Dinner Tonight: Chicken-Fried Rice

[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

This recipe won't set off fireworks in the kitchen, or wow unsuspecting dinner guests. It's too humble for that. This recipe from Mark Bittman, to me at least, tastes like home.

It's a clean-out-the-fridge kind of meal. Some fried rice recipes are overly oily and stuffed full of ingredients but Bittman streamlines the recipe, keeping the essentials and discarding the superfluous. The result is a vibrant and clean fried rice recipe, that's blessedly free of hijinks.

Instead of a wok, Bittman recommends using a nonstick skillet. If you don't have xiao shing wine, you can use water. About the only thing I missed was a little spice, but that's nothing a bottle of Sriracha can't help.

Like most fried rice recipes, preparation is key. Everything happens quickly, so make sure to have everything chopped and measured before you begin. The heat will be high, so try not to walk away from the stove in the middle.

Dinner Tonight: Chicken-Fried Rice

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About This Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon peanut or canola oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 cup boneless, skinless chicken, chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoon xiao shing wine, white wine, or water
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons scallions, chopped

Procedures

  1. 1

    Pour 1/2 tablespoon of the oil into a large skillet set over high heat. When hot, add the onion and red bell pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and tender, about 5 minutes. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon and set aside.

  2. 2

    With the heat still on high, add the chicken. Stir often at the beginning to keep it from sticking. Cook for about 5 minutes, until they are browned. Remove the chicken with the slotted spoon and combine with the onion and bell pepper.

  3. 3

    Pour the rest of the oil into the pan, and then add the garlic and ginger. Cook, for 15 seconds, then add the rice. Stir well to break up any clumps. When well coated in the oil, move the rice to the sides of the pan, creating a well in the center. Add the whisked egg. When it starts to set, stir it into the rice.

  4. 4

    Add the cooked onion, red bell pepper, and the chicken to the pan, along with the wine (or water) and the frozen peas. Continue stirring and cook for about a minute. Turn off the heat, add the soy sauce, sesame oil, and scallions. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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