Chicken Fried Rice

fried rice

I have a confession to make: for many years I made chicken fried rice using a boxed dinner because I was intimidated by this dish. It seemed like it would be so simple, but when I tried one recipe I found online it was a soggy mess that tasted like licorice because of the Chinese five-spice. Just recently, I finally found another recipe to try (this one a simple side-dish), and I expanded it into this chicken fried rice. The secret to avoiding sogginess is to use rice that has been sitting in the refrigerator for a day or so, which gives it a chance to cool and dry-out a little. I still don’t feel I’ve quite mastered the art of keeping the egg on only one side of the skillet while scrambling it, but at least when we want fried rice we’re not eating dinner out of a box any more.

Chicken Fried Rice

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1 pound chicken, cut into chunks

1 teaspoons sesame oil and 1 teaspoon canola oil

3 Tablespoons sesame oil

1/2 cup peas

1 cup diced carrots

1-2 green onions, thinly sliced

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

2 eggs, lightly beaten.

4 cups cooked white or brown rice (day old or leftover rice works best)

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 Tablespoon rice wine

3/4 teaspoons ginger

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

IMG_4002Heat 1 teaspoon sesame oil and 1 teaspoon canola oil in wok or large skillet. Fry chicken in hot oil until cooked through. Remove when done.

Add 3 Tablespoons sesame oil to the wok and heat over medium heat. Add the peas, carrots, onion, and garlic. Stir-fry until tender. Push the mixture off to one side, then pour eggs on the other side of the skillet and stir-fry until scrambled.

Add rice and stir. Add soy sauce, rice wine, ginger, and pepper. Stir to blend. Continue stir-frying until thoroughly heated, then serve.

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Brown Rice Pilaf

"Brown Rice Pilaf" by marissabaker.wordpress.comWhen served with a few pieces of chicken, this brown rice pilaf is one of my favorite meals. The original recipe (the origin of which I have lost track of) called for long grain or basmati rice — I’ve always used the brown rice that we keep on hand to serve with stir-fries. It has to cook longer than the original 15-20 minutes, but it’s healthy and it tastes good. There are several variations you could try on this recipe, though I like the one with basil and carrots so much that I haven’t played around with it too much. I have kept substitutions suggested by the original recipe in parenthesis if you want to experiment with some of them.

Brown Rice Pilaf

"Brown Rice Pilaf" by marissabaker.wordpress.com
Cook the rice and garlic in hot butter

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1 cup brown rice

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons butter

2 cups chicken broth

¼ cup shredded carrots (can substitute mushrooms, sweet peppers, or zucchini)

"Brown Rice Pilaf" by marissabaker.wordpress.com
Add liquid, carrots, and basil

¼ cup rice wine (can substitute apple juice, dry white wine, or water)

¼ teaspoon dried basil (can substitute oregano or thyme)

½ cup slivered almonds (can substitute green onions, chopped walnuts, or pine nuts)

Melt butter in a medium sauce pan. Add garlic and uncooked rice. Stir in hot butter for 3 minutes. Slowly add chicken broth, then stir in carrots, wine and dried herb.

Bring mixture to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Add slivered almonds and serve.

"Brown Rice Pilaf" by marissabaker.wordpress.com. For the chicken, I pour some rice wine in a baking dish, add garlic and basil, then add the chicken. Shake some basil and garlic over the chicken and top with mozzarella cheese or crushed garlic and cheese croutons
For the chicken, I pour some rice wine in a baking dish, add garlic and basil, then add the chicken. Shake some basil and garlic over the chicken and top with mozzarella cheese or crushed garlic and cheese croutons