Chicken Fried Rice has been a long time family favorite around my house especially when my boys were young. They loved the flavors, that you could get eggs for dinner, which they both loved, it tastes great and was filling. I loved it because it was good for them and it was super quick for me to make when I got home from work. It makes a decent amount of food too so it fed four of us from just one pan. Add easy cleanup to the list!
I use chicken that I have already cubed or shredded in advance and frozen. When I make shredded chicken, which is also fast and easy if you do it like me, find out how here, I always cube half of it because I like shredded chicken for my quesadillas, but I like cubed chicken for meals like this chicken fried rice one. I sometimes make my rice ahead and freeze it, because cooking rice can take close to an hour, but with this recipe I have also used instant brown rice to save time, and it works just as well. If I want to add a veggie to my rice or use broth instead of water to make it tastier, then waiting the hour for the rice is totally worth it. On a weeknight however, I am all about the instant rice.
The only other prep I suggest doing is the carrots. I can get my carrots prepped in no time flat with OXO peeler and I typically peel a whole bag of them and chop them in different sizes for future meals. I have been known to freeze them, but only if they are cooked. Carrots last in the refrigerator for a while so I will sometimes use them for recipes later in the week, or if I know I am freezing a meal that contains carrots cooked, like beef stew. Carrots just don’t taste as good defrosted if they haven’t been cooked prior to freezing.
I usually prep week to week so when I am referring to keeping prepped food in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook it, I am talking about less than a week to maintain freshness. The eggs are really the only other ingredient that needs to be prepped and I have always done that while I was making the dish.
I don’t like prepping garlic and onion. I hate to peel an onion and I double hate to deal with garlic. I do however love to save time and effort so I will give you a few sneaky tricks that I use to make myself seem fabulously fast in the kitchen. I always buy minced garlic in a jar. Yes, it’s true. It tastes and smells fabulous and it only have garlic on the ingredient label, so the only processing is cutting it up, so it doesn’t impact my real food committment. Minced garlic in a jar is the bomb, you heard it here first. I love anything that makes my life easy and making dinner fast.
A few more handy tips to help you on your way…make sure to use a large enough pan. This gets the skillet pretty full and if you don’t have enough room to stir the rice and the soy sauce, it doesn’t taste as good. I know this because I have done it and I have said it will taste the same and won’t matter that much. I was wrong. So the next time I used a skillet that wasn’t big enough, yes, I have done it more than once, I put the rice in a huge bowl, added the soy sauce to the bowl, mixed it, and then returned it to the skillet. I was much happier with how it tasted mixed properly, (my floor from the rice transfer did not make me happy), and now I use the largest skillet I have when making this recipe, which is pretty often.
If you don’t like carrots or if you are looking to add more veggies to your meal (good for you!) I can tell you that this recipe tastes great with all kinds of vegetables. I have used mushroom, broccoli, cauliflower, and red peppers and they have all tasted yummy. Don’t be afraid to be creative and enjoy your quick, healthy, unprocessed meal!
Easily Done Chicken Fried Rice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 medium carrots chopped or diced
- 2 cups brown rice cook ahead
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 cups chicken cook ahead and cube
- 1 teaspoon dried chive to taste optional
- Scramble eggs over medium heat until firm, and set aside.Coat skillet with olive oil ,add garlic, onion flakes and carrots to skillet and saute until carrots are tender.Add cooked brown rice, cooked chicken, eggs and heat through, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with chive is using.