Can you tell that I really like chicken... and rice? Between my saffron chicken & rice and chicken enchiladas, it's probably pretty evident that we eat a lot of chicken. See, I must confess, this is mainly due to my laziness. I love cooking, but I hate how long it takes, so making a full-blown meal from scratch every night just isn't something I'm usually up for. We don't like to eat out on weeknights though (because we're not made of $$), and I don't like eating pre-made or partially-made meals, so the best solution I've come up with is to cook enough on the weekends to feed us for the rest of the week.
Each Sunday, that's typically what I do. I make a large recipe of something and we eat it during the subsequent weeknights. That may sound boring and repetitive to some people, but when I find something I like, I actually enjoy eating it over and over. Weird? I don't know, but it's how we roll.
Last weekend I had a craving for fried rice. I decided to make some and to add chicken for some protein. I contemplated using bacon which would taste more like what you'd typically find in Hawaii, which is mainly where I eat fried rice, but I settled on chicken for a lower fat content.
1 1/2 cups short grain white rice (I have to go to Asian markets to get this... for some reason they don't carry it at HEB but truly short grain is my favorite)
1 3/4 water
1 package 97% lean ground chicken
2 bunches scallions, chopped (separate the whites and greens)
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp oyster sauce
I'm really not a lover of seafood, so the idea of oyster sauce grosses me out, but when it's all said and done you can't single it out and everything comes together really nicely.
You may remember that in my saffron chicken & rice post I resorted to cooking the rice in my dutch oven because I couldn't figure out how to successfully make it on our new stove. I had tried at least a dozen times, and each time it was coming out under cooked. I tried cooking it with more water, letting it cook longer, and keeping it at a boil longer, but nothing worked. Since then I've figured out the key: my stove's lowest heat setting is a good bit cooler than what it was on my previous stove, so the rice was getting too cool. If you're having issues with your rice being undercooked, cook it just a tad hotter and it just may do the trick!
To make the white rice:
- Put the 1 1/2 cups of rice in the pot
- Wash the rice in cool water roughly 7-10 times, until the water is significantly less murky
- Drain all of the water out
- Add 1 3/4 cups of water to the pot
- Put the pot on the stove and bring the water & rice to a boil
- Lower the temperature to the lowest or nearly lowest setting on the stove, and allow the rice to cook for 20 minutes
While I had the rice cooking, I browned the ground chicken in my dutch oven. I did pour in about a tablespoon of canola oil before putting the chicken in, plus some salt and pepper. The key, as usual, is to let it brown before stirring it up/flipping it over. In the beginning it looked sort of like one large chicken pancake, but after I flipped it over and let the other side brown I broke it back up.
I set the chicken aside, then added the eggs and the white part of the scallions. I know they look pretty green in the picture below, but this was roughly the bottom half of the scallion which has a more onion-y texture than the top half, so they need to cook a little to mellow out their flavor.
After the eggs and scallions cooked, I set them aside and put the cooked rice into the dutch oven with the oyster sauce and soy, then mixed them together.
Next I added in the chicken and eggs.
Lastly, I added the green part of the scallions. Depending on how much onion flavor you like, you may not want to add all of what you chopped... but I love me some onion, so I put it all in.
And there you go, leftovers for the whole week!
What do you put in your fried rice? This was my first time to ever work with ground chicken and I really like how it came out. It was really fast and easy compared to using whole breasts. Most of what I make are "one pot meals" but this one felt particularly quick and easy. In my mind, there's nothing better than a speedy cleanup!
John doesn't like calling this recipe "fried rice" because he feels like there's nothing fried about it. I can totally get on board with that. While much of this recipe is carbs, it's not all that bad for you given that it has only a tiny bit of oil spread over many servings, and then lean chicken and egg. You could do just egg whites if you were wanting a lower cholesterol content.
Poor John is typically very wary of Asian foods, but this was only a small jump from things we already eat and he's had it for a couple of meals already, so I think we're good to go. Whew.