Stir –Fried Noodles with Chicken and Mushrooms

Serve 6 – 8 as part of a multi-course meal

1 pound thin Chinese noodles, or Italian fedellini

1 Tbs. sesame oil

2 tsp. kosher salt

1 pound skinned and boned chicken breast

Vegetables

8 large or 16 medium dried shiitake mushrooms

½ cup canned Chinese mushrooms

½ pound fresh snow peas, strings removed and cut into ¼-inch slivers

Aromatics

3-inches fresh ginger root

10 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

2 to 3 tsp. Chinese chili sauce (optional)

Sauce ingredients

½ cup chicken stock

¼ cup soy sauce

2 Tbs. Chinese rice wine or dry Sherry

1 tsp. sugar

½ tsp kosher salt

4 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 Tbs. chicken stock

To stir-fry

1 cup oil

Cook noodles in a large pot of unsalted, boiling water until al dente. Drain and rinse under cool running water. Shake off excess water and place in a bowl. Add the sesame oil and 2 teaspoons kosher salt and toss gently. Refrigerate for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before using.

Freeze chicken breast just until firm. Cut into thin slices across the grain, about 1/8-inch thick and 1 to 1-1/2 inches wide.

Soak the dried mushrooms in hot water until soft and pliable. Drain and snip off the stems with scissors. Rinse caps well to remove any sand. Cut into slivers 1/8-inch thick. Combine with the canned mushrooms.

Slice ginger and mince with the garlic in a food processor or mini chopper. Set aside in a small bowl and mix with the optional chili sauce.

For the sauce, combine the chicken stock, soy sauce, rice wine, sugar and salt. Have the cornstarch and stock mixture in a separate bowl, including a spoon.

Place a wok or large deep skillet over high heat. Add ½ cup oil and swirl to coat pan. Add the aromatics and sizzle for 10 seconds. Add snow peas and stir to glaze. Add more oil if necessary. Add mushrooms and stir for 30 seconds. Add the chicken and stir for 2 minutes. Scrape the chicken mixture onto a platter.

Wipe the pan clean and heat again. Add 3 to 4 Tablespoons oil and swirl to glaze the pan. Shower the noodles into the pan and toss and scoop to coat with oil. Press noodles against the side of the pan to brown lightly.

Add sauce ingredients to pan and toss and stir. Stir the cornstarch mixture and add to pan. When the liquids are glossy and slightly thick, return chicken mixture and toss and scoop until heated through. Serve at once.