut and pecans and pulse until nicely ground together, like bread crumbs.  Set aside.  Per a lovely readers comments, a few tablespoons of panko can be added to the breading for a little extra texture and crunch.

Set out three bowls. One with flour, one with egg wash and the last one with the coconut pecan mixture.

Season the chicken with salt and black pepper.

Lightly dust the chicken in the flour, then the egg wash and then press them into the coconut pecan mixture.  Place them on a platter. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 15-30 minutes.  This step can be done in the morning and then baked in the evening for dinner.

Transfer the chicken to a parchment lined baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the pre-heated oven for about 20-30 minutes, depending on thickness or until the chicken is done.  I cook my chicken until the internal temperature reaches about 160F. I highly recommend having a meat thermometer handy for cooking poultry and meat.

Once the chicken is done, take the chicken out of the oven and let it sit for about 5 minutes before serving.

Ladle a bit of the sauce onto four plates.  Place a piece of chicken on the sauce and garnish with chopped fresh Italian parsley.  Serve with coconut rice and fresh greens with a sesame dressing.

Sweet and Spicy Apricot Sauce

½ cup apricot preserves

1-2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

3 tablespoons of sweet chili sauce from Thai kitchen

¼ cup water, white wine, sherry or Saki

In a bowl mix together all the ingredients.  You can lightly warm the sauce in a small pan stove top or in the microwave.  Don’t over warm or the sauce will be too runny.  The sauce will thin once it’s paired with the warm chicken.

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67 Comments

  • Reply
    frugalfeeding
    October 23, 2012 at 11:18 am

    Great looking sauce – it has just the right consistency! Lovely recipe too, of course 🙂

    • Reply
      Karista
      October 23, 2012 at 11:24 am

      Thanks Frugal!! Lovin’ your new facebook page photo!

  • Reply
    janelle
    October 23, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    sounds like I need to come over for dinner!

    • Reply
      Karista
      October 23, 2012 at 5:33 pm

      You are welcome anytime my friend!! 🙂

  • Reply
    talkoftomatoes
    October 23, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    Sounds like I need to come over for dinner!!! 😉 miss you!

  • Reply
    Christine @ The Savoury Traveller
    October 23, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Looks yummy as always! I definitely noticed your saucy fanaticism when I started following your blog 😉 Definitely one of those fundamental skills that can be a hole in the untrained homecook’s game (like mine!) Luckily, you’re here to change all that!

    • Reply
      Karista
      October 23, 2012 at 5:35 pm

      Hahaha! A simple sauce seems to elevate even the ordinary. My fave are pan sauces, simply prepared and complex in flavor.

  • Reply
    Christine @ The Savoury Traveller
    October 23, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Looks yummy as always! I definitely noticed your saucy fanaticism when I started following your blog 😉 It can definitely be a hole in the game of homecooks (like me!) but luckily you’re here to change all that!

  • Reply
    EverydayMaven
    October 23, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    That is really funny and that chicken looks amazing – I love that combo!

    • Reply
      Karista
      October 23, 2012 at 5:37 pm

      Thanks Alyssa! I’ve made this one for years but never got around to blogging it. I feel like such a procrastinator sometimes. So fabulous seeing you last night!

  • Reply
    Danny
    October 23, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    I started reading your headline and thought you were posting about a dessert, then BAM — it turns out to be chicken. You got me Karista, you’re good! Seriously, I love this dish for the blending of the savory and the sweet flavors/ingredients – this is another winner.

    • Reply
      Karista
      October 23, 2012 at 5:38 pm

      Hahahaha!!! So funny Danny. Thanks so much. It is delish and sometimes I make them with chicken tenders and I’ve also made it with large shrimp. Yum!

      • Reply
        Danny
        October 23, 2012 at 6:04 pm

        love the suggestion of shrimp — can’t get enough of those. thanks for another great posting!

  • Reply
    yummychunklet
    October 23, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    I love this sweet idea for a chicken coating!

