Every once in a while, I get to longing for something different. This way of fixing chicken is this month’s wish for variety, and is the sort of thing I like to eat in winter when a little added fat tastes better than it does in summer.

I never do deep fat frying because even though there is nothing like a fresh doughnut, clam fritter or a leg of fried chicken, I hate the haze of fried food smoke. Maybe if I didn’t wear glasses it wouldn’t bother me so much but my specs and the windows get all fogged up when I fry. Even kitchens with fans can get a bit smoky.

The good thing about this recipe is that we can enjoy a crunchy coconutty serving of chicken with the ease of baking it in an oven. It is not as crisp as fried chicken. I tried both plain old dry bread crumbs and those famous Panko Japanese style bread crumbs because I’ve heard them recommended highly. To be truthful, I couldn’t discern any difference between them.

We ate our coconut chicken with some oven roasted butternut squash and steamed green beans, both from our garden last summer, plus good old brown rice.

Coconut Chicken

Makes 5-6 servings.

½ cup dry bread crumbs with salt and pepper mixed in

¾ cup shredded, unsweetened coconut

3 pounds of chicken pieces, legs, thighs, wings and breast pieces, skinned or not

2 eggs beaten

½ stick butter

Preheat the oven to 375. Toss the crumbs and coconut together in a shallow bowl. Melt butter in a metal baking pan at least 9 by 13. Dunk the chicken pieces into the beaten egg and then push all sides of each piece into the crumb and coconut mix. Place it skin side down in the baking pan. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes for breast meat, 30 for thighs, then turn the pieces over and bake for another 20 to 30 minutes until they are golden brown.