What I also like about this fried rice is you can pretty much use whatever you have on hand. You can switch up the veggies. I almost always use onion, spring onion, capsicum and carrot. I also add zucchini, snow peas, cabbage and baby corn if I have any of them on hand. The same is the case with the protein. Almost always I use a little bacon for flavour and some egg. Then I either use prawns, shredded chicken and sometimes even ham depending on what I have available at the time. So like you see, this fried rice is one of those meals you can put together almost any day of the week, even when your grocery run is due the next day. Apart from cooking the rice, it comes together in one pan – I now use my wok and love it.
This is the quickest way I find to get this on the plate. Soak my rice and when the rice is soaking and cooking, I prep my protien and veggies. When everything is ready, the final dish takes about 10 minutes tops to put together. Its one of my favourite quick and easy weeknight meal options. I tend to add a lot of vegetables and I like it that way, you could drop the quantity of vegetables to suit your liking. This is just a guide to making this fried rice and the quantities are suggestions. Go with what you think you’ll enjoy and adjust to your liking.
Chicken Fried Rice
Serves 3 (as mains)
1 cup basmati rice
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 birdseye chilly (optional – we enjoy hot food but you can leave it out if you dont)
3 spring onions
1 red pepper
6-8 green beans
A handful of finely sliced cabbage (about a cups worth)
3 rashers of bacon (I used streaky bacon)
A cup of shredded chicken (you could used poached, roast, or rotisserie chicken)
A couple of tablespoons of oil (vegetable, olive or sunflower or any other cooking oil of your choice)
1 tsp sesame oil
Salt, to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Approx. 1 tbsp soy sauce (I use salt reduced soy)
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
Rinse the rice a couple of times and drain. Soak in fresh water at room temperature for about 20-30 minutes.
Bring a pot of water to the boil (just like you would for pasta). Add a spoon of salt to the water and carefully add the rice. Cook the rice till almost done (al dente). Don’t cook the rice through as it will turn mushy once you add it to the wok.
Drain the cook rice and using a fork lightly loosen the grains and leave to cool.
In the meanwhile, clean and chop all your vegetables. I like to chop mine in like sized pieces. You could julienne everything or slice it on the diagonal into little chunks. (I will try and get a picture of the chopped up veggies when I make this next, I was in a hurry this time and forgot.)
Dice the bacon rashers and keep aside.
Keep all your ingredients handy. The trick to cooking a delicious fried rice is to cook it on a high heat and cook it quickly.
Heat your wok or pan. Add a little cooking oil to the pan. Crack 2 eggs in a bowl, add a little salt and lightly whisk. Now either make a plain omlette and cut into chunks or a plain scramble. Take the egg off the pan and keep aside.
Next step is to fry off the bacon. Add a little oil if needed and tip the cut bacon into the work and let it cook a little and add some flavor to the pan. Dont cook till crisp. You just want the ends to start changing to a light brown. Now add the garlic and chilly and saute till it gets fragrant.
Add the sesame oil and then tip in the diced pepper and the rest of the veggies and stir fry on high heat till they cook off a little. You still want them to have a little bite.
Add the chopped spring onions.
Add a light sprinkle of salt and some freshly cracked black pepper.
Add the soy sauce and rice wine vinegar and stir to let it coat the veggies. Please adjust the sauce to suit your liking.
Tip in the chicken and egg and stir well to incorporate.
At this stage add the rice to the wok and gently mix everything but mix thoroughly. I use a spatula and a pair of chopsticks to do this.
Once the rice has warmed through, serve hot and top with finely sliced spring onion greens to garnish and if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, some finely sliced fresh chilly.
Enjoy piping hot.