    • Reply
      Karista
      October 23, 2012 at 5:39 pm

      Thank you! It really is a great crust for chicken or pork. And on occasion I’ve used large shrimp. 🙂

  • Reply
    Bam's Kitchen
    October 23, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Hello Little Sauce Guru… This sounds so perfect for the autumn season. Love the pecans and apricot sauce. I bet there was a few months of training just on sauces for culinary school, am I correct? After all the sauces are what brings this dish to a whole new level. Take care, BAM

    • Reply
      Karista
      October 23, 2012 at 5:45 pm

      Hahaha! Thanks Bam! It is a fun and festive dish and easily prepared on a weeknight which is what I love. I did have some training in sauces, mostly the basics and pan sauces, nothing too fancy. I don’t typically prepare slow simmered or reduction sauces unless I’m cooking for a special occasion, but a pan sauce is the ticket for grilled/roasted meats, poultry and fish. Have a fabulous day my friend!

  • Reply
    Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen
    October 23, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    Your photo took a moment to upload.. suddenly it appeared.. and I was smitten, lol! I haven’t seen a crusted chicken with such nice big pieces in the coating.. so much more texture going on. Your sauce story is so cute!! I rarely make sauces, but now you have me thinking.. xx

    • Reply
      Karista
      October 24, 2012 at 11:27 am

      Thanks Smidge! You know, my sassy family loves chicken thighs. So instead of the usual coated chicken breast or breast cutlets I used organic chicken thighs and it did turn out moist, juicy and flavorful. I just have to cook them a bit longer in the oven. I love quick pan sauces and make them with most meals. I should do a post on five quick pan sauces. My basic go to is a fat (butter or whatever fat I used to pan sear fish/chicken/pork) some finely diced shallots, a few fresh chopped herbs, wine, reduce by half and then another pat of butter to gloss the sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. That’s nice over a piece of fish. 🙂 The fussy sauces I save for Christmas and Thanksgiving LOL!

  • Reply
    ArbitraryAmbrosia
    October 23, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    What a lovely picture you painted. I can almost hear your sassy little one asking for the sauce. And honestly, I don’t blame her. A good sauce makes everything a little better, ha. Thanks for another great recipe, Karista!

    • Reply
      Karista
      October 24, 2012 at 11:22 am

      Thank you. You’re so welcome Amber! Yes, my sassy little three year old is now 14. And still sassy. 🙂 But a sweet sassy.

  • Reply
    cookinginsens
    October 24, 2012 at 1:41 am

    Really like your sauce.

    • Reply
      Karista
      October 24, 2012 at 11:12 am

      Thanks so much Rosemary! 🙂

  • Reply
    gardenfreshtomatoes
    October 24, 2012 at 4:43 am

    Love the story…We have the opposite problem. Sauces so rarely appear, that they have occasionally been made, and not served….just forgotten on the stove until the Cleanup Person finds them. And sighs heavily, since he’s usually the guy who decided he wanted sauce that night!

    • Reply
      Karista
      October 24, 2012 at 11:13 am

      Hahahaha! Oh you so crack me up! I wish we’d live closer so we could have coffee sometime. 🙂

  • Reply
    itsgoodtobethecook
    October 24, 2012 at 4:59 am

    OMG! This looks unbelievable. Yummmm

    • Reply
      Karista
      October 24, 2012 at 11:14 am

      Thank you so much! My family actually loves this one… as long as it comes with a sauce. 🙂

  • Reply
    peasepudding
    October 24, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Our families don’t realize how spoilt they are, never regular old food hey!

    • Reply
      Karista
      October 24, 2012 at 11:16 am

      hahaha! No they don’t! Nothing regular or ordinary right? Thanks for stopping by! I must get over to your blog to see what your up to. Always something delicious!

  • Reply
    Cara Olsen
    October 24, 2012 at 10:17 am

    The pictures you take of your finished product are always so incredibly lovely. A good picture sells the deal, or at lest that’s how I feel. Even with books, if the cover is striking enough, but the content not my normal interest, I’ll still pick it up, passing over my traditional tastes. Anyway . . . a little blather, but I thought I would commend you on your photography. 😉

    Karista, I’m going to have to say I agree with the majority of the Bennet clan. I, too, MUST have a sauce to accompany my meal. Unless it’s soup, I want something to dip into. So glad you paired this with the apricot sauce — it looks phenomenal, as usual!

