There is a chicken recipe out there that supposedly makes you want to say “I Do.” Have you heard of it? Engagement Chicken is a dish that was first published in Glamour magazine in 2003. The legend of this chicken is that if you prepare it for your boyfriend, he will propose to you very soon. Since the recipe was published, dozens of success stories have poured in from all over the country. Apparently it really works. Glamour has republished the recipe a few times, and it has been mentioned on several talk shows and cooking shows. Google it; you’ll find tons of stories and copies of the recipe.
I don’t remember when I first heard of Engagement Chicken, but I can tell you it was years ago, before I had any marriage prospects at all. But now that I do, I’ve been thinking about Engagement Chicken quite a bit. Kyle and I have been dating for five and a half years, and I think it’s about time he buys the cow, if you know what I mean. We have been vegetarians for four years and do not intend to quit anytime soon, so Engagement Chicken isn’t an option for us. So what do vegetarians cook when they want to inspire lifelong devotion in their men?
The original Glamour magazine recipe is for a whole roasted chicken, infused with lemon and herbs. I think the idea is that the flavor and the presentation of the dish are so impressive that they show off your domestic skills, therefore making you appear to be excellent marriage material in the eyes of your partner. Personally I can think of a lot more useful and attractive qualities in a potential mate than ability to roast a whole chicken to perfection. I don’t believe that a young lady should have to prove herself in the kitchen in order to win the favor of a young man. . . but it’s kind of fun to give it a shot! Now certainly we can accomplish this goal without meat, right?
For my vegetarian version of engagement chicken, I created this lemon herb tofu recipe, and I made the dish for Kyle. We had it with sauteed green beans with pearl onions and red quinoa pilaf. He raved about it. He could not stop talking about it for days. He said “I’m so lucky” at least ten times during dinner.
A few months later, I made it again. Sometimes these things take time, right? This time I served it with lemon asparagus and rosemary mashed potatoes. And again, it was a big hit. One of Kyle’s all-time favorites. He told me he was impressed. Again, “I’m so lucky!” I smiled. Besides being completely satisfied by the delicious dish before me, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of accomplishment that my plan might be working.
And then I made Engagement Tofu a third time. Supporting actors: lemon asparagus, roasted and bundled with a roasted red pepper bow, and olive Parmesan risotto that was simply divine. This was my best version yet, and the whole plate worked very well together. Again he loved it. Patience is a virtue, friends. Dig it.
And you know what? It worked like a charm.
I am happy to announce that Kyle and I are engaged!
Could it work for you too?
- 1- 14 oz. package of firm tofu, drained
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- Wrap block of tofu in towels and place on cutting board or in large colander. Press the tofu by placing a second cutting board or a very flat plate on top of the block, and then place two cans or a bottle of wine on top. Let stand for 15 minutes, then squeeze water out of the tofu and through the towels.
- While the tofu is being pressed, make the marinade. Combine soy sauce, lemon juice, olive oil, dijon mustard, sugar, basil and thyme in a small bowl and stir to mix.
- Unwrap tofu and pat dry. Slice the pressed tofu into eight 1/2-inch thick slices.
- Place the tofu slices in a baking dish and pour the marinade over top. Let the tofu marinate for one hour, turning the slices over halfway through.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Remove tofu from marinade and place on a baking sheet lightly sprayed with olive oil. Sprinkle the tofu with salt and pepper to taste and then spoon the remaining marinade over each piece.
- Bake in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, then turn each piece over and bake for another 10-15 minutes, until the tofu is lightly browned.
love you kyle