Last night, I fixed an old favorite. It appears in The Frugal Gourmet as "My Cousin David's Hot Szechwan Chicken." I call it "cold Sichuan chicken" because I don't usually add the six dried chili peppers. I can never remember how to spell "Szechwan," either, so I've gone for the "Sichuan" version, which I can remember how to spell.
This was another dish I started cooking soon after I got my own place. I didn't have different types of Chinese soy sauce then, so I just substituted shoyu for the light soy and mushroom soy in the recipe. I used to use cooking sherry too, but now I've gone over to using Shao Xing rice wine (the recipe calls for sherry). Since I had problems keeping brown sugar as anything but a hard block, I usually omitted the sugar in the recipe; last night I used palm sugar. All of these little changes make subtle differences in the flavor of the sauce. I pour the whole thing over a pile of udon, which works so well that there have been times when I just whipped up a batch of the sauce and stirred it in with the noodles. I love the sauce, and I like its flavor best with udon, better even than the chicken which is supposed to be the centerpiece ingredient.
Last night I followed the recipe more closely than I usually do and it tasted pretty good. There have been times when I followed the recipe and it didn't impress me as much as my old shoyu/no sugar/sherry variant. I'll have to try the no-frills version again and see how it compares. The only problem with last night's version was the fact that one of the chicken breasts I used wound up tasting a little bit off, but not enough to cause subsequent physical grief, at least.