Kwanzaa is an American celebration that is growing in popularity. Celebrated every year from December 26 through New Year's Day, this seven-day festival sets aside time for African-Americans to commemorate African and African-inspired culture and food, while reinforcing values passed along for generations.
Kwanzaa means "first fruits of the harvest," and appropriately, this week-long festival culminates in a glorious feast on December 31 that draws on a variety of cuisines. At the center of the celebration is the table, set with a bowl of fruits and vegetables, a straw place mat, a communal cup and a seven-branched candlelabra with black, red and green candles. And, while the table includes a wide variety of creatively inspired appetizers, main dishes and desserts, the feast is not complete without recipes made with sweet coconut.
Crispy Coconut Chicken Fingers are a delicious way to start your Kwanzaa meal. Lightly battered in a mixture of sweetened flaked coconut, flour and seasonings, this appetizer is delightful when combined with a sweet Apricot Dipping Sauce. Paired with a batch of warm, southern-style Coconut Biscuits, you're certain to satisfy everyone at the table.
Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
Mix coconut, flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder in medium bowl. Dip chicken strips into egg, then coat with coconut mixture. Place in a shallow baking pan. Drizzle with melted butter.
Bake 25 minutes or until chicken is browned and cooked through, turning once. Serve with Apricot Dipping Sauce, if desired.
Makes about 2 dozen.
Apricot Dipping Sauce: Mix 1 cup apricot preserves and 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard until well blended.
Heat oven to 450 degrees F.
Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in milk and coconut until soft dough forms. Drop dough by scant 1/4 cupfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden. Serve warm.
Provided by Kraft Foods, Inc.
This page originally published as a FoodDay article in 1997.
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This page modified January 2007
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