**Leftovers warm up really well the next day too.
I recently picked up a whole bird from the supermarket. I usually pick up an RSPCA approved product. My take on a roast chicken is usually a very simple, yet flavorful marinade. Of course, you can serve this chicken up at a regular weekend meal or even at a more prominent family get together or party, by putting up some clever sides. I will share some ideas for sides over time. For today, we’ll stick with the roast chicken. So if you’ve never made a roast chicken at home before, this is a good recipe to start with. Chances are you’ll already have all the ingredients in your pantry. I’m sharing this recipe with you today so that you have a little time to try this out before Easter and then maybe, serve it up for Easter as well.
When roasting a chicken, the cooking time will vary based on the sized of the bird. After doing a little reading up, a common rule of thumb for cooking time is 45 minutes per kilo of chicken + 20 minutes. I use this as a guide and this is something you should keep in mind if you’ve never roasted a chicken before. How do you work out cooking time required for a good chicken roast?
1 chicken, whole, skin on (I used a smaller sized one about 1.2kilos )
Salt, to taste
Crushed black pepper, to taste
Juice of half a lemon
1 1/2 tsp Ginger garlic paste
1 – 1 1/2 tbsp Olive oil
Wash and pat the chicken dry using paper towels.
Spread all the marinade ingredients on the chicken as well as in the cavity and rub it in well, almost like a massage. Leave to rest for about an hour.
Heat the oven to 200°C.
This time around, I placed the chicken on the rack in the roasting tray. I think it works well. This way the chicken isn’t cooking in the liquids. The skin turns out crisper.
Place the chicken in the hot oven. After about 10 minutes, lower the oven temperature to 180°C. Bake for required time till the chicken is cooked. Halfway through the cooking process, I baste the chicken with the some olive oil.
(If some of the marinade has dripped onto the roasting tray and seems like its burning, carefully add a splash of water to the tray, just a tiny bit to keep it from burning. I had to do this a couple of times.)
Please note the cooking time instructions above. To check if the chicken is cooked well, insert a sharp knife in the joint where the leg joins the body. If the juices run clear, the chicken is cooked. If it is still pink, the chicken needs to cook more.
When the chicken is cooked, cover with foil and let it rest for about 10 minutes.
Serve up with your favorite sides.
What are some of your favorite sides? I’d love to hear from you.
Chicken on Skewers
250g boneless chicken
1/3 cup plain yogurt
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilly powder
1/4 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp cumin powder
2 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped
11/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
Olive oil, to drizzle over the chicken
Soak the wooden / bamboo skewers in some cold water for 30 minutes to an hour.
Cut the chicken into cubes.
Mix the spices in the yogurt in a bowl and check for salt levels and adjust if needed.
Add the chicken pieces to the spice mix and toss well to coat.
Cover the bowl with some cling film and leave it to marinate in the fridge for about 4-6 hours or overnight. If you are in a rush, try and let it marinate for atleast an hour.
When you’re ready to bake, carefully thread the chicken pieces onto the wooden skewers. Drizzle some olive oil over the chicken.
I placed the skewers on a foil lined baking dish to catch the drip (since I didn’t want to add to the clean up later).
Bake in a preheated oven (about 180ºC) on the top shelf under the grill, for about 8 to 10 minutes on each side, or until golden and cooked through.
- Don’t cut the chicken pieces too small else they’ll dry out while cooking.
- You may baste the pieces with a little olive oil when you flip them over.
This sandwich is really simple to put together if you keep a few things at hand. For example, having some leftover grilled or roasted chicken is a life saver. But even if you don’t here’s what I do. I simply marinade a chicken breast, cut into smaller pieces with some salt, a dash of lime juice and some ginger garlic paste for about 15 minutes and I add some water (not too much) and boil it till its done. You can then keep this refrigerated till you need to use it.
Chicken Mayo Sandwich
2 tsp Homemade Mayo (you can add more if you like)
Some shredded chicken
A couple of leaves of iceberg lettuce, chopped
1 tomato, sliced
Salt to taste
Freshly crushed black pepper, to taste
2 slices of sandwich bread
Mix the mayo, chicken and lettuce and spread this on one of the slices of bread.
Placed the slices of tomato on the other and season with some salt and pepper.
Place one over the other and enjoy.