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Sweet and Spicy Chicken Tenders with Poppy Seed Honey Mustard Sauce

I rarely make fried foods because it causes such a mess in the kitchen.  Also, of course, it’s not great for you – but all in moderation, right?  Anyway, I took one look at the Coconut Crunch Chicken Fingers from The Cozy Apron and I knew I had to have them!  Chicken tenders coated with a dusting of flour and a hint of cayenne, then dipped into sweetened coconut flakes.

I also have weakness for the chicken fingers at Wild Wing Cafe (found mostly in the Southeast but if you ever come across one – you gotta try it! Amazing food!).  Their chicken fingers are served with a honey mustard sauce that is to die for.  It has poppy seeds in it and is so different from any other honey mustard.

I found a recipe for the sauce on yummmpop and it is pretty much exact.  You have no idea how excited I am to find this!  Poppy seed dressing and honey mustard – and that’s it!  So simple, but perfect.

My daughter, always the helper, trying to show off the chicken fingers dipped in sauce.  Yummy, right??

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Tenders

6-8 cups vegetable oil

2 large chicken breast cutlets

salt, pepper

pinch of cayenne pepper (or more depending on your taste)

1/2 cup flour

2 eggs

2 cups shredded sweetened coconut

Poppy Seed Honey Mustard Sauce* 1/4 cup honey mustard (I used French’s) 3/4 cup poppy seed dressing (I used Publix Premium Poppy Seed Dressing)

Fill a medium size pot with the vegetable oil and set between medium and medium high.  Slice the chicken breasts into 4 or 5 slices, then cut those in half again.  Place in a bowl and toss with salt, pepper and a pinch of cayenne.

Set up your coating station with 3 bowls:  flour, a little salt, pepper and another pinch of cayenne in one bowl.  Beat the eggs in another bowl, and the coconut in the 3rd bowl.  Coat the chicken strips by dipping into the flour first, eggs second and last in the coconut.  Press the strips into the coconut to ensure they are well coated.  Set the strips aside until you are finished with all of them.

Working in batches of about 4-5, drop the strips in the hot oil and fry for about 2 minutes, flipping them occasionally until they are a deep, golden color.  Remove from oil and place on a paper towel lined plate to drain.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper while still hot.  Repeat with the remaining strips.  Serve warm with the poppy seed honey mustard sauce.  *If you need to make more or less sauce, just remember it’s a 1-3 ratio.   (Source:  Adapted from The Cozy Apron and yummmpop)

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