Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Coconut Oat Crispy Chicken Salad with Pomegranate Drizzle

Coconut Oat Crispy Chicken Salad with Pomegranate Drizzle

Sometimes a great big salad with crispy chicken is just what I'm craving!  And what makes this salad even better is that the crispy chicken is actually good for you.  It is coated in a coconut/oat topping and then baked instead of fried.  Drizzled over the salad is pomegranate juice that has been reduced into a thick syrup.  The sweet and tangy drizzle contrasts really well with the other flavors in the salad.  

These chicken nuggets would also be good NOT on a salad, with a dipping sauce of choice.  I know I will make them again like that.  This is now my go-to baked chicken recipe.  I loved that that you could taste a hint of coconut on the chicken.  I'm  planning to try a similar topping on tofu in the future to see if I can make this vegetarian.  

If you get a craving for a crispy chicken salad, or some awesome chicken nuggets, give this a try!   

Coconut Oat Crispy Chicken Salad with Pomegranate Drizzle

Coconut Oat Crispy Chicken Salad with Pomegranate Drizzle 

Serves: 4


  • 1 pound chicken breast, sliced into 2 inch nugget pieces
  • 1/2 cup oats [for gluten free, make sure they are certified gluten free oats]
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 egg whites, whisked
  • cooking spray
Salad (feel free to adapt to your preferences!):
  • 1 pound baby spinach
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 pound mushrooms, brushed clean and sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, julienned
  • 4 small tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • low fat Parmesan/Ranch dressing (I like a refrigerated one from Trader Joe's that is sold in the produce section)
Pomegranate Drizzle:
  • 16 ounces pomegranate juice


1)  Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a baking sheet with foil or a baking mat and fit it with a wiring rack.

2)  Place oats, coconut, and all spices in the bowl of a food processor.  Process into a fine consistency.  Pour into a shallow bowl.

3)  Put egg whites in a second bowl.  Dip each piece of chicken into egg whites, let excess drip off, then roll in coconut/oat mixture until thoroughly covered.  Once coated, place chicken pieces onto wire rack.  Spray chicken with cooking spray.

4)  Bake chicken in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until cooked through.  To make extra crispy at the end (if desired), turn the broiler on low for the last 3 minutes (watch carefully so it won't burn!).  Remove from oven and set aside.

5)  Meanwhile, put pomegranate juice in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes until thick and coats a spoon.  Check frequently after about 15 minutes.   (Don't cook too long or it will start to get black/ too thick/ burned!)

6)  While chicken and pomegrante drizzle is cooking, prepare salad ingredients.  Divide spinach among bowls and top with other vegetables.  Toss with desired amount of ranch dressing (you don't need a lot!).    Once chicken is done, first slice if desired and then divide among salads.  Drizzle some of the reduced pomegranate juice over each salad.    Enjoy!

For leftovers, don't prep salad until night that you will eat it, and store chicken and pomegranate drizzle each separately from other ingredients.

(recipe adapted from Family Fresh Cooking)

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