Friday, October 10, 2014

Chicken Fried Rice Recipe

This is one cheap meal. And everything is cooked in one pan. You can't get much cheaper than rice, veggies and chicken. Oh, and you add two eggs to make my Chicken Fried Rice.

I marinade the chicken in a couple of sauces that I get from my local 99c only Store. Most regular grocery stores sell soy sauce and oyster sauce. If you can't find oyster sauce then use easy-to-get Teriyaki or Sweet and Sour sauce.

For chicken you only need a half breast or a leg quarter (combined leg and thigh.) So your stir fry can be white or dark meat, it's up to you. I take off the skin and slice the meat off the bone. You can purchase boneless and skinless chicken for convenience and more money. You could also just saute the large chicken segments with skin and bone and break it down later.

I get chicken from my local Latin market for 99 cent per pound or less.

The main thing is to use cooked/steamed rice. And it's best if the rice has been in the refrigerator for a couple of hours or overnight. This allows the rice grains to separate and slightly dry out, so they don't get soggy when refrying. Anyway I always have leftover rice in the freezer. So just defrost it if you have any.

Everything is sauteed in a wok or a large frying pan and it all come together quickly. Also, my Chicken Fried Rice microwaves well the next day(s).

This is the first in my Cheapie Chicken Recipe Series, so check back as I have a coopfull of tasty entrees for you for the rest of the month, including a Fried Chicken Sandwich video.

Ingredients (about 2 servings)
  • 1 pound of chicken - a half breast or leg quarter (thigh and leg,) or any favorite combination. Cut into bite sized pieces. You can also just saute whole chicken piece in marinade and slice it off the bone.
  • 2 cups cooked rice - I mixed brown and white rice. Follow package directions. Best to let cooked rice set a couple hours in the refrigerator or overnight. 1 cup of uncooked rice makes 2 cups of cooked.
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas - defrosted (canned are too mushy.)
  • 1/2 carrot - about a 1/4 cup peeled and chopped. I used shredded from the bag.
  • 2 green onions - sliced, about 1/4 cup, include green stem. Okay to substitute with regular white or yellow onion.
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic - fresh or from jar.
  • 2 eggs - scramble
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil - or sesame oil, for sauteing veggies and chicken.
  • Pepper to taste - optional. No salt necessary as soy sauce has plenty.
* Add more or less carrot, peas and onion to suit your taste.

Chicken Marinade
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger - chopped or grated. I used it from a jar. Okay to use powdered ginger.
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic - chopped. I used it from a jar.
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce - I used low sodium.
  • 2 tablespoons of oyster sauce - or a favorite Oriental sauce like Teriyaki or Sweet and Sour. If you use Teriyaki or Sweet and Sour sauce then leave out honey, as it's now plenty sweet.
  • 1 teaspoon honey or favorite sweetener.

First cook 1 cup of rice according to package directions (brown rice takes a little longer to steam.) Best to refrigerate overnight, or at least a couple of hours. This allows rice grains to set and separate -- so it doesn't get too mushy during stir frying. My recipe uses 2 cups of cooked rice.

Remove skin and slice chicken off the bone (or use boneless and skinless) and add to a bowl. Pour in the marinade ingredients and mix well. You can let the chicken set in the marinade (in the refrigerator) for half an hour, or go right to sauteing.

If you don't want to fool with removing the bone then just saute the chicken whole and remove the flesh when it cools down. It takes longer to cook the chicken all the way through, so add extra cooking time.

Over a medium hot, wide pan, add oil and get the pan hot. Next put in the chicken with marinade. Saute the chicken until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Slice into largest chicken piece, it's done when there is no pink color or pink juices. 

When chicken is done, move it to a plate or bowl and set aside while you make the fried rice.

Add tablespoon oil to a medium/high heating pan. Add carrot, peas and green onion. Stir fry about 2 minutes to desired tenderness. I like my veggies a little crunchy.

Add cooked rice and mix well. Heat though about 2 minutes, continuously stirring to heat up all the rice.

Add cooked chicken and heat through for a minute. Push it aside with veggies and leave space for the rice.

Finally, push the veggies, chicken and rice to the edge of pan, forming a clear space in the middle of the pan.

Add 2 eggs and lightly scramble. (You could also pre-cook the scrambled egg and add it at this stage.) When egg is almost cooked through and firm, mix it into the rice, veggies and chicken. Cook another minute.

I like larger pieces of egg to show in my stir fry, so I don't break it up too much. Mix well and serve hot.

And this recipe is easy to double, if you are feeding a brood, or want leftovers to bring for lunch during the week - it reheats quickly and deliciously.

For the cheapest version use chicken legs or thighs. Don't worry about taking off the skin or bone. Just marinade the pieces and fry them up until done. When they cool down take the meat off the bone. You can get rid of the crispy fried skin if you want - or save it for the cook!

Add more or less chicken and veggies to suit your taste buds. Also, you can substitute broccoli or almost any favorite veggie, instead of peas and carrot.


Dinahsoar said...

Yum. Looks good. Would you have an easy and cheap version of Pad Thai? I do have a good recipe, and it's not hard to make, but there are a lot of steps and the sauces are made from scratch. I prefer good food fast so any shortcuts are a plus.

Jim S said...

Tough to find for 99 cents but years ago I discovered the secret to fried rice you get from a restaurant:

Sesame Oil

Put about 5 drops in the pan right before you throw in the egg. Gives you that rich extra dimension.

99 Cent Chef said...

Yeah I like to use sesame oil when I find it cheaply.

Pad Thai is a tricky one to make easily as a lot of the flavors come from a Oriental market....hmmm, have to research that recipe.

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