I have recently developed an obsession with coconut oil after finally jumping on the organic-hippie bandwagon and this is one wagon I am never getting off. Although semi-expensive, a large, mayonnaise sized jar of the oil will easily last you a couple months and it is certainly worth it. I not only use the solid oil to cook but I also put in on my skin (especially when sunburned!) in my hair and on my nail beds. If you have yet to try it, I highly recommend getting as addicted as I am.
This was my first time cooking with coconut oil so I decided on something easy; breaded chicken. Tallahassee, Florida is by far the most humid and sticky place I have ever lived and come summer, it is comparable to what I can only imagine the Sahara dessert feels like 24/7. When eating a hot meal like cooked chicken, it is necessary to cool your palate down with something else. In this case, I chose to pair the crispy chicken with a light and citrusy mango-avocado salad.
What you need:
- Jar of Coconut Oil (You will only use a couple tablespoons!)
- 4 Defrosted chicken breasts
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1 cup of Cheerios
- 1 Cup of Breadcrumbs (Panko or Original!)
- 1 tbsp of Chia Seeds
- A plastic bag full of Flour
- 1 Avocado
- 1 Small Mango
- 1/4 cup of chopped Red or Yellow Onion
- A few cilantro leaves
ALWAYS Allow your frying pan to heat up on the stove on medium heating before adding anything else. I recently learned this from another food blog and it has saved my frying pans and my food from a lot of unwanted damage! After it is heated, add a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil. To be truthful, I did not measure it at all…but use as much as you need to cover the bottom of the pan and you should be fine.
Beat the egg in a bowl and add some milk to thin it out. Set this bowl aside. I chose to add cheerios to the breadcrumb mix because when they’re flavored, (honey-nut for example), they add a little something to the chicken. If you don’t completely pulverize them and they remain in larger chunks, they add more of a crunch. Mix the cheerios with the breadcrumbs and whatever seasonings you prefer. I added a little garlic salt and pepper. Toss these all together in a bowl and then add the chia seeds. If you haven’t read about the health benefits of cha-cha-cha-chia seeds, do it NOW!
After the chicken was completely defrosted, I put the individual pieces into the bag of flour and shook them until they were completely covered. Then the chicken went into the beaten egg-milk mixture and finally, pressed into the breaded mix on each side. Put the chicken into the hot oil and cook on both sides until they are browned and cooked all the way through. It took about 15 minutes for me and I at one point I even covered the pan to ensure faster cooking.
While the chicken was cooking, prepare the citrus salad. I used it as a bed for the chicken so I spread it over a plate instead of in a bowl. I wanted to call it a salsa, but really it was much more individual pieces of fruit mixed together than a sauce. Slice the mango in half (around the middle seed) and made sure to cut all the skin off. Cut both the avocado and mangos into half inch pieces and plate them. Keep the mango and later squeeze some of the excess juice over the chicken after it it cooked. Next, cut up the onion in similar sized pieces. I used yellow onion, only because it was what was in the fridge, but a red onion would be equally delicious and will add extra sweetness to the dish if used. I added the chopped onion and mixed the three together, creating a bed to lay the chicken on. Tear up and add a few leaves of cilantro to the mix to give it a kick of flavor. I also salted this salad a little. Salting brings out the sweet flavors in fruits like watermelon, pineapple and mango.
Do not let your chicken burn but make sure it is crisped to your liking! I prefer mine extra crispy and it took about 15 minutes all together to cook.
Remove the chicken from the pan and if you’re a good doggy-mom like I am, you’ll serve your happy pooch the remaining coconut oil/chicken grease over their dry food. I’ve never seen Bodie eat so quickly and now he’s enjoying the health benefits of coconut oil, too!
I decided to garnish the chicken and salad with a light sauce, mostly because I wanted to avoid adding more seasoning or salt to the meal. I had eaten half of a vanilla Oikos greek yogurt for lunch and added a little dill weed and lemon juice to the rest of the yogurt in the container. I mixed this together to made a quick, light and healthy sauce that I used to top the chicken breasts Not only did this add some richness to the dish but it was nice and cold on the hot meat!
This is how it turned out. Next time I promise I’ll take step-by-step photos!
I’d love to hear what other kinds of sauces or substitutions you add if you try to dish so please let me know!
Happy, healthy eating!