    ~ Cara

    • Reply
      Karista
      October 24, 2012 at 11:21 am

      Thank you Cara!! The visual is so important and something as a chef I am always concerned about. But of course it has to taste good to. 🙂 I’m so glad you agree with my sassy family! I too love a sauce but not nearly as much as they do. Hahaha! Hope you’re doing well my friend! Hugs to ya, Karista

  • Reply
    Shut Up & Cook
    October 24, 2012 at 11:51 am

    I love the image of them all sitting there, indignant and somewhat upset by the lack of sauce.

    I mean clearly…come on!

    The real question is, when are you going to have me over for a sauce making lesson?!

    • Reply
      Karista
      October 24, 2012 at 12:40 pm

      Hahaha!! Anytime my friend! Another gal asked me the same, I think I should my next post should be five simple pan sauces. 🙂

    • Reply
      Karista
      October 24, 2012 at 12:42 pm

      I forwarded an email to Janelle about Food Network open call next saturday. Thought you would be great! Let me know if you want me to forward you the email, but you may have already gotten it.

      • Reply
        Shut Up & Cook
        October 24, 2012 at 7:58 pm

        I got it…am contemplating in fact! 🙂 Crazy?!

        • Reply
          Karista
          October 25, 2012 at 8:23 am

          You were the first person I thought of when I got the email. 🙂 Honestly, I did some tv/film many, many, many years ago and if I had a talent agency now, I’d hire you on the spot Miss! I have to teach a class that day, but I may swing by early just for the hell of it. It might be fun just to see it all in action or to meet a celeb chef!

          • Shut Up & Cook
            October 25, 2012 at 12:02 pm

            Can I just take you everwhere with me for self-esteem boosts please? You are the sweetest!

            If I go, I’d go in the morning, so if you’re serious, let’s go together! That would be way more fun! 10a?!

      • Reply
        Karista
        October 26, 2012 at 8:15 am

        Let’s do it! I have to teach a class at 3 that day and it’s about a 2 hour prep so I need to scoot no later than noon. I’ll get there around 9am and hold a spot for you. I have a feeling every foodie, chef and thier furry friends will be at this audition. My email is karistaskitchen@gmail.com . Have a fabulous weekend!

  • Reply
    Tandy
    October 25, 2012 at 1:11 am

    I would also want this sauce! Funny enough, last night I made an orange reduction with ginger and thyme for some pork chops – and it made a huge difference 🙂

    • Reply
      Karista
      October 25, 2012 at 8:24 am

      Tandy your sauce sounds fantastic!! Blog it soon? 🙂

  • Reply
    Sarah | Curious Cuisiniere
    October 25, 2012 at 8:37 am

    I have coconut and pecans in the pantry. This is a must try!

    • Reply
      Karista
      October 25, 2012 at 9:18 am

      Don’t you love it when you have all the ingredients in the pantry or frig and you don’t have to run to the market? LOL! Hope you like the recipe and thanks so much for stopping by!

  • Reply
    wendy@chezchloe
    October 25, 2012 at 9:47 am

    I’m a saucy girl too…love Michel Roux’s sauce book.
    In Dusseldorf yesterday getting a fische brötchen (herring and onion on a crusty white roll) and I asked for sauce… My favorite is a white creamy one with apple and onion. Had to ask like three times. Lady says “nobody puts sauce on a fish brötchen” and I’m like well,I do!

    • Reply
      Karista
      October 26, 2012 at 8:11 am

      Oh Wow! Back in Germany? How fun. I can imagine the delicious food you can find there. Sounds divine!
      You made me howl with laughter this morning. You’re definitely a saucy gal too. 🙂 Have a wonderful time in Germany Wendy!

  • Reply
    The Blissful Adventurer
    October 25, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    This looks so damn good! I need to break this one out perhaps for company 🙂 Love the way your site is looking these days!

    • Reply
      Karista
      October 26, 2012 at 8:08 am

      Thanks Michael! Sometimes I use large Gulf shrimp instead of chicken and then sometimes I use this sauce with roast pork tenderloin or pan seared medallions. So many options! I think this blog is a constant labor of love and definitely more time and work than I anticipated. LOL! Hope you’re loving SF!!

  • Reply
    bitsandbreadcrumbs
    October 25, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    A perfect sauce…spicy and apricot, yum! And then paired with pecans and coconut on chicken, it just sounds outstanding.You truly are the queen of sauces Karista! Another beautiful idea, recipe and dish.

