Hope you survived April Fool’s Day without being the butt of anyone’s joke. It was a fairly uneventful day at our house, although one of my boys did scream his head off about finding a bug in the house to try to get me to come running. I’m going to have to think of a good one for next year. I remember one year my mom short-sheeted my bed.
Has that ever happened to you? Such a strange feeling to hop into bed, slide your legs down only to suddenly jam your toes against an unexpected endpoint before you even get halfway down the length of the bed. I’m pretty sure she only did it because I had put Saran Wrap on the toilet. OOPS!
Well, my friends, this Coconut Crusted Chicken with Mango Salsa is no joke! Mangos are quickly becoming my new best friend. You know how there are certain foods, you don’t necessarily dislike, but don’t really think to cook with? That used to be me and mangos. Yes, I loved you when I was in Maui three years ago, and every now and then you show up on my take out fish taco, but I’m not really going to bring you home and include you in my daily life…
But lately we are really warming up to each other! I started out using them as a frozen addition to our green smoothies (recipe coming soon!), and when I realized how much I loved that sweet, tropical flavor, I decided to try buying fresh mango. I looked up a little YouTube video on how to properly cut a fresh mango, because I vaguely remembered something about a pit that is the same color as the fruit. It was very helpful! My boys loved the inside-out mango trick.
After falling in love with mangos in my green smoothie, and thinking of more ways to use fresh mangos, making my own mango salsa naturally came to mind. It’s so simple and fresh. And you can control the heat by using more or less spicy peppers. I used one whole jalapeño pepper without the seeds and membrane, and my salsa was very mild.
So then I wondered, what do I want to top with this amazing mango salsa? How about coconut crusted chicken?
I did a simple flour/egg/coconut dipping sequence with some thinly cut chicken breasts, and then pan fried them in butter. I love the sweet, spicy, crunchy combination. The textures and flavors are perfect together!
Slicing the chicken into thin filets helps them cook through faster. So place one hand flat on top of your chicken breast, and with a sharp knife, parallel to your cutting board, slice the chicken breast into two thin filets. I found that with a chicken breast that was thicker, my coconut crust was nicely browned before the chicken was cooked through.
We enjoyed this as a light dinner, but it would be fabulous over rice, or sliced and stuffed into tacos. So if you don’t already, branch out a little and get friendly with your local mangos! If you already love mangos, let me know your favorite way to eat them.
- 2 fresh mangos diced
- 1 jalapeño finely diced
- 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
- 1/4 cup red onion diced
- juice from half a lime (about 1 tablespoon)
- sprinkle of salt
- 2 chicken breasts, split horizontally to make four thin filets, total
- 1/4 cup flour mixed with 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg plus 1 tablespoons milk
- 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes plus 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 2-3 tablespoons butter
- Toss the mango, jalapeño, cilantro, and red onion together in a small bowl. Squeeze lime juice over the top and sprinkle with salt. Stir to combine, and cover until ready to serve. I like to serve it at room temperature. Refrigerate leftovers.
- Place flour and salt in one shallow bowl, the egg and milk in another bowl, and the coconut and flour into yet another shallow bowl.
- One by one, dip the pieces of chicken into the flour, then egg, then coconut. Press the coconut to the chicken to get as much to stick as you can.
- In a large nonstick or cast iron skillet on medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and spread around the pan. When the pan is hot, place the chicken into the pan and cook for about 5 minutes on each side, or until the coconut is golden and the inside of the chicken is cooked through. The exact time will depend on the thickness of your chicken. Add a little more butter when turning the chicken if your pan is dry.
- Plate the chicken and top with mango salsa.