LOOKING for: Mandarin Chicken

friedagJune 11, 2006

The "Mandarin Chicken" recipe I'm looking for is NOT the chicken stir-fry with mandarin oranges.

Rather, it's a boneless chicken breast with a seasoned coating -- probably fried. After cooking, the breast is sliced into eight to ten pieces. The very hot chicken is then placed in its original shape onto a plate covered with very finely shredded lettuce. A very hot brown sauce or gravy with a slightly sweet taste is then ladled over both chicken and lettuce, causing the lettuce to wilt slightly.

Noting the sauce or gravy: Its consistency and color is very similar to that of brown chicken gravy, but there's something that gives it a sweet taste -- plum preserves or jelly have been suggested but I'm not sure that's it because the oriental plum sauces I've had are very different.

If it helps, this dish was called "Mandarin Chicken" at various Chinese restaurants in and around New Orleans, Slidell and Hammond, Louisiana in the 1980s and 1990s -- prepared and tasting pretty much the same way in all the establishments of that area. I have never run into a similarly-prepared dish anywhere else, though it may be well-enough known by a different name.

Does anyone recognize this to-die-for (in my opinion) dish and have a recipe for it?

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angelaid

One of my favorites. Can't get it up here. Worked at a restaurant in Boise years ago that has the best mandarin chicken ever. Have to stop and order it whenever we get down there. Can't help with a recipe though. The cooks didn't even speak english, much less share recipes. LOL

    Bookmark   June 13, 2006 at 12:15PM
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friedag

angelaid, I'm delighted that you recognized my description of "Mandarin Chicken" and that you say it's one of your favorites. As you had it in Boise (Idaho?), it must be much more widespread than commonly thought. I've actually had people tell me that no such dish exists! I know it does, of course, but finding it on the Internet has been much more difficult than I ever imagined.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2006 at 4:47PM
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angelaid

Years and years ago a friend that owned another chinese restaurant tried to give me his recipe for the sauce, but it was just something he threw together and everything was estimated. I never could get the flavor just right. The only thing I remember was that it had maraschino (sp) cherry juice in it.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2006 at 11:53AM
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john4laws

PLEASE let me know if you ever find this information. I lived in New Orleans (Metaire), LA from '84 - '88 and loved this dish. I have looked high and low for a restaurant that carries this without luck. I would love the recipe since I cannot find it in Texas.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 12:38AM
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ginger_st_thomas

This isn't the recipe but check the sauce & see if that's similar. Sounds like if you can find the sauce you can pretty much reconstruct the rest.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mandarin

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 5:21AM
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ginger_st_thomas

Or this sauce might be closer.

Here is a link that might be useful: Chinese Brown Sauce

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 5:54AM
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blake_cableone_net

I also used to live in Boise and have been searching and searching for this recipe!!! I am beginning to think I will never have good Spicy Mandarin Chicken again!! I try it at every Asian resaurant I visit - and I am always disappointed. I am going to try the few that were suggested, but if anyone knows of another - please help:)

    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 6:09PM
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khandi

I found this on the internet.

Surprisingly, this one doesn't even have mandarin oranges in the recipe but looks good.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mandarin Chicken

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 12:21AM
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bootimax

I'm originally from NOLA but live in Europe and Mandarin Chicken with the brown gravy is my favorite and I have desperately searched for recipes without success. I asked my family to inquire at a local rest in Slidell and my mother in law told me she had a clipping from the Times Picayune with the recipe from Fong's in Kenner that was posted after Katrina. If you would like it I can scan it and email to you. mermax70@hotmail.com

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 7:04AM
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angelaid

khandi - that's the closest I've seen so far. I'll be trying that one real soon.

Bootimax, I emailed you.

I've also been looking for a recipe for the gravy they used for the almond chicken down there. Up here, the color and consistency are very different than what I'm used to.
I've searched the internet and nothing I've come across yet seems "just right"

    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 1:52PM
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angelaid

Here's part of a review I found describing the mandarin chicken at the restaurant I worked at down there:

The rest of dinner arrived en masse, the Mandarin chicken's edible bling catching my eye. Canned pineapple chunks and maraschino cherries lay across a pile of breaded chicken glazed with fragrant orange sauce. While colorful, the topping was like a gaudy necklace on a beautiful woman. The chicken was pleasingly moist, crunchy and balanced by the sweet sauce-no decoration required.

