I used to go to China Palace with my mom after field hockey games when my dad was traveling. We’d order the most unhealthy things on the menu (of course we didn’t know this at the time, they were just the things we liked best – obvi). General Tso’s chicken, pork lo mein, eggrolls, and about a pound of those deep fried strips bathed in duck sauce. One time we split an order of house fried rice and I have the distinct memory of giving myself a figurative pat on the back for being so healthy. I mean, rice is super adult and nutritious, right? I was a good fifteen pounds heavier back then but honestly I’m surprised I wasn’t morbidly obese, the way I ate. I used to eat my packed lunch then beg a few slices of pizza from whichever class officers were selling. A few SLICES.
This is a boat load better for you than any fried rice you’ll get at a restaurant; a prime example of how just by cooking at home, you could lose weight. All real food – plus limited clean up thanks to one cooking pan (two if you make the rice that night). The rice CAN be made ahead, maybe the night before? If you don’t like my method below, feel free to cook it however you’d like.
You’ll notice a lapse in directional photography – my cousin called but things move fast when you’re stir-frying and I couldn’t chat, cook, AND take pictures. It’s pretty straightforward, I don’t think this should be a big deal.
Chicken Fried Rice
1 1/2 c. brown rice
2 1/2 c. boiling water
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 lg. chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tbsp. hoisin sauce
1 tbsp. honey
pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1 bunch scallions, sliced, divided (about 6)
3 lg. garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp. minced fresh ginger
2 tbsp. tamari sauce
1 c. frozen peas
Avocado, for slicing on top, optional
1. To make rice, place rice, boiling water, oil and salt in an 8×8 or 8×11 in. baking dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 1 hour at 375 degrees. Fluff with a fork.
2. Meanwhile, combine chicken breasts, hoisin, honey, cayenne and salt in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
3. Heat vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken and saute until cooked through.
4. Push mixture to the side and add egg. Scramble until set and then mix empty mixture into a clean mixing bowl.
5. Add sesame oil to pan and add the whites of the scallions, along with the garlic and the ginger. Saute until fragrant – about 30 seconds.
6. Add about half of the rice along with the soy sauce. Stir to combine.
7. Reduce heat to medium low and add the rest of the rice, the chicken/egg mixture, and the peas. Stir to combine and heat through.
8. Remove from heat once hot and add scallion greens. Stir to combine and serve.