Chicken Chow Mein
We were determined to rescue this Chinese American restaurant classic from its depressing gloppy, bland state.
Why This Recipe Works
Most American recipes for this traditional Cantonese dish are gloppy and uninspired—and topped with canned fried noodles. We wanted a fresher take, with an easy stir-fry method, that would come together quickly. First we brine the chicken briefly in a combination of baking soda and cold water, which helps keep the chicken tender while it cooks. Then we marinate the chicken in rice wine and cornstarch to keep the chicken moist. We cut the vegetables into similar sizes and shapes so they cook evenly. Then we add blanched Chinese egg noodles to the skillet and stir-fry everything together. The chow mein is finished with a sauce of rice wine, chicken broth, oyster sauce, and a bit of cornstarch, which allows the sauce to cling to the noodles without any floppiness.