Fried rice is my BFF. It consumes a lot of leftovers in a tasty way, making them into a meal. I had several grilled chicken breasts leftover in the fridge that needed some loving care to make into a meal. We’d grilled breasts twice recently and I was in the mood for a change. A change to Asian flavors would be nice. I admit to cravings for soy sauce, rice and shrimp.
The organized me thought to make rice this morning while I was getting ready for work. The rice was done and ready to refrigerate before I left. Go, me! Then the organized me texted my P.S. (Princely Sous chef/hubby) and asked told him to have the chicken breasts diced when I got home from the office. He’s home first and is usually willing to help in small ways.
I’ve been making fried rice for a lot of years, but thought this time I’d look up a real recipe to see how I might make some changes for the better. I read Robert Irvine’s recipe on the Food Network site and had my nose all wrinkled up trying to figure out why he made scrambling his eggs so complicated. Just plain weird! But also a very plain recipe, like my usual recipe for fried rice.
I found another one on the Food Network site by a New York cabbie that was similar, but as an aside he mentioned trading up different meats or shrimp. Shrimp! It reminded me I’d thawed some precooked shrimp a few days earlier, planning to work it into a meal for myself. My P.S. won’t eat them and that’s fine with me. But if I made the fried rice, I could put some into a separate pan after I’d fried my shrimp with a little garlic and I’d satisfy my shrimp craving. Shrimp and chicken are totally compatible.
I was looking forward to fried rice now. Shrimp fried rice! Woot woot! Returning home I heated my large skillet with a little olive oil and diced up my onion. I fried the onion until it was translucent, then scooped it aside and poured in two eggs I’d lightly beaten. I scrambled them, then mixed the onions and eggs together.
Next I added the garlic powder and cayenne, then the soy sauce. I added the diced chicken and let it cook for a couple of minutes, just to heat it. I also threw in a handful of frozen peas.
When they were heated through, I added the rice and tossed and stirred the mixture until blended. It takes a little work with the spatula to separate out the rice so it doesn’t remain in big white clumps.
Stirring occasionally, I let the rice fry for about 5 minutes, until it was heated through. I added another drizzle of olive oil to keep the rice separated.
Meanwhile I heated a smaller skillet with a little oil, then added the shrimp and a sprinkling of garlic. I let them heat for a few minutes, then added a couple of good scoops of my fried rice mixture.
I tossed it all together and plated my dinner. I plated hubby’s fried rice and garnish both plates with chopped green onions.
It was an excellent meal on a hot summer day. Not much busy work and no oven required. We like the flavors when I use chicken flavored cubes in making the rice. I used 2 cups of rice, 4 ½ cups of water, and 1 chicken cube. I use Celefibr Chicken cubes, which are vegetarian (and gluten free) and each makes 2 cups when you’re making broth. I tested a lot of cubes and premade stock and liked that one best for flavor. Well ideally I like real chicken in water, making my own broth, but that requires more time than I have most days. Celefibr is a close second for my spur of the moment need for broth.
Chicken Fried Rice
2 cups long grain rice; prepared according to package (I use a chicken broth cube in it as well)
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup red onion; diced
2 eggs; lightly beaten
2 cups chicken; diced
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
½ teaspoon garlic powder
Large pinch cayenne
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Green onions; diced (optional for garnish)
Prepare rice in advance; refrigerate so that it is cold and separates easily.
Heat large skillet or wok. Add a drizzle of olive oil and fry onion just until tender. Push aside or remove. Fry eggs until scrambled, separating and mincing when firm. Add onion back to mixture. Add chicken and peas, stirring to mix. Add garlic powder, cayenne and soy sauce; stir.
Add rice and stir until well-mixed. Continue to fry, stirring occasionally, until rice is heated through. Add more oil if necessary to make it less sticky.
Test for taste, adding more soy sauce as desired.
Serve hot garnished with green onions.