Macadamia-Crusted Chicken with Mango Salsa
A unique blend of breading and macadamia nuts coats this chicken to crunchy perfection! This meal is so yummy, and much better than takeout.
Oh heavens, this meal was so yummy I wish I still had leftovers, but darn it all, my kids and husband liked it just as much as I did.
Again, this recipe is from The Complete Cookbook, via my friend Nicole.
The breading on this chicken is the crunchiest, crispiest, most delicious crust I have ever tasted.
I know I say this all the time in my posts, and maybe the truth is that my husband would rave about anything I made because he loves me and is afraid to hurt my tender cooking feelings, but really, this dinner, he kept repeating, “I can’t believe how crunchy this is. It is the best chicken I’ve ever eaten!”
Really, it is so good. And paired with the mango salsa? It is to die for. I’ve made several recipes for mango salsa in the past, but for a quick, throw-together recipe, this one wins.
Trade Secrets: I actually didn’t realize this was a deep-fried recipe until I was almost done breading the chicken. Ooops. But since we love deep-fried food (don’t judge me) and I always have canola oil on hand, I went with the deep-fry technique. It definitely “crisped” the breading perfectly.
However, based on how the chicken looked before frying, I really think this would turn out fabulously oven-baked, probably right around 375 degrees. I think I’ll try that next time for a healthier version (but please don’t misunderstand because I really want to emphasize that it was delicious fried).
Also, the original recipe didn’t call for any seasoning of the chicken strips after their dip in the oil.
If there is anything I’ve learned from frying food, it is that it always tastes better if it is seasoned piping hot, right after it exits the fryer.
I sprinkled the chicken strips with a little salt as they were draining on the paper towels, and I am so glad I did because it definitely enhanced the flavor.
What To Serve With This:
Tri Color Pasta Salad or Confetti Rice and Bean Salad
Cheesy Cauliflower Bake or steamed vegetable
Mango Slices or other fresh, cut up fruit
Macadamia-Crusted Chicken with Mango Salsa
For the chicken:
- 12 chicken tenderloins, larger ones cut in half (chicken breasts cut into thin slices would work great, too)
- 1 cup flour, seasoned generously with salt and pepper
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 8 ounce macadamia nuts, finely chopped
- 2 cups breadcrumbs
- Oil, for deep-frying
- Salt for seasoning
For the Mango Salsa:
- 1 medium mango, finely diced
- 3 tablespoons finely diced red onion
- 2 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro
- 1 fresh jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
- Juice from 1 lime
- Cut the chicken into strips, Dust the chicken strips with the flour, then dip them in the egg and, finally, coat them generously in the combined nuts and breadcrumbs. Chill for at least 30 minutes to firm up.
- To make the salsa, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Set aside.
- Fill a large, heavy-based saucepan (I used my electric frypan) one-third full of oil and heat to 350 degrees, or until a cube of bread dropped in the oil browns in 15 seconds.
- Cook the chicken strips in batches for 4-5 minutes, or until golden brown all over, taking care not to burn the nuts. Drain on crumpled paper towels (brilliant!). Serve the chicken strips warm with the salsa.
Recipe Source: adapted from The Complete Cookbook
16 Comments on “Macadamia-Crusted Chicken with Mango Salsa”
Chrissie – did you find a solution? I hope dipping it in the flour/nut mixture worked out ok – that’s probably what I would have done if there weren’t any other nuts to use.
Oh no!! Without even thinking I mixed my chopped macadamia nuts in with my flour instead of breadcrumbs. =[ I don’t have anymore nuts. What do you think I should do? Do you think it will still come out ok with dipping the chicken into a Flour/nut mixture, egg & then the breadcrumbs? Dang it!
OH wow. The chicken came out so tender and juicy, and I just love the taste of macadamia nuts. It really was a wonderful meal. The mango salad was a little sour for my taste but a well thought out side to mix it with. Thank you for this recipe. I loved it.
I am making this tonight and I’m super excited. The chicken looks like it might need a “sauce” to dip in. Is the salt and macadamia flavoring enough? Is it dry? Does the mango salsa give it enough moisture? I hate dry chicken (if you can’t tell)!
Thanks so much!
Stacie – sorry I didn’t get to your comment yesterday when you were making this. What did you think? I think the chicken is plenty moist (thanks to the hot oil bath) with the mango salsa but I’ll be curious to know what you thought.
So I made a few changes. I added some garlic powder and Lawry’s season salt to the bread crumb/nut mixture. The chicken was very moist and delicious!
Also, I added more mango than suggested, some pineapple (I chopped it and mushed it a bit to release the juices), and some agave nectar to make the salsa more syrupy. It was so delicious! I loved the flavor of the pineapple in it.
We will definitely be making this again! Thanks so much for the delicious recipe!
Stacie – look at you! I love the improvisations, especially on the mango salsa. I will be definitely using those changes next time. I’m really glad you liked the recipe.
I FINALLY got around to making this meal, and barely had enough macadamia nuts thanks to the hungry kids helping me cook. I tried the salsa by itself and thought it might be a little too spicy, but when it was paired up with the chicken it was divine! Loved it! The chicken was tender and had excellent flavor. Thanks!
I will never hate you for deep-frying something!! My husband actually got me a deep fryer for Christmas, and this sounds like a wonderful meal!!
I just put this on the menu, thank you! I still have 6-10 days left in the month to plan so keep up the yummy help. Thanks Mel. – Jenna
oh heavens!! this dish really look soooo yummy!! i have been dreaming of something like this, thanks for immortalizing it 🙂 what a genius idea macadamia crusting with mango salsa..i’ll surely bookmark this hmmm im still drooooling
Yum! Let me know if baking it works. I am not good at deep frying – I don’t have a fryer and the last time I tried to fry something it was a mess!
I made this last week! I must confess this is the first time I’ve fried anything….the most important thing is that Ugo LOVED it! (whew!)Between you and me I forgot to re-read your tip about the salt at the end and I think it would have helped; I salted late. I think I also over fried. next time I’ll cook a bit shorter. The salsa was great and made it all complete. Thanks Mel!
Nicole – I’m glad you liked this, especially since I stole the recipe from your cookbook. 🙂
Yum! This recipe looks great. I love Macadamia nuts, and my husband loves Mango, so this recipe will be perfect for us. I can’t wait to try it!
Wow–this looks amazing! I am going to make it this week! Magelbeys Restraunt in Provo has this macadamia encrusted halibut that is amazing, but my hubby won’t eat fish–so I think I will make this for him. I know I will love it! Melanie C.