When properly made, chicken chow mein is American-style Chinese comfort food at its best--stir-fried noodles, chicken, and vegetables doused in a simple, sweet and salty sauce will make any tired and hungry eater smile. All too often, however, chow mein comes slick with grease and full of over-cooked chunks of stringy chicken. Diana Kuan's recipe in The Chinese Takeout Cookbook solves these problems with ease. The chicken spends no more than four minutes on the heat, and the oil is reduced to a modest 3 tablespoons (just enough to keep the noodles from fusing to the pan). A quick soy and rice wine marinade adds more oomph to the chicken, and the use of dried shiitake mushrooms gives the final dish savoriness and depth.