mai thornhill was one of my mom's friends when i was growing up in albuquerque. my mom cut her hair, and mai reciprocated with passing on this most holy of all dishes, egg rolls. they are TO DIE FOR. one of my favorites, but so much work, so they rarely get made--generally only for special occassions. the special occassion here was my college roommate coming to visit. this was her favorite thing i made when we lived together, so i thought i'd help relive old times by making them again. i usually make this with mom's fried rice, so i'm going to double a few things in this recipe that i use for both, so i don't have to do everything twice. i'll make a note when i do that, so you can either put it back to half and just make the egg rolls, or have the handy instructions there for making egg rolls and fried rice together.
let's get started. you'll need 4-6 chicken breasts, bones and skin on. 2 bunches of green onions (1 for rolls, one for rice), 1/2 an onion (1/4 for rolls, 1/4 for rice), a small cabbage, 2 carrots, a handful of bean sprouts (not pictured), 4 eggs (2 for rolls, 2 for rice), and 2 packages of egg roll wrappers.
lay your chicken bone-side-down on a foil-lined cookie sheet. cook them at 375* for 45 minutes.
while that's cooking, get chopping. chop up 2 bunches of green onions (1/2 to rice, 1/2 to egg rolls).
...and toss into a large mixing bowl. really large. like the huge tupperware bowl that your grandma had. huge. bowl. can't say it enough.
and dice 1/2 an onion (1/4 to rice, 1/4 to egg rolls).
cut your small-ish cabbage in half.
then cut it into strips, and add to your veggie bowl.
mix up 4 eggs (or 2 if you're just doing the egg rolls and not the rice) with a tablespoon of milk and a dash of salt and pepper.
pour into a hot, buttered frying pan, and let sit.
save your egg-y bowl. you'll need those egg remnants later.when the edges of your egg have cooked, lift the sides with a spatula, and tilt the pan so the runniness on top runs to the sides and gets cooked.
once all the runniness is no longer runny, flip it over and cook the other side. (this side was a little too done, probably had the heat up too high.)
now cut it in half. if you're making fried rice and used four eggs, dice one half first and save for later, then dice the other half and put it in your veggie bowl.
after your chicken is cooked and cool enough to handle, remove the skin, then peel the chicken off the bones.
shred it into your vegetable bowl, like this:
add in a handful of bean sprouts
then lots of salt and pepper.
peel your carrots,
then grate with the large side of your cheese grater.
and add those to your veggie bowl too.
now this is the fun part. wash your hands really well, then start mixing. with your hands. that's right, i said it. with your hands. the saltiness feels so good, it's like a natural exfoliant, i swear. mix it all together really well. don't forget the onions way down at the bottom.
there. eggroll perfection.
now grab your egg rolls wrappers and take them out of the package. turn them diagonally.
grab a small handful and set in the middle of the wrapper.
start by folding the corner closest to you towards the middle.
then grab the right corner and fold it into the center, and do the same with the left corner.
make sure all your fixin's are still inside and roll the whole thing towards the last corner, farthest from you. get a little bit of your leftover egg (remember from way back when, when you were cooking eggs and saved the remnants in the bowl?) on your finger, and put it on the corner.
then seal the corner to the rest of the roll.
and repeat. and repeat again. and again. and again. and again about 40,243 more times.
woks are really good for this part, but i don't have one. i used to have a deep fryer that worked okay as well but it got so...fryer-y that i had to throw it away when we moved here. so i just used a deep roasting pan. fill it up with lots (and i mean LOTS) of oil. as in, at least half of one of those gigantic crisco containers. the huge food storage ones. heat the oil to 375* if you have a wok. if not, just occassionally throw leftover egg roll wrapper corners in. if it sinks to the bottom, the oil's not hot enough. if it starts to sizzle and turn brown, you're golden.
toss a few of those babies in and cook until golden brown. you may have to use tongs to make sure all the sides get cooked and brown. squeeze with tongs to get the excess oil out, then set on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels to drain.
oh my gosh, i think i just died and went to heaven. these are so good people. so good. (that's dave's man hand in the picture, not mine, fyi.)
serve with mom's fried rice and la choy's sweet & sour sauce. delish.
p.s. it makes a lot. like a LOT. so freeze them in ziplocs and eat for weeks. warm up in the microwave, then broil for a minute to keep them crispy.
mai thornhill's eggrolls
4-6 chicken breasts, bones and skin on
2 bunches of green onions (1 for rolls, one for rice)
1/2 an onion (1/4 for rolls, 1/4 for rice)
a small green head of cabbage
a handful of bean sprouts
4 eggs (2 for rolls, 2 for rice)
2 packages of egg roll wrappers.
lots of oil
place chicken, bones down, on a foil-lined cookie sheet. cook at 375* for 45 minutes. meanwhile, chop your green onions, and onion and place in a large mixing bowl. cut the cabbage in half and slice into thin strips; add to bowl with onions. peel and grate 2 carrots, and add to mixture. add a handful of bean sprouts, 2 cooked eggs, and salt & pepper. peel skin off of cooked chicken, remove from bones, and shred into vegetable mixture. mix well. place a handful of mixture on an egg roll wrapper. fold bottom side up, sides in to the middle, and roll to the far corner. seal with a small amount of raw egg on the final corner. deep fry in hot oil until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes. drain on paper towels and serve with mom's fried rice.