Hazelnut Crusted Chicken with Stealth Coconut

The Primal chef responsible for this delicious recipe is the winner of the Primal Iron Chef Contest. With over 120 amazing coconut recipe submissions the competition was fierce. Honestly, just about any one of the recipes entered could have won. Needless to say, determining a winner was tough. My crew and I read every post, salivated over every photo and actually prepared a few of the shortlisted recipes. In the end the winner had to have a great coconut-inspired recipe, an engaging article and nice photos to boot. This one fit the bill on all accounts. Congrats to MDA reader Greg for winning this contest, and a HUGE thanks goes out to each and every person that contributed a recipe. Thanks again and Grok on!

Outside of being stranded on Gilligan’s Island, most Americans won’t ever come close to cooking with coconut, other than perhaps macaroons or cupcake frosting (<-how SAD). Well, we of the Grok tribe know that simply won’t do.

Coconut can be fresh and vibrant, producing amazingly versatile flavors and forms; a few of which, we?ll explore today. This dish, like so many Primal entrées, can get the knee-jerk “Huh? Eeeewww!” tandem response from our SAD brethren (Standard American Diet, for the uninitiated), even though once it hits their pie hole, they?ll really like it. So, it’s much better to just fly under the radar and go stealth on ’em, which we can do with ease.

And let’s face it, it’s kind of fun to sneak one past the SAD crowd now and again – the look on their faces when they learn what kind of yummy Brazilian style, bacon-wrapped chicken they’re munching on is priceless. I like to get all fancy and tell them it?s called “coração” in Portuguese and then look for that flicker of recognition- wait for it – “Why yes, it is just like the Spanish corazón – it means heart in Portuguese too!” Ahhh, that look, priceless, but I digress.

Today’s mission is twofold – devise a cunning coconut delivery mechanism that is both mmm-mmm good and mmm-mmm good for you, all the while, sneaking past the SAD defenses undetected. And for extra credit, take one of your wife’s recipes, tweak it to your liking (which is code for beat the SAD out of it + add your own mojo) and voila! Call it yours, while simultaneously denouncing any recollection of ever even tasting the SAD version of your creation (for the best defense, go for confused or appalled, but not both, unless you have previous community theater experience).

Let us begin.

Step 1

As some of you smart cookies may have already deduced, this dish will include coconut, hazelnuts and chicken. You can either forage for the hazelnuts, or go lazy daisy like me and forage off the store shelf. Either way, after securing your hazelnuts (~8oz), place them on a baking sheet at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-12 mins. Set timer, go outside and run some sprints.

Step 2

Remove the skins from the hazelnuts and set aside. For best results, think back to Jr. High and purple nurples (twist and squeeze).

Next, make multiple, smaller, asymmetrical versions of each hazelnut until a maximum particle diameter of 6,350,000 nanometers is reached using the stones below (or simply chop the nuts in the processor).

Step 3 – Skinny Minny the Chicken

It?s time to pound the chicken (no smirking kids). Choose your weapons, just end up with slabs of meat ¼-½? thick.

Step 4 – Crusty Crusty (Hold the Clown)

Combine ½ cup almond flour, ¼ cup coconut flour, 1 tsp each, salt and pepper. For the casual Grokster, feel free to substitute potato starch for the flours.

Prepare your egg bath (3-4 whisked eggs) in a shallow, wide dish.

In another dish, mix your 6,350,000 nanometer hazelnut particles with ¼ cup of almond flour and ¼ cup of coconut flour, plus ¼ cup of pulverized shredded coconut (these are regular coconut flakes that are given a ?beat down?, ground/chopped/pounded, just to make them harder to detect).

Dust your flattened chicken breast with the mix on the left, dunk in the egg wash and finally, sprinkle lovingly with the last mixture. As long as the wife isn?t home, I like to use the patented ?LeBron pregame rosin ritual?, otherwise, just press the mix into the chicken breast.

Step 5 ? Fire in the Hole!

Take ¾ cup clarified butter to medium heat, add chicken breasts. You want to brown the nuts and cook the flour a bit without drying out the chicken, about four minutes a side.

Step 6 – Artisan Mojo – Do Not Continue Reading if You Can?t Keep it a Secret!

Drum roll please …. And now, without further adieu, the big kahuna, the coup de grace, the world?s most amazing crusty chicken accompaniment – Artisan Mojo! If you’re an anti-dairy Grok, that’s fine, we all have one of those in the family, but be a good lad/lass and run off to the corner to drool, while the rest of us enjoy ourselves.

Whatchya Need:

  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup white wine
  • ¼ cup diced shallots (I like to double this)
  • ½ cup crème fraiche
  • 1 Tbl each: Dijon mustard, Italian parsley, thyme
  • S&P

Whatchya Do: Heat the stock, wine & shallots, reduce in half, then add the crème fraiche and mustard, simmer some to thicken up a bit and finally, toss in the herbs and salt and pepper to taste.

This is so freakin’ good, 4 out of 5 of you will eat it cold out of the fridge in the morning. As for you, the other one, who just has to pop it in the microwave first, we know who you are, there?s no hiding.

If you want to go all coo-koo for coconut, add ¼ cup coconut milk with the crème fraiche. This is quite tasty, but harder to hide our beloved friend, senior coconut. Go for it, if you want to brazenly deceive your non-primal dinner patrons. If questioned, revisit the “confused/appalled” performance techniques described above and practice shaking your head side to side in disbelief (adding a little synchronized, rolling of the eyes is always a nice touch).

And there you have it- a Primal dinner entree that rocks the house and is so amazingly tasty that they’ll never know it’s good for them, much less plastered with coconut from all sides. This also makes great chicken nuggets for your little Groklets.

In addition to living the Primal lifestyle (and tirelessly barraging the Misses with an onslaught of Primal lifestyle conversion attempts), Greg Reeves owns Artisan Photography, which is a boutique photography studio in the Phoenix area, specializing in artistic family portraits and weddings.

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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