Easy Chicken Fried Rice

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Clean out the fridge and make this incredibly simple and delicious Easy Chicken Fried Rice. All the flavor of take-out but much easier on the wallet…and the waistline!

Although I adore cooking and being in the kitchen, by Thursday night I’m pretty much looking for the quickest dish possible to whip up for dinner so I can go relax and wait for Awkward. to come on tv.

Oh yes, this one-woman Awkward. fan club is still going strong. I just can’t even handle how genius that show is. Plus I sort of have a high school crush on Mattie McKibben. It’s cool though, he’s legal in real life. Not on the show I guess, but, well…awkward.

Anyways! After a long week, with the freedom of the weekend firmly in sight, nothing makes me happier on Thursday nights than an easy recipe that can be cooked and on the table in 20 minutes*. Bonus points if it uses up leftovers from meals cooked earlier in the week, like in Easy Chicken Fried Rice.

Chicken and rice (either fresh or leftover) join kitchen staples like frozen veggies, sesame oil, egg, and soy sauce, for a quick dish that’s way easier on the wallet than ordering take out, and tons healthier too!

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Seriously, I hope I never find out how much oil was used in the chicken fried rice Ben and I used to order from our favorite stir fry place in town every Sunday night when we were newlyweds. Each order was like $10, and obviously we each needed our own. Not. Blerg!

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Learn from our mistakes and kick back tonight, grab a glass of vino if you please, and whip up this satisfying little stir fry in a jif!

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Start by laying out all the ingredients for the chicken fried rice before you start cooking. That’s my #1 tip for stir fry dishes like fried rice. There’s nothing worse than running around your kitchen trying to measure things out when the heat is blasting.

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First up is 1 chicken breast cut into bite-sized pieces and seasoned with salt & pepper. A leftover chopped chicken breast would work fab in if you’ve got one instead!

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Next is 1/2 cup mixed frozen veggies (this is a simple vegetable medley that includes corn, peas, carrots, green beans, and lima beans – which I dutifully picked out. I. Hate. Lima beans.) 2 chopped green onions, and 1 minced garlic clove.

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Rounding the bend is 1 egg whisked with 1 teaspoon sesame or wok oil.

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And finally 2 cups cooked rice and 2 Tablespoons soy sauce round it all out.Day old rice actually works better than fresh in fried rice, so use leftovers from a meal earlier in the week if you’ve got it. (*This dish will take longer than 20 minutes to make if you’re cooking rice from scratch!)

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I had cooked a bunch of this long-grain brown rice to accompany a healthy orange chicken recipe I was working on a couple days ago, but it absolutely sucked so I had a ton leftover. #whenlifehandsyoulemons

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K. Time to get cookin’! Heat 1 teaspoon sesame or wok oil in a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat. I had intended on using all sesame oil for this recipe, but ran out after I added a teaspoon to the egg, so garlicky wok oil filled in just fine.

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Add the seasoned chicken to the hot oil then stir fry until it’s cooked all the way through, about 3-4 minutes. If you had leftover chopped chicken, just skip this step!

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Remove the chicken to a plate, heat 1 more teaspoon oil, then add the frozen veggies and green onions to the wok. Stir fry until they’re tender, about 1-1/2 minutes, then add the minced garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.

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Scoot the veggies to the side of the wok then add the sesame oil laced egg in the center, and scramble ’til it’s soft set.

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Everybody in the pool!

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Add the cooked chicken and rice to the wok, drizzle in the soy sauce, then toss everything to combine and heat through. Easy as that!

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Easy Chicken Fried Rice

Print this recipe

Serves 2

Barely adapted from Rachel Schultz

Ingredients:
2 cups prepared rice (I used long grain brown rice)
1 chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces and seasoned with salt & pepper (could use leftover cooked chicken)
1/2 cup frozen mixed vegetables
2 green onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 egg
3 teaspoons sesame or wok oil, divided
2 Tablespoons soy sauce

Directions:

  1. Whisk egg with 1 teaspoon oil in a small dish then set aside.
  2. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add seasoned chicken then stir fry until cooked through and remove to a plate. (If using pre-cooked chicken, skip this step.)
  3. Heat remaining teaspoon oil in the wok then add frozen mixed vegetables and green onions. Stir fry until tender, about 2 minutes, then add garlic and cook for 30 more seconds. Push vegetables to the side of the wok then add egg and sesame oil mixture into the center and scramble.
  4. Add cooked chicken, rice, and soy sauce to wok then toss well to combine.

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Easy Chicken Fried Rice tastes just as decadent as the take out Ben and I used to order, but has a fraction, I’m sure, of the oil per serving.

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Use reduced sodium soy sauce to keep the salt content low, and/or swap the whole egg for just an egg white, if you please!  The egg is probably my favorite part though – it soaks up all that sesame oil flavor and is wonderfully chewy and decadent. YUM!

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More Take Out, Fake Out Recipes

Mongolian Beef

PF Chang’s Lettuce Wraps

Kung Pao Chicken

Chicken Lo Mein

Broccoli Beef

Pot Stickers (Gyoza)

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Comments

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  1. Stacey 08.23.2012

    Count me in as a member of the Awkward fan club. I love that show (and totally have a crush on Mattie too)!

