In the last year, I have tried to limit my grocery shopping to once every other week. By the end of that span I am left primarily with pantry staples and long lasting produce, such as onions, garlic, carrots, and celery. That is where chicken fried rice fits into my meal planning perfectly. The ingredients are all staples in my household, making it ideal for when my kitchen is looking bare.
If you are looking to cut some meat out of your diet, or do not have any chicken in your home, you can certainly still make this fried rice, sans meat. To make this dish vegetarian, substitute the chicken for mushrooms and add in a little sesame oil. This will inject a bit of umami flavor back into the fried rice.
This recipe calls for dark soy sauce, in addition to low-sodium soy sauce. Dark soy sauce is a little sweet and has a thicker consistency. It also lends a nice deep color to the fried rice. If you do not have dark soy sauce in your kitchen, you can substitute regular soy sauce, but you may have to adjust the amount to your taste. Also, go buy some dark soy sauce - it is worth having around. For more information about the types of soy sauce check out this Serious Eats article.
If you are feeling well today, go ahead and make a double batch of this fried rice. It freezes well and is an inexpensive meal to scale up. Serve it as a side dish or as a full meal. Don't forget the cream cheese wontons!
Simple Chicken Fried Rice
- 3 cups white rice cooked and cooled
- 1-2 tablespoon vegetable oil to coat pan
- 1 chicken breast cut into bite sized pieces
- 2 tablespoon butter divided
- 1 onion diced
- 2 carrots peeled and diced
- 3 stalks celery diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos
- 2 tablespoon dark soy sauce or coconut aminos
- ½ teaspoon salt divided
- ⅛ teaspoon white pepper
- Cook rice ahead of time and store in the fridge until ready to use. 1 cup of dry white rice is equal to about 3 cups of cooked white rice.
- Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat.
- Add chicken in to the pan in an even layer and add ¼ teaspoon salt. If your pan is too small to accommodate all of the chicken without crowding, cook in two batches.
- Cook chicken on the first side for 1-2 min, depending on the size of your pieces.
- Flip chicken and cook for an additional minute, then remove to a bowl.
- Melt 1 tablespoon butter in the pan.
- Add onions, carrots, and celery to the pan and season with ¼ teaspoon salt.
- Cook vegetables for about 5-6 minutes, until softened.
- Stir in garlic and cook for an additional minute.
- Push vegetables to one side of the pan.
- Melt 1 tablespoon of butter on the other side of the pan.
- Crack eggs into butter side of the pan and beat them lightly as they start to cook.
- When the eggs are just barely starting to solidify, mix them in with the vegetables.
- Add the chicken and rice back to the pan and mix.
- Add soy sauces and white pepper to the rice and stir until well mixed.
- Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.