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Soupy Chicken with Mushrooms

The texture makes this ideal for serving alongside a crunchy stir-fry. The dish has a depth of flavor that you'd think could come only from good stock and a long simmer, but the dish needs neither—just 30 minutes for the chicken to marinate and the mushrooms to soak, then 5 minutes of cooking and it's done.

slideshow Quick Chicken Recipes

  • Servings: 4

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  • 1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine, dry white wine or dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 egg white
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1/4 -inch dice
  • 6 dried black or shiitake mushrooms
  • 3 cups hot water
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine, dry white wine or dry white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 pound white mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water
  • Freshly ground black or white pepper


  1. In a medium bowl, combine the wine, cornstarch, egg white and salt. Add the chicken and turn to coat thoroughly. Cover and let stand for 30 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, cover the dried mushrooms with 1 cup of the hot water and let soak until softened, about 30 minutes. Discard the mushroom stems and quarter the caps; reserve the soaking liquid.
  3. In another bowl, combine the remaining 2 cups of hot water with the soy sauce, wine, sugar and salt.
  4. Set a large wok over high heat. Add the peanut oil and when it is very hot, add the chicken and stir-fry until it turns opaque, about 30 seconds. Transfer the chicken to a plate with a slotted spoon.
  5. Add the garlic to the wok and stir-fry for 25 seconds, then add the fresh mushrooms and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the dried mushrooms, the green pepper and the chicken and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Pour in the reserved mushroom soaking liquid, stopping when you reach the grit at the bottom. Add the soy sauce mixture and bring to a boil, then add the sesame oil and the cornstarch mixture and simmer until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Transfer to a serving bowl, season with pepper and serve immediately.

Make Ahead

The chicken can be prepared through Step 1 and refrigerated for up to 8 hours. Bring to room temperature before cooking.

Suggested Pairing

The bell peppers and mushrooms are clues that Bordeaux and similar reds will work here.

Contributed By Published May 1998

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