Thursday, June 10, 2010

Chicken Lo Mein

This is for all you Chinese restaurant fans out there. My family practically licked their plates! The oyster sauce is a key ingredient for flavor; you can find it in the Asian section of most grocery stores. It's what will provide that hard-to-define Chinese restaurant flavor. As with most stir-fried dishes, have EVERYTHING ready when you begin because the actual cooking time is minimal and proceeds quickly (making this a great summer dish!).

Side Dish Serving Suggestions: Chinese Cucumber Salad (make ahead) and/or cantaloupe

Recipe from Joy of Cooking, 1997 edition

  • 3 t. cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 t. salt
  • 3 t. oil (peanut or sesame preferred)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken, sliced thin (easier to do if you freeze the meat for 30 minutes)
  • 2-3 cups chopped quick cooking vegetables: bok choy, cabbage, bell pepper, green onion, mushrooms, garlic (definitely have a clove of garlic in there!), shredded carrots, parboiled broccoli, parboiled carrots, etc.
  • 1/4 c. or so bean sprouts, if desired
  • 1/4-1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2-4 T. oyster sauce
  • 1-2 T. soy sauce
  • 1-3 t. sugar
  • 8 oz. dried spaghetti, vermicelli, angel hair, Chinese egg noodles, fettucine, etc.
  • 1/3 c. plus 3 T. peanut oil
  • pepper
  1. Toss the chicken with the cornstarch, salt, and first quantity of oil. Let sit for 10-20 minutes. (It won't be very saucy, but this step really does help tenderize and flavor the chicken)
  2. Depending on how much chicken and vegetables you use, use the smaller or larger range of sauce ingredients (chicken stock, oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar). Whisk together in a small bowl. Have quick-cooking veggies in a small bowl. Save the bean sprouts for later.
  3. While chicken is sitting, cook the noodles in a big pot of boiling water. Drain and return to pot, leaving the colander in the sink. Toss noodles with a teaspoon of oil to keep them from sticking to each other.
  4. Get ready!
  5. Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat. When hot, pour in the one third cup of peanut oil. Swirl around the wok/skillet until hot but not smoking. Add chicken, quickly stirring and flipping in the oil to separate slices and cook lightly. Drain in the colander. (This will take just a couple of minutes if your slices are nice and thin. Don't worry about them being a touch pink--they'll cook a bit more as they sit and as they are tossed with the rest of the ingredients later.)
  6. Reheat the wok over high heat. When hot, add the 3 tablespoons oil. Swirl around until hot but not smoking. Add the vegetables (except bean sprouts). Stir and toss vigorously until veggies are coated with oil, about 45 seconds.
  7. Pour the sauce mixture down the side of the skillet. Stir and cover, allowing vegetables to steam in the sauce for 1 minute.
  8. Uncover and add the noodles and the chicken. Stir and toss for about 30 seconds.
  9. Add the bean sprouts and stir for about 30 seconds.
  10. Pour into a serving dish. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper if desired.
  11. Serve immediately
Serves four or so....

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