6 dried Chinese mushrooms such as dried shitaki or black mushrooms
2 whole chicken breasts (about 2 lb. or 1 kg), boned, skinned, and sliced as ½-in. wide strips
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 tbsp. canola or peanut oil, divided
2 tsp. peeled, finely minced fresh ginger
1 red bell pepper (“capsicum”), cut into strips
Thin strips of rind from 1-½ lemons
4 green onions, angle-sliced into 1-in. lengths
¼ c. sherry
1 tsp. granulated sugar
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. cornstarch or tapioca starch dissolved in 1 tbsp. cold water
2 tbsp. lemon juice
Have all ingredients prepared and arrayed before starting. Reconstitute mushrooms as per Note. Set aside. Dust chicken with salt and pepper, sprinkling with 1 tbsp. oil. Heat remaining oil in wok or large skillet over high heat. Add chicken strips. Stir-fry 2 min., tossing constantly, until cooked through. Remove from work and set aside. Stir-fry ginger, bell pepper, and mushrooms 1 min. Add lemon rind and green onions, stir-frying 1 min. longer. In a small bowl, combine sherry, sugar, and soy. In a second small bowl, combine starch and water. Add sherry mixture to skillet, tossing to coat. When mixture boils, stir in cornstarch mixture. Return chicken to wok, stir-frying 1 min. sprinkle with lemon juice. Serve at once. Yields four servings.
Note: To rehydrate mushrooms, cover them with boiling water, allowing them to sit 25-to-30 min. Remove stems before slicing. Label and freeze mushroom stems for future use in making soup stock.
Tomorrow: Chinese-Style Sweet and Sour Sauce