Hot & Spicy Chicken from Mei Wei Restaurant (297 Broadway, Brooklyn 718-218-6667)
OK, so this is exactly the kind of dish we set out to find with this series.
No, the $4.95 hot and spicy chicken isn’t exactly reinventing the poultry paradigms of Cantonese-American cuisine — on the surface it’s the same protein/vegetable/sauce stir-fry we have seen over and over and over again.
Here, however, the bird seems to have been boiled before the sauteing step, lending a tenderness to the muscle that is all too often cooked out. It’s this kind of attention to detail that makes the selection work so well: The peppers and onions have been sliced into small shreds, so that they are soft and crisp. And the sauce, while a version of soy-based gravy, has a pleasant, garlicky heat.