Lighter Chicken Fried Rice

I used to always love getting a big group together and going to a Japanese style steak house, you know the hibachi style restaurants, where you catch shrimp in your mouth? My favorite part of these dinners besides the company and entertainment was and still is the fried rice! I am totally guilty of throwing my hand up when the chef is looking around with the extra fried rice after dishing some out to everyone at the table!

This fried rice may not be a health food per-say, but it does use a small amount of oil, and brown rice instead of white. When making fried rice, it’s a good idea to do all of your chopping ahead of time, so you can move quickly while it cooks! For this lighter chicken fried rice, you need: 4 cups of cooked brown rice (2 cups when dry), 2 cubed chicken breasts, 1 cup of chopped carrots, 1 1/2 cups of frozen peas, 1 cup of diced onion, 1 egg, 1 1/2 tablespoons of vegetable (or canola) oil (divided), 1/2 tablespoon of minced garlic, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.

Begin by heating up 1/2 tablespoon of oil and 1/2 tablespoon of minced garlic over high heat.

Immediately add chopped carrots and diced onions. Continue to cook over high heat until soft.

Season your chicken with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. When vegetables are soft add the diced chicken and an additional 1/2 tablespoon of oil.

Continue to cook over high heat until the chicken is cooked through.

Add the frozen peas to the skillet and cook until warm.

Push vegetables and chicken to the outskirts of the pan, making a “hole” for the egg. If you’re using a larger skillet or wok, you can add the rice in at this point and then make the hole. I only have a smaller frying pan, and if you’re in the same boat as me this method works just as well! Crack one egg in the center of the pan.

Scramble the egg and cook through, mixing it in with the veggies and chicken.  Add the cooked brown rice to the skillet*, and immediately add 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Finish with the final 1/2 tablespoon of oil and stir until combined.

Serve immediately, with extra soy sauce to taste!

This was such a great meal, and comes together really fast once you have everything chopped! I would suggest making the rice the night before for an even faster prep time. If not, just let the rice cook while you’re chopping!

Lighter Chicken Fried Rice
Serves 3-4

4 cups cooked brown rice (2 cups when dry)
2 diced chicken breasts
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup yellow onion, diced
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
1 egg
1 1/2 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
1/2 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Add 1/2 Tbsp. of oil and 1/2 Tbsp. minced garlic to a large skillet over high heat. Immediately add 1 cup each of chopped carrots and diced onions. Cook over high heat until soft. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper, then add to the skillet with an additional 1/2 Tbsp. of oil. When chicken is cooked through add the peas.

Continue to cook until peas are warm. Move vegetables and chicken to the outskirts of the pan making a “hole” for the egg. Crack the egg in the center of the pan and then scramble, mixing with the vegetables. Add the rice to the pan along with 2 Tbsp. of soy sauce, and 1/4 tsp. each of salt and pepper*. Finish with 1/2 Tbsp. of oil.

Serve with additional soy sauce if desired.

*Cook’s Note: If you have a wok or very large frying pan you can add the rice to the pan with the vegetables prior to scrambling the egg. I only have a small frying pan, therefore I scrambled the egg and added about half of the rice along with the soy sauce and seasonings. I then transferred the entire frying pan to the stock pot I prepared the rice in to finish off the dish, which worked just fine. Basically– work with what you have, it will still come together regardless of whether you need to split the pans or if you can do everything at once!

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Filed under chicken, dinner, easy, lightened up, main course, quick, rice

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