With so many different dietary preferences, it can be a bit of a challenge to meet the protein requirements at the dinner table. That’s why we adopted a mixed grill for the main dish in our holiday menu. We embraced organic firm tofu for the vegans, organic chicken rather than a full-sized turkey, and pasture-raised pork tenderloin rather than ham to create three mains starring one delicious marinade.
Pressing tofu removes any excess liquid, regardless of how firm it is, to enhance its spongelike ability to soak up flavour. For a how-to on pressing your tofu, check out alive.com and search “Cooking with Tofu,” where you’ll find plenty of other useful tofu tips as well.
Tip: Another option for a delicious main is coho or sockeye salmon. Brush generously with our maple syrup marinade and bake at 400 F (200 C), skin-side down, in a large roasting pan for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on thickness, until flesh is almost opaque when tested with sharp paring knife.
In small saucepan, combine marinade ingredients. Whisk together and heat over medium heat for 10 minutes for flavours to fully blend. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Place oven racks in bottom and top third of oven. Generously grease 2 small baking sheets or pans. Set aside.
Using sharp butcher knife on cutting board, cut each chicken breast crosswise through the bone into halves. Place 4 pieces on oiled baking sheet and brush generously with marinade. Place sheet on bottom rack of preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. Brush with more marinade and continue to bake for 15 more minutes, or until instant-read thermometer reads 165 F (75 C) when inserted into thickest portion of the breast.
Meanwhile, on separate cutting board, cut drained tofu into 1 in (2.5 cm) cubes. Place in bowl and sprinkle with cornstarch, tossing gently to lightly coat. Place on second oiled baking sheet, leaving space between cubes. Brush with marinade. Place sheet on top rack of oven and bake for 15 minutes. Using tongs, turn cubes for even browning and crisping. Continue baking for 10 more minutes, or until cubes are crisp.
While chicken and tofu are baking, turn tapered end of trimmed tenderloin underneath and tie with kitchen twine to make it an even thickness. Pat dry. In large ovenproof skillet, heat butter and oil over medium-high heat. Brown tenderloin all over in hot skillet, turning often with tongs. It should take about 5 minutes. Brush tenderloin generously with marinade and place skillet in oven alongside chicken. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until instant-read thermometer registers 145 F (65 C). Remove tenderloin from pan to a clean cutting board to rest for a couple of minutes.
Turn oven on to broil. Place chicken under broiler for only a minute to crisp up skin, watching carefully to avoid burning.
To serve, place chicken on warmed serving platter. Thinly slice tenderloin crosswise and place alongside grilled chicken. Garnish.
Place grilled tofu on a separate smaller platter and garnish.
This recipe is part of the Super Festive Feast collection.
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