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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
Rounding the bend is 1 egg whisked with 1 teaspoon sesame or wok oil.
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!)
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
Everybody in the pool!
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!
Easy Chicken Fried Rice
Barely adapted from Rachel Schultz
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
3 teaspoons sesame or wok oil, divided
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- Whisk egg with 1 teaspoon oil in a small dish then set aside.
- 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.)
- 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.
- Add cooked chicken, rice, and soy sauce to wok then toss well to combine.
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.
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!
More Take Out, Fake Out Recipes
What’s your favorite type of food or dish to order for take out?