T.G.I. Friday's is, you guessed it, another casual dining experience, which offers up a bunch of animal-based menu items, with not a vegan meal in sight. Last time I gussied up Friday's, I covered Potato Skins, fried Mac and Cheese, and Jack Daniel's Sesame Chicken. It went well. Now I decided to make over their Dragonfire Chicken. I'm a sucker for cool-sounding menu names, and this one had me all fired up.
This chicken dish is Friday's low-calorie item, although it still comes in at around 750 calories. I'm not here to fix calorie content, however, so that is not the issue. It's the dead animal on the plate that I'm gearing to replace. Back to the dish. It is marinated in a sweet, parsley-jalapeno sauce, grilled, topped with their spicy kung pao sauce and served with pineapple pico de gallo, mandarin oranges and rice. What? No cheese? Don't all casual dinning restaurants smother everything in cheese? Not this one; which probably accounts for the lower calorie content.
Since the chicken is marinated, I looked to tofu as the replacement. I pressed the tofu (with a Tofu Xpress) for a little amount of time before marinating it in the first of two sauces. The tofu soaked up enough of the marinade to make it matter. I grilled the tofu, spread some of the second sauce over the top and served it up with the pico de gallo.
This sounds like a simple dish, and it is, but it is packed with flavor. From the marinade all the way to the pico de gallo, this dish packs a punch. The marinade is sweet, the sauce is deliciously spicy and the tartness of the pico makes for one harmonious plate. This is a great dish. The rice is an appropriate choice to balance all the loud flavors, and it is even served with some broccoli.
pineapple, tomato, lime, cilantro, onion: $3
oranges, parsley, jalapeno: $.75
oil, sugar, vinegar, tamari, garlic, ginger: $2
Total for 4 servings:
Their cost per serving: $7.99
Make Over cost per serving: $2.95