Coconut Chicken with Pickled Pepper Collards


"Coconut connects with my African roots," says Ethiopian-born Marcus Samuelsson about a key ingredient in F&W's Challenge. The Red Rooster chef also had to use pickled peppers and chicken.

Coconut Chicken with Pickled Pepper Collards
African flavors shine through in this delicious fried chicken dish. Photo: © Antonis Achilleos
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 45 mins


coconut chicken

  • 2 cups buttermilk

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 8 thin chicken cutlets (1 3/4 pounds)

  • 3 cups panko (6 ounces)

  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut

  • Salt

  • Freshly ground pepper

  • Canola oil, for frying


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 large garlic cloves, halved

  • 2 pounds young collard greens—stems and inner ribs removed, leaves thinly sliced

  • 1 cup chicken stock

  • Salt

  • Freshly ground pepper

  • 4 pickled jalapeños, seeded and thickly sliced


make the coconut chicken

  1. In a large bowl, combine the buttermilk, coconut milk and garlic. Add the chicken and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 4 hours.

  2. In a shallow bowl, combine the panko and coconut; season with salt and pepper. Drain the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Dip the cutlets into the panko, pressing to help it adhere. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.

make the collards

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat until golden, 2 minutes. Add the collards and cook, stirring, until wilted, 2 minutes. Add the stock and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the liquid is nearly evaporated and the collards are tender, about 8 minutes. Discard the garlic and stir in the sliced jalapeños; keep warm.

  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat ½ inch of canola oil until shimmering. Working in batches, fry the chicken over moderately high heat, turning once, until crispy, 6 minutes. Drain on paper towels and season with salt. Serve with the collards.

Suggested Pairing

Balanced, fruit-forward Spanish white.

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