coconut chicken

Coconut Chicken

1 hour


15 minutes

4 servings

Coconut chicken is a simple but flavorful dish. Coconut chicken is crispy and sweet, with a slight kick from the orange marmalade dipping sauce. This delicious recipe works great as an appetizer or a main dish. The chicken could easily be substituted with shrimp, following the same recipe. While perfecting this recipe, we found that dry coconut works best for our needs especially when serving coconut chicken to hundreds of guests.  The dry shelf stable coconut does not clump together in the batter as much as frozen sweetened coconut.  


Coconut Chicken or Shrimp

  • 1 cup flat beer
  • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 2 cups sweetened coconut flakes ( 1, 7 ounce package) Divided (1/2 cup, 1.5 cups)
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 chicken breasts (cut into small cubes or cutlets) or For Shrimp: 12 Jumbo Shrimp
  • Dash of Paprika

Marmalade Dipping Sauce

  • 2/3 cup orange marmalade
  • 1/4 cup horseradish (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice, fresh
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  1. For the batter, use an electric mixer to combine the beer, flour, 1/2 cup coconut flakes, sugar, and salt into a medium-sized bowl. Mix well, then cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  2. For the marmalade, combine all 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour as well.
  3. For Shrimp: Prepare the shrimp by deveining and peeling off  the shell back to the tail. Leave the last segment of the shell plus the tail-fin as a handle.
  4. When batter is ready, preheat oil in a deep pot or fryer to about 350 degrees  F. Use enough oil to cover the chicken or shrimp. Pour the remaining coconut into shallow bowl. 
  5. Make sure the chicken or shrimp are dry before battering. Sprinkle each chicken or shrimp lightly with paprika before step 5.
  6. Dip 1 chicken or shrimp into the batter, coating generously. Drop the battered chicken or shrimp into the coconut and roll it around until it is all coated.
  7. Fry about 4-6 pieces of chicken or shrimp at a time for chicken about 4 minutes on each side or until cooked through and for 2 to 3 minutes for shrimp or golden brown. Place on a plate lined with paper towels to help drain excess oil from chicken or shrimp. Served with marmalade sauce on the side.

Article Provided By: Allison Thomas