  2. Kath 08.23.2012

    I love the idea of stirring sesame oil into the egg! Great-looking recipe!

  3. Lindsey 08.23.2012

    I love to order Sweet & Sour Chicken for take-out… or Carlos O Kelly’s actually (Mexican place).

  4. Holly 08.23.2012

    Looks like a great recipe! And I totally agree on the Awkward/Mattie fan club!

  5. Amanda 08.23.2012

    After I got home from work I checked your blog. I needed some supper inspiration and got exactly that. This is what I made tonight. Very yummy! Thanks!

  6. Holly D 08.23.2012

    Count me as a member of the Awkward club too! I totally have a crush on Mattie too (I am 30 and married…no shame)!

  7. This looks great! But I’m new here, so you’ll have to tell me what blerg means. I googled it and it looks like it means OH RATS or OH NO… lol. Is that right? :)

    • Iowa Girl Eats 08.23.2012

      Haha, yeah pretty much! ;)

      • Omg, that is so funny! I asked my FB friends what it meant too, and one person responded “ermahgerd”… that’s a new one, too! I need to keep up with the times apparently. Being in my early 30′s apparently isn’t a good thing. :)

        • Iowa Girl Eats 08.24.2012

          omg I just started seeing that one too! I always think of one of Kristen Wiig’s characters from SNL when I see it, although I’m sure that’s not where it came from. ;)

  8. Lauren 08.23.2012

    This looks better than any take out fried rice I’ve ever had! Yum!

  9. Lauren 08.23.2012

    I love the re-make idea. Boo to Limas :)
    I have a challenge for ya..

    I know you love to travel – how about a re-make on those Delta Airline Biscoff cookies?
    They are a delish snack of the skies

  10. Candy 08.23.2012

    Your chicken fried rice looks great. I made chicken stir fry with your cauliflower rice for supper tonight….it was really good. One head of cauliflower made a ton of “rice”. Think I could make this fried rice with the rest of it? I might give it a try. Thanks for all of your rummy recipes. Up next I’m going to try the crock pot spaghetti. :)

    • Iowa Girl Eats 08.23.2012

      Good idea! I bet it’d be really yummy – I’ll have to try that sometime. :)

  11. Afton 08.23.2012

    Yum! I love chicken fried rice, get it frequently. I’ve only seen peas and carrots in it before… until I lunched at Wok in Motion last week and it had corn. And now this one has corn! I definitely need to make some on my own- thanks for the recipe.

    Regarding your earlier post about trees changing already- did you see that bright red tree on the right when you exit 35 onto MC? I usually take 80 to JC (to Aviva) and was shocked to see that red tree this morning! Can’t believe it’s almost fall!!!

  12. Angie 08.23.2012

    This is so eerily similar to my chicken fried rice recipe it’s kind of scary! Sesame oil is the key, right?! The best part of this recipe is how easily it comes together and uses up leftovers. The SECOND-best part of this recipe is that my Hubs can actually make it himself, without any help or supervision from me!!! Wives for the win. :)

    Love the blog, keep truckin!

  13. Kirsten 08.23.2012

    i LOVE Awkward too! i’m always sad when it ends because that means i have to wait an entire week to see what happens next in the matty-jenna-jake saga

  14. mmm! Looks delicious!

  15. Never seen Awkward, I’ll have to check that out. I’m with you, I love to cook, but as it gets later in the week I just want something super quick. This looks simple, yet delicious!

  16. This looks good! Also, I made your Fresh Cherry Crisp tonight for dessert. It was completely great and so simple to put together! (Although pitting cherries is…well, the pits.)

  17. Meghan 08.23.2012

    I made this tonight and it was great! I used white rice and then frozen corn and peas because that’s what I had in the freezer. I also added some chili garlic sauce at the end. I will be making this again for sure!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 08.24.2012

      Great idea with the chili garlic sauce! I added a bunch of red chili pepper flakes for Ben’s portion!

  18. Tesssa 08.24.2012

    In all seriousness, I’ve been looking for a good fried rice recipe to use up some of the rice in our fridge. Thanks!

  19. Bek @ Crave 08.24.2012

    Love the witty name!!

  20. Ksenija 08.24.2012

    I love making my own fried rice, with a heap of vegetables and tofu – it is really not that big of a deal like a lot of people think and it doesn’t need to be greasy (I never use more than a teaspoon of oil and probably some drizzle of sesame oil for taste) and it always turns out great, as long as the pan is hot enough. Nice to see you do it the same way ;)

  21. What a great simple meal :)

  22. I love making homemade fried rice. It is so easy and can taste the same if not better than the restaurant version. Plus it is cheaper and healthier. Its a win-win-win-win situations. Yours looks yummy! This would be the perfect end to my Friday!

  23. I love Awkward also!! That show is very under rated. I don’t know if it is her crazy fast talking red head friend or if it is Sadie with her ridiculously rude comments but I can’t get enough of that show. Each character is more awesome then the next.

    When we do have take out we really try and be as healthy as possible and just have the plain white chicken with broccoli or green beans. Although that mu shu chicken always calls my name I try and resist.

