For a super-fast and super-delicious dinner, my chicken fried rice is there for you, full-flavored and faster than any delivery!
Sometimes it’s hard to know what to do with those pantry staples right now. You might go back and forth between your pantry and your freezer trying to figure out something different to make. Often, we tend to make the same things over and over. All that does is make us more wistful for something we can’t have.
I have to admit that one of my guilty pleasures is the frozen chicken fried rice from Trader Joe’s. With social distancing complicating our grocery runs though, I created this copycat version for you to make the dish in your own kitchen. I’ll show you how to get the rice to that crispy fried texture and how to get your chicken nice and juicy, with a savory, lightly sweet sauce.
Are you craving chicken fried rice right now? You might think you can’t have it while you’re staying safe at home.
But the truth is that you CAN have chicken fried rice if you have chicken, rice, eggs, and frozen veggies in your kitchen. With my simple steps below, you’ll be able to make it just like your favorite takeout place does, only better.
Why day-old rice
When it comes to fried rice, the older the rice, the better the result. By “day-old” rice, it means leftover rice that has been refrigerated or even frozen (and thawed) for at least a day or longer. When the rice stays in the fridge for days, the grains lose moisture and become drier. So they will separate easily and create a crispier result for fried rice.
Marinate the chicken
Spending 5 minutes to marinate the chicken goes a long way. It gives the chicken an extra rich flavor and keeps the meat tender. It takes no time to put the marinade together, and you can let the chicken marinate while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
What pan to use
You don’t need a wok to make amazing restaurant-quality chicken fried rice, either. I’ve dived into how to set up a stir-fry station in the past. Long story short, it’s totally possible (sometimes even better) to use a large skillet to make your chicken fried rice. The key is to keep your pan hot all the time and toast the rice long enough to crisp up. You can use a nonstick pan or cast iron or carbon steel pan. If you use a cast iron or carbon steel pan, you might need to use more oil to prevent the rice from sticking to the pan.
- Spread the chicken in the pan in a single layer
- Pan fry until golden brown
- Saute the green onion with a generous amount of oil
- Add the rice and toast it thoroughly
- Pour in the sauce and mix well
- Move the rice to one side of the pan so you can cook the veggies faster
- Mix everything together and move it to one side of the pan, so you can use the other side to scramble the eggs
- Stir together everything and serve!
How to serve
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With my tips, you’ll turn some simple ingredients into a memorable and satisfying dish. Make this chicken fried rice your main dish or serve it as a side along with one of my other tasty Chinese recipes. It can make your time in self-isolation go by faster and it will certainly make things more delicious!
Make takeout-at-home with these recipes:
- Egg Drop Soup
- Sweet and Sour Pork
- Black Pepper Steak
- 4-Ingredient Baby Bok Choy Stir Fry
- Chinese Eggplant with Garlic Sauce
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If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and take a picture and tag it @omnivorescookbook on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with.
More delicious fried rice recipes
- Soy Sauce Fried Rice
- Leftover Ham Fried Rice with Pineapple
- Shrimp Fried Rice
- 15-Minute Pork Fried Rice
- Easy Beef Fried Rice
- 3-Ingredient Egg Fried Rice
Lilja Walter is a part of the Omnivore’s Cookbook team and worked closely with Maggie to develop and test this recipe.
Read more: How to fry meat | Family Cuisine