When I lived in the Bronx, there was a great but strange Chinese take-out place. Great because they made some really delicious food; strange because the food they made so delicious was Italian while their Chinese food…well…not so much. And I lived in a very Italian neighborhood so there were a lot of authentic places to choose from but I liked ordering from this restaurant.
Now that I think back, one of my favorite Mexican chain restaurants in the neighborhood was owned and run by Chinese cooks and so was this other place that made delicious Chinese food but also made incredible Spanish food. I could order General Tso’s with a side of plantains, Sesame Noodles with Spanish Rice. I guess this just shows some of the great diversity that exists in my beloved Bronx home.
Anyway, one of my favorite dishes that I would order from the Chinese restaurant with the Italian name (sadly, they are no longer there) was Chicken Francaise. And that’s another strange thing because I used to really hate lemon. I couldn’t stand lemon in anything: water, soda, tea, food, etc. The only way I liked lemon flavor was in lollipops. But I loved this dish which is basically fried chicken cutlets dipped in an egg batter and cooked in a white wine lemon sauce.
Today I like lemon which is why I have a rule that I’m not allowed to say I “hate” any food unless I’ve tried it many times in many different forms. I love the taste of lemon in salad, in my Tofu Piccata and still, in lollipops.
So I decided to recreate another of my old favorite dishes in a healthier, more compassionate way. The tofu (not chicken) is battered without eggs but it looks and almost tastes like it is. The sauce is a bright combination of lemon and white wine. It tastes delicious served over linguine or rice. (If you choose to make it without pasta or rice, cut the amount of white wine and broth in half to make less sauce).
My Tofu Francaise with Linguine makes a perfect dish to serve at a family gathering or any special dinner. And if like me, you miss the Bronx, you can eat it with chopsticks.