Dang it. Now I'm obsessed with finding this sauce again. LOL

    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 3:07PM
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elie2020

2 tablespoons fat
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1 cup cream
2 egg yolks
1 green pepper, minced
1 cup quartered mushrooms
1 pimiento cut in narrow strips
2 cups cooked diced chicken
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Make a white sauce using meat drippings, flour, milk, cream, salt and pepper. Add mushrooms, green pepper, pimiento and chicken. Cook until the meat is done. Just before serving stir in the egg yolks, slightly beaten, and cook for a about a minute or two, stirring constantly. Serve at once on hot toast.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.recipezworld.com/chicken-recipes/chicken-a-la-king-2/

    Bookmark   May 30, 2009 at 3:47AM
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catfree

A friend of mine & I agree that this sauce recipe must be one created around the New Orleans area, as that is the only place I have tasted it...boneless fried chicken breast served on a bed of shredded lettuce, topped with a brown sauce with a taste of Five Spice powder.

We have been trying to locate this recipe for some time, and were unable to find anything like it. So, we have attempted to recreate this sauce several times.

Between my friend and myself, I think we have the proper ingredients and method of cooking:

I started with 2 14 oz. cans of low sodium Chicken broth, reserving about 1/4 cup to mix with cornstarch at the end (to thicken).
I boiled this down to about 1/2 the original amount of broth, added one tablespoon of dark brown sugar, several dashes of soy sauce, appx. 1/4 teaspoon of Five Spice powder. I cooked this down for a bit, but it was rather salty, so I added back about 3/4 can of water and cooked a little more. I mixed the remainder of broth with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and added to the sauce, cooking down until it came to the consistency I wanted. I let it cool a bit, and again tasted for accuracy. I thought it needed a tad more Five Spice power and a dash of ginger powder. I also added a dash or two of Teriyaki sauce, for more sweetness. I guess I COULD have added more brown sugar, but this seemed to do the trick!!

I hope this recipe will help you all when preparing your sauce!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 2:37PM
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gobbler

I have tried the recipe which "Catfree" shared with us. It is really amazningly similar to what we used to get at the Chinese Restaruants in the Greater N.O. area during the 1980's. In fact, there are two restaruants in Bogalusa, which is 60 miles north of N.O. across the Lake Ponchatrain Causeway, which still serve "Mandarin Chicken" with this amazing sauce. I do believe "Catfree" has pretty well "Pegged" it, though. Thank you for sharing with us. I now live in Baton Rouge, and have tried every Asian restaurant here for this dish to no avail. But, thanks to "Catfree", I will order the Boneless Chicken and add my own sauce and lettuce. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 3:32PM
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heartsy

This is a great recipe from Recipe Zaar. Taste just like you are at a Chinese Restaurant. Also gets good reviews.

http://www.recipezaar.com/Mandarin-Chicken-63802

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 5:06PM
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acosinsp1_bellsouth_net

I know what you are talking about. There is a chinese resturant in Mathews, LA (on Highway 1) named Chinese Chefs. The Mandarin sauce is oustanding! I asked the waitress to try to get the recipe for me. she told me the cook, who is from Hong Kong, uses brown gravy mix, and adds some spices to it, but she couldn't tell me what spices he used. No cherries, no pinapples. Just brown gravy mix and some seasonings. I don't care what he puts in it, it is excellent!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 6:18AM
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dsheeran22_gmail_com

I grew up in NOLA, am now in Utah, and have not been able to find anything close to the Mandarin Chicken there. Every time I go back, I make a list of things to do and things to eat in the city, and Mandarin Chicken is always one of the must dos. I can't wait to try the recipe from cat free and hopefully bootymax still has the recipe availabe to send me. Finally!!!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 2:37PM
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harleybabe66_gmail_com

I lived in the New Orleans area for about ten years. It too was my favorite dish. For those of you that still live around the area they had a restaurant in Harvey Louisiana on Manhattan Blvd. called China House. If it is still there they also prepare this dish. It is delicious. I haven't been there for three years so I am unable to tell you if they are still open. To no avail you can not find this Mandarin Chicken dish anywhere. I am an avid traveler and have been to many restaurants throughout the United States and Louisiana is the only state I have found this dish!!! I am going to search the on line newspaper archives for this recipe since I know it was definitely published in the Times Picayune.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 5:51PM
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angelaid

Still searching for that danged recipe! LOL

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 1:45PM
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LexiePotter

I had a recipe for chicken mandarin that the chicken was coated in seasoned flour and fried in small batches, then put into a casserole dish with the sauce, which has worestershire sauce & I think soy sauce with sugar and mandarin juice but my recipe books are packed in storage and I can't get to them, I am not sure of the quantities for the sauce or even if they are the right ingredients, it was then baked in the oven & served with boiled rice & or vegetables, if any one has this recipe, I would really appreciate a copy lexie@steved-lexie.net thanks

    Bookmark   September 4, 2014 at 8:16AM
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