Chicken with Button Mushrooms

Chicken with Button Mushrooms

Today’s dish is a pretty good example of what often used to appear on westernized Chinese restaurant menus as ‘Moo Goo Gai Pan’. That name, or some variant on the spelling, is a rendering of the Cantonese words for ‘Button Mushrooms with Chicken Slices’. Generally, the mushrooms in most restaurants would be the canned variety and the basic ingredients would almost always be ‘bulked out’ with one or more additional vegetables. Today, I am also going to use canned mushrooms but I am limiting the ‘bulk’ to just a little broccoli…

The Basic Method for making Chicken with Button Mushrooms

Marinating Chicken Slices
Marinating Chicken Slices

Mix the chicken slices in a bowl with the soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of the cornstarch then stir in 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil to help the pieces easily separate during frying. Set aside for at least 20 minutes.

This process is a version of the Chinese technique known as ‘velveting’, although no egg white is used here as is usually called for. Lightly frying velveted meats at medium low temperature before a secondary cooking during stir-frying keeps the meat wonderfully tender restaurant style.

The Sauce Mixture for Chicken with Button Mushrooms
The Sauce Mixture for Chicken with Button Mushrooms

Mix the remaining cornstarch into a slurry with a little water and then add this to the chicken stock along with the Oyster sauce. Set this aside to use as the sauce mixture later. If you like, you could replace a little of the chicken stock with Rice Wine.

Blanched Broccoli Florets
Blanched Broccoli Florets

Quickly blanch the Broccoli florets in salted boiling water then plunge into cold water to arrest cooking. When the florets are cool, drain and trim them so that they are roughly the same size as the chicken slices.

Preliminary Deep-Frying of Chicken Slices
Preliminary Deep-Frying of Chicken Slices

Heat 1 or 2 cups of oil in a wok over moderate heat and then deep-fry the chicken slices until they are just cooked and no pink remains. Remove them to a bowl for the moment and then drain the wok of all but a tablespoon or two of oil.

Frying Canned Button Mushrooms
Frying Canned Button Mushrooms

Turn up the heat under the wok and, when the oil is shimmering hot, sauté the mushrooms until the surfaces visibly darken in places.

Finishing Chicken with Button Mushrooms
Finishing Chicken with Button Mushrooms

Return the chicken to the wok and add the broccoli. Sauté quickly until the broccoli is heated through and then stir in the sauce mix. Allow the sauce to thicken and clear and then serve immediately.

Your Recipe Card:

Chicken with Button Mushrooms

Chicken with Button Mushrooms was once common in westernized Chinese Restaurants as Moo-Goo-Gai-Pan. It is easy to make and really tasty.
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Broccoli, Button Mushrooms, Chicken
Author: John Thompson

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. Boneless skinless Chicken Breast cut into slices 1/3 inches thick;
  • 1 can Button Mushrooms whole, not pieces;
  • 1 ½ cups Broccoli florets;
  • Vegetable Oil;
  • 2 tbsp. Cornstarch;
  • ½ cup Chicken Stock;
  • 1 ½ tbsp. Oyster Sauce.

Instructions

  • Mix the chicken slices in a bowl with the soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of the cornstarch, and 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil. Set aside for at least 20 minutes.
  • Mix the remaining cornstarch into a slurry with a little water and then add this to the chicken stock along with the Oyster sauce. Set this aside to use as the sauce mixture later.
  • Blanch the Broccoli florets in salted boiling water and plunge them into cold water to arrest. When the florets are cool, drain and trim them so that they are roughly the same size as the chicken slices.
  • Heat 1 or 2 cups of oil in a wok over moderate heat and then deep-fry the chicken slices until they are just cooked and no pink remains. Remove them to a bowl for the moment and then drain the wok of all but a tablespoon or two of oil.
  • Turn up the heat under the wok and, when the oil is shimmering hot, sauté the mushrooms until the surfaces visibly darken in places.
  • Return the chicken to the wok and add the broccoli. Sauté quickly until the broccoli is heated through and then stir in the sauce mix. Allow the sauce to thicken and clear and then serve immediately.

Comments, questions or suggestions most welcome!