Chicken Fried Rice

"Adapted from my Pork Fried Rice recipe, this also spells out how to cool the rice properly. Without doing this, the rice will turn gummy."
photo by Late Night Gourmet photo by Late Night Gourmet
photo by Late Night Gourmet
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  • Bring 4 cups of water to a boil, then lower to a simmer and add rice. Give a quick stir to break up clumps, then simmer for 20 minutes or until water is absorbed. Remove rice from pot and spread evenly on a baking sheet. Place baking sheet in the freezer until ready to use.
  • Cut the chicken into 1 inch chunks. Rub chicken with Chinese 5 Spice. Create a marinade with lime juice, 1 tablespoon of Chinkiang vinegar, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, 1 teaspoon of garlic, 1 teaspoon of ginger, and a teaspoon of shredded cilantro. Place the chicken in the marinade overnight, ideally using a vacuum sealer.
  • Put 1 tablespoon of canola oil in a wok or a large skillet, and turn heat to high. When it begins to shimmer, add onion, pepper and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, 5 to 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove vegetables to a bowl.
  • Add snow peas, Brussels sprouts, and mushrooms to skillet; cook, shaking pan, for about a minute, or until hot. Remove them to the bowl.
  • Put remaining canola oil in the skillet, followed by garlic and ginger. Stir constantly for about a minute.
  • Add chicken to the pan and cook for about 1 minute on each side. Remove the chicken and set aside.
  • Add the rice, breaking up clumps with a spoon as you go along and tossing it with oil. When the rice is well coated, make a well in the center and break the eggs into it. Scramble these, then stir into the rice.
  • Return vegetables to the skillet and stir to integrate. Add mirin and water and cook, stirring, for approximately 1 minute. Add soy sauce and sesame oil, then taste and add additional Chinkiang vinegar and soy sauce if necessary. Turn off heat, stir in the cilantro and serve.

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I have two teenagers who keep things very busy around our house during the daytime. I also work long hours at Ford Motor Company, and I do want to spend time with my family every day. If I try to cook when my kids have their friends over, I'm certain to be interrupted. In other words, my available times for cooking are very limited. I don't want to give up on anything I love - my family, my job, my cooking - so I do most of my cooking after everyone has gone to bed. My wife is a teacher, so this can be very late at night during the summer. Sometimes, I don't get started with my prep work until 12:30 a.m. Am I crazy?? Maybe. I'm also constantly working on healthier ways to prepare food. I deconstruct every recipe I like, and try to make it with healthier ingredients. The big challenge is keeping the food tasty. I believe it's possible to enjoy what you eat and still be healthy. I lost 15 pounds in 6 months largely by preparing my own food (and exercising). If I didn't keep such loony hours, I'd call myself "The Healthy Gourmet".
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