Maple UnChicken ‘n’ NonRibs

by Chelsea Hughes

As you know, my esteemed Ruminator colleague, Kim, recently reviewed Nigella Lawson’s Maple Chicken ‘n’ Ribs recipe. She gave the dish flavourable reviews (see what I did there?), so I thought I’d give it a shot.

The only problem: I don’t eat meat. The marinade sounded pretty delicious (maple syrup and apple juice? Sign me up!), so with the encouragement of a desperate editor, I gave it a go using firm tofu instead of dead animals.

I’m gonna be straight-up with you right now. I didn’t actually make this dish. My husband did. He’s the official chef de la maison. I’m a woman of the 2010s after all: liberated from domesticated oppression incredibly lazy.

He followed the recipe to a tee (except for the meat bit). He marinaded the shit out of the tofu. We were already on the back foot with this recipe so figured the marinading step was essential to a successful dish.

Marinading tofu

Marinading tofu

He cubed the tofu and marinaded it for 18 hours in the mixture of apple juice, maple syrup, soy sauce, vegetable oil, cinnamon sticks, and unpeeled garlic cloves. We spent a number of minutes researching whether unpeeled garlic really meant unpeeled garlic (it does).

He then dumped the contents of the marinading dish into an unlined roasting tin (because I get intense pleasure from scrubbing a roasting tin for more than 2 hours) and baked for just over an hour. The tofu browned nicely, and the marinade formed a permanent chemical bond with the roasting tin. We decided to serve the tofu with rice. Next time I might just eat the tofu cubes on their own as they weren’t really saucy enough to eat with rice. This is my only obligatory sexual reference in this entire post.

Maple Unchicken 'n' Nonribs. The sophistication of this photograph is greatly compromised by the appearance of baby wipes in the background.

Maple Unchicken ‘n’ Nonribs. The sophistication of this photograph is greatly compromised by the appearance of baby wipes in the background.

I don’t know what Nigella would think about my bastardisation of her glorious Maple Chicken ‘n’ Ribs. She’d probably be as disappointed in me as I am in her bastardisation of the word ‘and’ in the title of her dish.

Overall verdict: Tasty

Was the non-meat version better than the meat version? How the hell would I know?

 

 

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2 comments

Kim
Kim September 25, 2013 - 9:16 am

Great review Chelsea! Is probably not enough to turn me into a boycotter of meat but you can’t win them all. Also kudos to your husband for giving the big finger to gender stereotypes.

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Chelsea
Chelsea September 25, 2013 - 10:33 am

Thanks Kim. Your review inspired my review, so big ups to you!

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