Never have I made fried rice.
Much less chicken fried rice.
I always left that to the masters at the generic Chinese restaurant joints in Southwest Missouri. Which I loved dearly. And now miss. But, it's better for my arteries. And my cholesterol levels. And my bum.
But all that changed today!
(Cue dramatic music): Dun dun dun...
And what did I find??
This thing that I thought was so hard, that I would have no skill successfully mastering - well, turns out it was one of the easiest and quickest things I've yet to make. I do think I need to work on getting the rice a little firmer for next time, but aside from that, this was comforting, filling, and wasn't filled with a bunch of MSG. Or preservatives. And lacked the oily kind of burnt taste that sometimes comes with carryout Chinese food.
Total tangent - it is worth mentioning that only in the Southwest Missouri/Northwest Arkansas region will you find American-style Cashew Chicken. If you are not familiar with that, please plan a little road trip to Springfield, Missouri and go to Lucy's and order the Cashew Chicken. What's so special about it? First of all, American-style cashew chicken was supposedly invented in Springfield and it's a meal all about comfort food - fried all-white chicken chunks smothered in gravy with white rice and a smattering of cashews and usually topped with green onions. It's terrible for you. Absolutely terrible. But, it's delicious for all the wrongs reasons and you haven't lived until you've gorged on Lucy's Cashew Chicken. Just trust me on this. Maybe that's the next recipe I should tackle?
Also, another little sidenote: When you try to order American-style Cashew Chicken anywhere outside of the Southwest Missouri/Northwest Arkansas region, you will most likely have a Seinfeld-like experience. I am not making this up. It happened to me.
Anyhoo, on to the recipe.
Please note that most fried rice recipes have scrambled eggs in them, but as I LOATHE EGGS of any kind (unless they are in baked goods, of course), I left them out. But, if you like eggs, you just go right ahead and throw them in there too.
Homemade Chicken Fried Rice
*based on Rachel Schultz's recipe found here
1. Cook rice according to package directions. Set aside.
2. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Add a drizzle of olive oil to a large fry pan and add chicken breasts. Coat both sides with oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook thoroughly on medium-high heat until meat is no longer pink (at least 165 degrees). Remove from pan and set aside to cool.
3. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, chop into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
4. Heat the sesame oil over medium-high heat in a large fry pan. Add the peas, carrots, onion, and garlic. Saute until tender.
5. Add the rice, chicken, and soy sauce. Stir well to combine.
6. Remove from heat and enjoy warm!
That's it. That's all. Easy-peasy.
Happy Monday, friends! Enjoy! And let me know if you make it to Lucy's. Or if you want to go. Because I would totally meet you there.
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