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!