Saturday, July 23

Coconut Chicken with Pina Colada Dip

I decided to search and see what kind of Weight Watchers recipes I could find because in the past we’ve made some that tasted really good.  And the best part is they’re healthier than a traditional dish we’d most likely make.  The below recipe happened to be posted in this section and I thought what a great summer dish!  When I saw the Pina Colada dipping sauce for the chicken, I was sold.

I ended up altering the original recipe by using Panko breadcrumbs instead of regular breadcrumbs.  I prefer them rather than breadcrumbs for certain dishes as they tend to have a lighter texture. Also, a tip for when you’re at the store buying ingredients.  There are containers of coconut milk that are found in the same aisle as the canned milk and Silk (almond milk,etc), but they’re too large.  However if you visit the international aisle in the Asian section you’ll find canned coconut milk that is just the right size.  The can I bought was just a little less than 14oz. and I’d much prefer that than having a bunch left over I wouldn’t know what to do with.

I would say this is more of a weekend meal as the chicken takes 1.5 hours to marinate.  It’s a long time but I think this is what really helps soak in the flavor.  I had a little disaster as I was mixing the marinade ingredients.  I used quart size Ziploc bag and stood it up on the count after I added the coconut milk.  I thought I’d add the chicken pieces to it slowly, but when I turned my back the bag fell over and spilled a good amount before I could catch it.  Lesson learned, always stand a bag up in a small bowl so that it can’t tip over. 

What’s nice is that while the chicken is marinating the coconut breading and the dip can be prepared.  The breading mixture is easy to assemble and what I found to work best is to mix all the ingredients in a bowl and then spread it onto a large plate.  This way, when the chicken is breaded, a spoon can be used to scoop and pat the mixture onto the chicken.

The dip is easy to create and should have enough time to chill before serving.  Unfortunately for the dip only a small amount of pina colada drink mix is needed and it’s sold in large bottles.  I thought for sure I could find a small bottle, but no luck at Meijer’s.  The good thing is that the mix can stay refrigerated.  I bought one of the large bottles on sale in hopes that we could make pina colada’s with friends one night and use the rest.  

When I read the original recipe one of the reviewers had a great idea…place a cooling rack on top of the baking sheet.  This helps cook the chicken evenly all over.  And it’s much easier than flipping the chicken pieces one by one half way through.  It also helps prevent the chicken from sticking to the baking sheet.  No PAM needed.  I hate using PAM and avoid it all costs as it’s really bad for your pans.

In the end we were quite impressed with this recipe.  When I took my first bite you can’t help but think of things such as summer, tropical, and beaches.   The coconut breading is not too thick and it has a nice light texture.  My husband who ate before class wasn’t planning on having dinner once he got home but decided to try a plate.  He loved it and even had a second serving!  There’s one thing I wasn’t expecting and that’s that the pina colada dip didn’t look the way I thought it would.  I thought it would have a thicker, creamy texture similar to sour cream but it’s more liquidy.  Either way, the flavor was still great!

Coconut Chicken with Pina Colada Dip
Serves 2-3
Prep Time: 1.5 hours
Total Time: 2 hours
Adapted from recipe #130707 by Redsie,

  •     1 tablespoon lime juice
  •     1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce (green or red Tabasco sauce)
  •     1 (14 ounce) can light coconut milk
  •     1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast (cut into bite size pieces)
  •     3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  •     1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  •     1/2 teaspoon salt
  •     1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

Pina Colada Dip
  • 3 ounces crushed pineapple
  • 3 ounces fat free sour cream
  • 4 ounces pina colada drink mix (non alcoholic)

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Combine first 3 ingredients in a Ziploc bag.  Add chicken and seal.
  3. Marinate in fridge for 1½ hours; turn bag occasionally.
  4. Prepare dip while chicken is marinating.  Combine all 3 ingredients and refrigerate.
  5. Combine panko breadcrumbs, coconut, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Stir well.
  6. Remove chicken from marinade.  Discard remaining marinade.
  7. Dredge chicken, 1 piece at a time, into panko mixture.
  8. Place a wire cooling rack on top of a baking sheet.  Arrange chicken pieces on top of the rack.
  9. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

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