    • Reply
      Karista
      October 26, 2012 at 8:04 am

      Haha! Thanks Betsy! I love this particular sauce, mostly because I can top grilled chicken, a roasted pork tenderloin or even fish. Makes for a plate lickin’ dinner. 🙂 Have a super fabulous weekend!

  • Reply
    richardmcgary
    October 26, 2012 at 8:14 am

    I love the flavor combination and the photo is beautiful.

    • Reply
      Karista
      October 26, 2012 at 9:47 am

      Thanks Richard! This is one of my favorite quick sauces. I could eat it right out of the bowl. LOL!

  • Reply
    saffronandhoney
    October 26, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    My first thought: I want to try some of that sauce right off of that plate in the picture :). This looks like a wonderful, fresh new take on chicken – delicious!

    • Reply
      Karista
      October 26, 2012 at 4:21 pm

      It really is so tasty I could actually lick my plate! Thanks Ksenia! I hope I’m spelling your name correctly 🙂

      • Reply
        saffronandhoney
        October 26, 2012 at 5:58 pm

        You are 🙂 and licking that plate was definitely part of that first thought haha

  • Reply
    The Culinary Chase (@culinarychase)
    October 26, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    Sweet and spicy = delicious! Thanks for sharing. Cheers!

    • Reply
      Karista
      October 28, 2012 at 8:33 pm

      Thanks so much for stopping by! Hope you enjoy the recipe. Delicious Wishes 🙂

  • Reply
    Karen
    October 27, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Well this dish must really please your family…it sounds terrific.

    • Reply
      Karista
      October 28, 2012 at 8:34 pm

      Oh they do love this one Karen. Especially with the sauce 🙂 Sounds like you’re having a blast in Europe! Can’t wait to head on over and catch up on your delicious posts.

  • Reply
    girlinafoodfrenzy
    October 28, 2012 at 4:18 am

    One of my favourite chicken dishes at this great Malaysian place (uses coconut) in its crust/batter. I’m thinking that this recipe is definitely into a good thing! I’ve yet to try it at home (and with pecans no less.) As for your sassy sauces (your family know that you are definitely into a good thing,) I’ve no doubt that there’s not a dish that gets by without that extra special touch (aka) sauce!

    • Reply
      Karista
      October 28, 2012 at 8:36 pm

      Hahaha! So true Alli. I always think about the topping/sauce/salsa or condiment to go with the main dish. I do love using coconut in recipes. Coconut milk, coconut, and I recently had this divine Thai Shrimp soup that had a hint of coconut but I could really taste the kaffir lime leaves. Yum! I think I’m going to have to find a recipe for that soup. Have one?

  • Reply
    Oven Fried Pecan Chicken | familyrecipebooks
    November 9, 2012 at 8:01 am

    […] Coconut Pecan Crusted Chicken with Sweet and Spicy Apricot Sauce (karistaskitchen.com) […]

  • Reply
    Liz
    April 19, 2013 at 9:56 am

    I can’t wait to try this! Question: does the crust adhere well to the chicken? I’ve had problems with this in the past. Is there a way to making it stick better? Maybe add some panko? Not sure. Or flash frying it on stovetop rather than oven frying? I’d love to hear your thoughts…thanks!

    • Reply
      Karista
      April 19, 2013 at 10:59 am

      Hi Liz, Thanks for the comment. The best way to keep ingredients adhered to chicken is to be sure to dust in flour and then dip in egg wash prior to rolling in the crust ingredients. Both the addition of a few tablespoons of panko and a little pan searing prior to baking also helps. I don’t use the panko in this recipe, but definitely it can be added as well as lends a little extra crunchy texture to the chicken. Delicious Wishes! Karista

  • Reply
    Amanda
    October 5, 2014 at 5:34 am

    This looks amazing…Is the coconut supposed to be sweetened or unsweetened?

    • Reply
      bennett
      October 5, 2014 at 9:49 am

      Hi Amanda, Either sweetened or unsweetened coconut will work just fine. Enjoy!

  • Reply
    therealmckoy_13
    May 21, 2015 at 10:12 am

    Good combination of protein and the sauce. Hope you post more and gives happiness to everyone. Thank you. I really like this

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