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Baked Caribbean Jerk Chicken Bites

These ultra crispy chicken bites are lightened up by baking instead of frying in oil, then tossed in a mouthwatering copycat Caribbean Jerk sauce!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Author: The Chunky Chef

Ingredients

CARIBBEAN JERK SAUCE:

  • 2 Tbsp minced sweet onion
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp hot sauce your favorite brand
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 1/2 tsp parsley
  • 1 tsp cornstarch + 1 tsp water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp sage
  • 1/8 tsp thyme

CHICKEN:

  • 1-2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts diced into small bite-sized pieces, or thighs
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • Several dashes of hot sauce optional
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Caribbean Jerk sauce from above
  • 1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 3/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • Cooking spray

Instructions

CARIBBEAN JERK SAUCE:

  • Combine all ingredients in blender and puree until smooth.
  • Pour into saucepan and simmer over LOW heat for 20 minutes, or until thickened slightly.

CHICKEN:

  • Place diced chicken into zip-top plastic bag. Add buttermilk, salt, pepper, and hot sauce (if using). Seal bag and massage to coat all the chicken in buttermilk mixture. Set aside while you prepare other ingredients.
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper sprayed lightly with cooking spray.
  • Gather 3 bowls; spoon flour and salt and pepper in one bowl (toss to combine), eggs and 1 1/2 tbsp jerk sauce in one bowl (beat together lightly), and panko breadcrumbs, dried parsley, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper in the last bowl (toss to combine). Line up bowls so that the order goes flour, eggs, panko, then have prepared baking sheet at the end.
  • Using one hand for wet ingredients and another hand for dry ingredients, transfer chicken from buttermilk mixture (a couple pieces at a time), shaking excess buttermilk from chicken, to the flour bowl. Coat chicken in flour, then transfer to the egg bowl. Turn chicken in egg mixture, then transfer chicken to the panko bowl. Toss chicken in panko mixture until well coated, then transfer to prepared baking sheet.
  • Repeat with remaining chicken pieces, leaving about 1/2 inch between chicken pieces on the baking sheet to allow for even cooking.
  • Bake chicken for 15 minutes, or until cooked through, turning over halfway through. If desired, broil chicken for a minute to get them even crispier.
  • Serve chicken with Caribbean Jerk sauce on the side for dipping, or add chicken to a large bowl, top with sauce and toss to coat chicken in the sauce.

Notes

1. Sauce recipe from Blendtec