Thursday, March 12, 2009

Tofu Piccata with Lemon Fusilli -- Barefoot Bloggers


Our first March recipe for Barefoot Bloggers is Ina's Chicken Piccata, chosen by Lindsey of Noodle Nights and Muffin Mornings, thanks Lindsey! This was a fun recipe to try to make meat-free. I figured I'd give it a try and if it didn't work...oh-well, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much this dish was enjoyed. Even though I'm the only vegetarian in the house, I love to try and get my family to enjoy a little tofu every now and then. Here is Ina's recipe with my modifications...

Chicken or Tofu Piccata

2 split (1 whole) boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 14 ounce package extra firm tofu, drained on paper towels and sliced lengthwise into thirds, then each third cut into three stirps, see photos below)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 extra-large egg
1/2 tablespoon water
3/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs (I used fresh bread crumbs from some Italian bread with lots of dried herbs that I made today)
Good olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons), lemon halves reserved
1/2 cup dry white wine
Sliced lemon, for serving
Chopped fresh parsley leaves, for serving (forgot the parsley, sorry!)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Place each chicken breast between 2 sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap and pound out to 1/4-inch thick. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Obviously you do not need to do this with tofu, you could salt and pepper it though, if desired.
Here is my little breading station :)

Mix the flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper in a shallow plate. In a second plate, beat the egg and 1/2 tablespoon of water together. Place the bread crumbs on a third plate. Dip each chicken breast first in the flour, shake off the excess, and then dip in the egg and bread crumb mixtures.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium to medium-low heat. Add the chicken breasts and cook for 2 minutes on each side, until browned.




Place them on the sheet pan and allow them to bake for 5 to 10 minutes while you make the sauce.

For the sauce, wipe out the saute pan with a dry paper towel. Over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and then add the lemon juice, wine, the reserved lemon halves, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Boil over high heat until reduced in half, about 2 minutes. Off the heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and swirl to combine. Discard the lemon halves and serve 1 chicken breast on each plate. Spoon on the sauce and serve with a slice of lemon and a sprinkling of fresh parsley.
Results and changes: Other than swapping chicken for tofu and forgetting the parsley, I didn't really change anything. I did toss the fusilli in a bit of the lemon sauce before topping with the tofu and additional sauce. I absolutely loved the lemon sauce, I am a huge lemon fan and the lemon flavor was wonderful in this. The sauce was not pucker sour, but a deep tangy lemon flavor that went well with the breaded tofu. I was really surprised to enjoy this as much as I did and I will definitely be preparing tofu this way again, I might try to slice it a touch thinner though. I've done breaded and pan fried tofu before but never the three step breading process, and that worked so well. I hope everyone enjoyed this pick as much as I did, thanks for visiting :)


Check back tomorrow for another lemon treat!

16 comments:

Megan said...

This is probably a really dumb question - but are you all vegetarians? I've never seen tofu prepared quite like that before - and I have to say I'm quite impressed!

Andrea said...

Megan, you are too funny, the only dumb question is the one you don't ask :)

Nope, I'm the only vegetarian, have avoided meat my whole life. My husband is pretty much an anti-vegetarian liking only red meat -- it's amazing we ever got together :) and my kids eat a little bit of everything.

spike. said...

I love the tofu substitution! I'll have to try that next time

Cathy said...

Wow Andrea, what a great vegetarian version of this! I have never had tofu, but you've made me want to give it a try. I love the fusilli, too -- that is one fun looking pasta!

BMK said...

Love your vegetarian take on the dish. I bet it was delicious. From the pictures, it really looks like chicken!

Maria said...

I LOVE that you used tofu, since I don't eat meat. I can't wait to try it!

Kate said...

Tofu Piccata! What a fantastic idea. Looks great.

deltawhiskey.us said...

I was wondering about you when I made mine. I know it's going to be my turn sooner than I know it and I want to make sure and pick something that you can make. Glad you enjoyed the tofu picatta though!

~Delta Whiskey (Cat)

PS: Sorry I've been absent... I've been sick and redesigning the site.

pinkstripes said...

I'm going to have to try that lemon sauce. It sounds delicious. Tofu Piccata sounds yummy too.

Debinhawaii said...

I was hoping you were going to do it with tofu. It looks better than the chicken! I am finding I really like breading tofu--love that crispy crust. great job!

Natashya said...

Andrea, you did a great job adapting this for vegetarians! I love lemons too, they are my favourite flavouring.

Lisa said...

Nice blog yopu have! I just bave from BBB. This is agreat idea and it looks wonderful.

whatsonmyplate said...

i love the tofu variation! I would never have thought about that.

Linds said...

Oh wow, what a great adaptation! Thank you for participating this week, your tofu looks delicious!

shortbreadsouth.com said...

I'm not a vegetarian, but I do enjoy some tofu every so often. I'll bet it's really good prepared this way!

Suzie said...

I am so impressed by your creative take on the recipe. So glad that teh vegetarian version worked so well for all of you.

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