Tasting the Conspiracy, item L5: Chicken with Mixed Vegetable [sic]

If it’s not clear what this is or why I’m doing it, check out the intro post.

This is the last piece of backlog material. From here on in, these are going to be a lot slower, popping up only when I find myself at Double Dragon and in need of lunch.

Chicken with Mixed Vegetable

At least one example of every sort of mixed vegetable is in this photo: broccoli on the bottom, with a mushroom peeking out from between and a baby-corn hanging out on the left, encroaching into rice’s territory. A carrot and piece of cabbage are on the upper left, and I think that’s a water chestnut in the middle.

What exactly is this dish? Thin slices of breast-meat chicken in a fairly ordinary brown sauce with a number of vegetables which might vary depending on what’s in stock; this particular incarnation has cabbage, broccoli, carrot, mushroom, baby corn, and water chestnut. There might be onion in there too, but if so it’s minced pretty fine.

How authentically Chinese is it? Much like beef with broccoli, this is a straightforward enough presentation I find it hard to imagine it’s not vaguely similar to some food eaten in China. The protein, vegetables, sauce, and cooking method are all pretty standard parts of the Chinese culinary toolset. I doubt I could match it onto a specific traditional food, because it seems like it’s of a piece with the standard “throw lots of stuff together according to a traditional cooking method” approach to non-fancy food that every cuisine has. I’d venture the Chinese version has a more flavorful sauce, probably with more ginger and garlic.

Is it any good? It’s reasonably tasty. Much like beef with broccoli, it kind of hits a minimal interest level of having essential Chinese flavors without actually being distinguished enough to be a memorable experience in any way. The variety of vegetables brings a little bit more diversity to the party, mostly textural but with a fair bit of flavor imparted by the mushrooms. This bit of excitement is admittedly offset by the textural and flavor blandness of the chicken, in contrast with the beef. The broccoli here was a bit wiltier than in my beef-with-broccoli but still a good safe distance from overcooked. Basically, a comparison of this to beef-with-broccoli is a bit of a wash unless you feel strongly about any of the featured vegetables: a very similar sauce, and a tradeoff between a flavorful protein and a wider range of vegetables.

How does it complement the rice? Oddly (possibly because of the higher moisture level of the chicken and some of the veggies) this had considerably more sauce than the beef with broccoli, and it formed a very nice addition to my rice indeed. It didn’t quite stretch to flavor all of the rice, but it certainly kept eating the rice from beign a dry slog.

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About Jake
I'm a mathematics professor at the University of Louisville, and a geek.

2 Responses to Tasting the Conspiracy, item L5: Chicken with Mixed Vegetable [sic]

  1. Pingback: Tasting the Conspiracy, item L0: Introduction | The Ecclesiastical Revue

  2. Pingback: Tasting the Conspiracy, item L10: Moo goo gai pan | The Ecclesiastical Revue

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