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Better-Than-Restaurant Chicken Fried Rice

It’s easier than you might think to make fried rice that would rival, if not best, restaurant-prepared chicken fried rice. My wife and I like to frequent a local teriyaki place that gives you a TON of white rice with your order. Seriously, a single order comes with about 3 cups of it! So between our two meals, we can siphon off a full order of it and save it for homemade fried rice later in the week that can easily feed four people.

This is one of those recipes where I like to prepare all of the ingredients in advance. Usually I like to fly by the seat of my pants when cooking, but preparing fried rice is a good example why you might want to be prepared like you see on those cooking shows. Using the instruction steps below, I measure out each set of ingredients separately into a little glass dish, then I set them in a row, in the order they will be used. This is particularly helpful with fried rice, since I cook it on medium-high heat and have little time to hunt for ingredient.

As for the chicken and vegetable amounts shown below, these are very flexible. Sometimes I want a little more protein in my dinner, like after a session of strength training. Other times I want more veggies because I love ’em. Note that increasing either or both of these may introduce the need to also up your soy sauce. And feel free to experiment with exchanging the chicken for pork, shrimp or maybe even lobster!

Chicken fried rice isn’t just a side dish anymore. With this recipe, you have your starch, protein, veggies and pretty much everything you need for a great dinner. It makes more than you might think. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil (yes, vegetable oil, not olive oil)
  • 3-4 tbsp soy sauce (to taste)
  • 1 pound chicken, cut into 0.5″ cubes (I prefer a mix of white and dark)
  • 3 cups cooked white rice, refrigerated
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, finely diced (0.25″ so it will cook quickly)
  • 0.5 cup frozen peas
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp scallion, chopped (optional)
  • 3 tbsp sliced almonds (optional)

Instructions

  • Heat a large skillet (with high sides) or wok over medium-high heat. Add vegetable oil and 1 tbsp of soy sauce, then stir in chicken. Cook and stir occasionally until chicken is browned and cooked all the way through. Remove from pan and set aside.
  • Put the wok back on the heat and add sesame oil. Stir in carrots and sauté for about a minute. Stir in onions and continue cooking until onions are translucent, about a minute. Add peas and continue cooking for another 30 seconds.
  • Push the veggies off to one side of the pan, then cook eggs on the other side. Constantly stir and chop the eggs as they cook to keep the pieces small. Once the eggs are fully cooked, stir into the veggies.
  • Now return the chicken to the pan and top with the cooked rice. Pour the remaining soy sauce over the top of the rice (this will encourage it to loosen up). As the rice warms up, it will start to break up and mix in with everything else. There will likely be some clumps, but you can use a spatula to break up the clumps while stirring. Continue cooking and stirring constantly until heated through and combined. I like to pause stirring momentarily from time to time to allow some of the rice to brown and crisp up a bit — it adds a nice texture.
  • Serve it up and top with scallions and almonds, if desired. Keep the soy sauce handy for individual tastes.

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