One of the guilty pleasures in our family is take-out. It’s quick: you can just call it in, run by and grab it. And generally, it’s something that doesn’t taste the same if you were to make it at home; if you wanted to even attempt to fix it at home. (Cause we all know that never turns our right.) Plus, who even knows what’s in the stuff anyway.
I, personally, have a few things that I love to eat when I have Asian. One of which is fried rice; more specifically, chicken fried rice. I would usually get this as a side to some other type of chicken dish. But when I started thinking about it, chicken fried rice is really a full meal in it’s self – starch, veg, and protein all in one. And truthfully, there’s not much to it.
Now, you know me, I get the hankering for something to eat and go rummaging through the pantry and fridge/freezer. One night last summer, I was the last one to eat dinner (of course). And I just didn’t know what I wanted…kinda wanted Asian…and definitely didn’t want to go get it.
(Enter the inspiration for chicken fried rice.)
I opened the refrigerator and saw a container of leftover rice and chicken.
Ding! Ding! Ding!
My easy and more healthy chicken fried rice it born.
After that night I spend the time really perfecting my recipe to make it just right. And now, my family and I would rather have the homemade version of chicken fried rice instead of the take-out version. Just check out how quick and easy this is…
Start by getting all your ingredients together. This recipe goes quick so you don’t want to try and chop as you go. Trust me.
Today I used baby carrots but you can use table carrots; just whatever you have on hand. And I always use frozen peas and leftover chicken. By using frozen peas you still get a little crunch even though you cook them for a little bit. As for the chicken, I’ve tried this recipe using chicken that I cooked just before starting this dish, and it just wasn’t the same. You can use your favorite leftover chicken – rotisserie, baked, poached, you name it. I just wouldn’t use a “flavored” chicken like lemon pepper or anything.
Now I left the rice out of this picture because I wanted to show you how I give my rice a little extra “oomph“.
When my water comes to a boil, and right before I add in my rice, I toss in 1 chicken bouillon cube and 1/2 tablespoon of unsalted butter. I stir it around a little bit to get the bouillon dissolved. Then continue on with the rice as the package directions state.
*If you plan on making a larger batch of rice, say 4 serving, I still just use one bouillon. It can make the rice too salty.
Now back to the rest of the dish…
While this is working, I usually go ahead and mix up my egg.
I beat 1 egg with 1 tablespoon of milk and season with salt and pepper. If you beat until you see bunches of little bubbles, like in the picture, you will have nice fluffy eggs in your rice. Now set that aside and finish your veggies.
Once the veg mixed is done, turn the heat down to medium. Add in the chicken and rice. Stir and keep the mixture moving so you don’t get rice stuck to the pan. When the chicken heats up, usually about a minute or two, you’re ready for the egg.
With the heat now medium, push the rice mixture to one side of the skillet. Add the 1 tablespoon of butter to the empty side and pour eggs over it. Gently begin to scramble the egg. Once the egg reaches a soft scramble, start to combine it with the rice mixture.
When the egg is fully incorporated, remove the mixture from heat and serve.
And wasn’t that quick and easy?
Mr. O and I like Sriracha. Little Bear goes for just soy sauce. How ever you choose to top it – or not top it – it is amazing.
Quick & Easy Chicken Fried Rice
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 1/2 cup carrots diced
- 1/2 cup onion diced
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 2 lrg cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup cooked chicken chopped
- 2 cups cooked rice prepared to package directions
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a small bowl beat together the egg and milk. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside
- In a large pan, heat 1 tbsp oil over medium-high heat. Add carrots, onion, peas, and garlic. Stir and season mixture with salt and pepper. Saute until peas are al dente and onion is translucent.
- Turn heat down to medium and stir in the chopped chicken and 2 cups of rice. Mix well. Cook until the chicken and rice are thoroughly heated.
- Push the rice mixture to one side of the pan. Place the 1 tbsp of butter in the empty side. Begin to melt butter. Pour in the beaten egg. Stir and scramble the egg. When the egg reaches a soft scramble, begin to stir it together with the rice mixture. Continue to stir and mix together until the egg is firm and fully incorporated into the rice.
- Remove from heat and serve with your favorite Asian condiments!