  24. Kelly 08.24.2012

    That looks fantastic!!! What kind of wok do you have?

  25. Trisha 08.24.2012

    This looks super tasty, but I’m not gonna lie, it makes me want to stop at Happy Wok on my way home from work tonight. ;) I have a big baking project in store for the evening, a hubby out of town & guess what?! 5 episodes of Awkward on my DVR. Thanks for the reminder, I freakin’ love that show!!

  26. This looks like a great way to still eat “Chinese” food but cut out a LOT of sodium!

    I’m trying to cut back on meat but I think making this with sprouts would be PHENOMENAL!

  27. d 08.24.2012

    I made this last night, vegetarian style (substituted the chicken for Szechuan smoked tofu) and IT WAS AWESOME. So simple, but seriously, the best fried rice I’ve ever made.

  28. edna 08.24.2012

    made this from rachel’s recipe the other night and it was soo good! now i gotta try your take on it! love your blog, keep up the great work. and i love AWKWARD too! have you seen the inbetweeners? its pretty funny too!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 08.27.2012

      I haven’t! Heard it’s a mix between Superbad and Awkward though, two of my faves!

  29. Oh I am loving this recipe!! So easy and so much healthier than take-out!

  30. [...] Homemade chicken fried rice? Yes please! [...]

  31. This looks amazing! I have some leftover brown rice that needs using and I think this recipe will be just the thing!

  32. Lizzy 08.26.2012

    Love awkward…it’s like mean girls only so much better. And I have a huge hs crush on Matty!

    Ummm… You’re welcome, ha!

  33. Polly 08.28.2012

    Loved this recipe! It’s a keeper. I had a steamer bag of brown rice in the freezer which made it incredibly quick. We’ll make this again soon!

  34. Jordan 08.29.2012

    This recipe is amazing… I am a member of the Awkward. fan club too! Every Thursday is an easy dinner night so that I am sure to be free by the time it starts… This is going to be a definite this Thursday!

  35. [...] dinner I made fried rice and sweet & sour [...]

  36. [...] profile on Plan To Eat I was excited to try it. The easy chicken fried rice recipe hails from Iowa Girl Eats blog, check it out and other tasty recipes patiently waiting for your [...]

  37. Jordan 09.18.2012

    No way. Team JAKE ftw! :)I cannot wait for Thursday.

    On the other note… your chicken fried rice looks delicious and just might be on the recipe list for next week!

  38. [...] See the recipe online here. [...]

  39. Emily 10.17.2012

    I made this tonight and it was fantastic! I have been trying to make fried rice that is as good as take out and had not succeeded at getting it perfect until I tried this recipe. Thank you, I will definitely be adding this to one of my regular meals.

  40. [...] a few weeks ago, I noticed a new post on Iowa Girl Eats’ Facebook page, called “Take Out, Fake Out: Easy Chicken Fried [...]

  41. Jenn 11.02.2012

    I made this! it worked perfectly as described and was the perfect amount for me and my son for dinner. I highly recommend this recipe!

  42. [...] Easy Chicken Fried Rice. If you have a hankering for Chinese food and don’t want to spend money to eat out (or [...]

  43. Jen Fischer 11.15.2012

    Glad I used your recipe when I made fried rice this time. The tip about having everything right there on the ready made such a difference. Usually I am frantic when I stir fry but this time it was smooth and simple. Wondering what you would recommend if I wanted to make pork fried rice (what type/cut of pork?) Also, something I did made the fried rice a tad dry — maybe I should have used a bit more oil?? I just eyeballed it. Thoughts?? Thanks again for this great recipe. I always find great stuff on your site.

    • Iowa Girl Eats 11.16.2012

      Hmmm, could be not enough oil. Sometimes if my stir fry is looking a little dry I’ll add a splash of chicken broth and that takes care of it! Also I think a seasoned or chopped up pork chop should work just fine! :)

  44. [...] so delicious that once in awhile you can get indulge. This easy chicken fried rice recipe is from Iowa Girl Eats. One of the things I love the most from this recipe is that so simple you can make it in minutes. [...]

  45. Holly 11.27.2012

    Made this tonight for dinner. It was good!

    I wanted more veggies, so I stir-fried some carrots, edamame, broccoli and red and green peppers for it. I think just about any veggie would be good in this!

  46. LizGlad 12.01.2012

    Kristen! Just made this. Used canola oil because I didn’t have sesame or wok. It took me like 7 minutes. THANK YOU! Keep up the great work!

  47. Sadye 12.03.2012

    Hi Kristen, I’m loving trying your recipes! This is on my to-make list, and I was wondering whether you ever sub a different kind of meat for the chicken. I love chicken and have it on hand, but I’ve also got pork and stew beef in the freezer if either of those are likely to work well.

  48. Irina 01.02.2013

    Made your rice this evening and it was delicious. It was so easy that my little girl helped me by adding the ingredients. And not to forget the bonus points for using leftovers. Thank you for charging!

  49. Kristen 01.05.2013

    Thanks for sharing your recipe. I made some tonight and it’s great! :)

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