Year of the Takeout Day 80: (Renew) New Hardee
Chicken With Mushrooms from (Renew) New Hardee (130 Wilson Avenue, Bushwick, 718-417-9344)
Chicken at Chinese-American joints can seem rather hit or miss, and when it's the "miss" side of the spectrum, it's unrelentingly bad.
In those cases, it tends to be rather stringy and dry but also fatty along the edges, making for an unmanageable mouthfeel and lackluster taste.
Sometimes, it's roasted to a shoe-leather-like consistency, and doused with a syrupy "bourbon" glaze to mask its unrelenting toughness.
This is not the case by any means at (Renew) New Hardee, where the $7 chicken with mushrooms provides a pleasantly surprising approach to the oyster-sauce-and-meat genre of takeout cooking.
Plentiful fungi lend a robust woodiness to the sauce, downplaying its strong, saline elements. Crunchy, fresh green beans abound, as do slices of carrots.
These veggies swaddle soft pieces of white-meat chicken, which have been seasoned with salt and pepper and boiled before being stir-fried, providing ample moisture.
(Renew) New is well worth the trip. Maybe Year of the Takeout will be back to try some of its much-heralded dumpling soups?
Follow Victoria Bekiempis @vicbekiempis.
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