Welcome back, Apprentices! I hope you enjoyed the Game of Thrones menu from last week! I know it was a bit more challenging but I knew you were up for it. I have faith in you, my little cooking minions! It was a busy weekend with Easter, the season finale of The Walking Dead and the season premiere of Game of Thrones so today, we're going to dial it back a notch and prepare one of my favorite recipes, chicken fried rice! The great thing about this dish is that is easy, delicious and versatile!
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On to the quest!
Chicken Fried Rice
1 Chicken Breast
3 Chicken Thighs
1 Medium Onion
5 Medium Carrots
1 Cup Frozen Peas
1 Bay Leaf
2 Cloves Garlic
2 Tbs Vegetable Oil
1/4 Tsp Celery Salt
Salt & Pepper
4 Cups Cooked Rice (white or brown)
Prepare your chicken! Fill a large pot with filtered water. Make sure there is enough water to fully submerge the chicken (6 cups worked for me). Peel and chop 1 carrot, 1/4 of the medium-sized onion and garlic cloves. Add them to the pot with the bay leaf and celery salt. Don't worry too much about how neat your pieces are. You just want large hunks of veggies because as we cook the chicken, we're also making chicken broth! Later, we're going to use that broth to cook the rice! Cover with the lid and put the pot on the stove over medium heat for about 1 hour. Chicken is done when the meat is white and juices run clear when you cut the meat open.
Tip* If you prefer to use all white meat, substitute chicken thighs with 2 more chicken breasts for a total of three chicken breasts.
Remove the cooked chicken from the water and set aside to cool. Discard or compost the cooked veggies.
Cook your rice! Try to skim as much of the stuff out of the chicken broth as possible. If you have a fine sieve, run the broth thru. If not, don't stress, just fish out the big chunks and call it good.
Measure out three cups of chicken broth and transfer to a clean pot. Put the pot on the stove and turn to medium-high heat. Bring the broth to a boil and add 1 1/2 cups dry rice. Cover and lower the heat. Cook for about 15-17 minutes or until broth is absorbed. Be sure you pay attention to the directions on your package of rice. Different types of rice will have different cook times. I used basic white rice for this recipe.
Cooking rice with broth adds a whole new dimension to the flavor. Use chicken, beef or vegetable broth and it will change your life forever....with rice.
Immediately transfer rice to a clean bowl and refrigerate. You need to transfer the rice to a bowl to stop the cooking process. Like pasta, if you leave rice in a hot pot, the heat will continue to break it down and the rice will become soft and mushy. And fried rice works better with cold, firm rice. It's even better if the rice was cooked the day before. Leave it in the refrigerator for about two hours before you start the next stage.
Shred your chicken! Once cooled (safety first!) hold your chicken with one hand and shred the meat with a fork. I will usually use the fork to shred the chicken breasts and my fingers to pull the meat from the thighs. With the thighs, it helps to be able to feel the meat because of all the gristle and fat. I like to separate out the fat and gristle because I am huge on texture and that stuff just grosses me out. Put the shredded meat in a bowl and set aside.
Peel and dice the remaining carrots and onion. Remember to use a clean cutting board and a sharp, clean knife.
In a wok or large skillet, pre-heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add carrots and onion and cook until onion is translucent and carrots are fork-tender, stirring frequently. While onion and carrots are cooking, start the next step.
Beat together the two eggs and pour into a skillet. Put on the stove and heat on medium until eggs are done. Do not stir. Just let the eggs cook and solidify. Once cooked, slice the egg and set aside.
Add the chicken to carrot and onion mixture, stir and sauté until hot. Sprinkle lightly with salt & pepper (if desired...just remember, we're adding soy sauce later and that is super-salty) Add rice and stir. Sauté until mixture is hot.
Add 1 cup frozen peas and shredded egg. Stir and sauté until hot and peas are cooked (about 5-7 minutes). Drizzle with soy sauce and stir. I usually add enough soy sauce to darken the mixture just a little bit...about 1 tablespoon does the trick for me. But soy sauce is very much about personal taste. So add a little, taste the rice and go from there.
Plate and enjoy! ...or just grab a fork and eat it straight from the skillet! This is a safe space and we don't judge!
I hope you guys love this recipe as much as I do! Questions or comments? Post them in the comments section! Try the recipe? Post some pictures! I would love to see!
In the coming weeks and months, we'll be tackling some more special menus as we pay tribute to Doctor Who's 50th Anniversary with some special dishes honoring Doctors past and present! We'll also be cookin' it up Cajun style with a full menu for the season 6 premiere of True Blood! So stay tuned!