Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Easy and Healthy Chicken Fried Rice

Fried rice is one of my comfort foods, I'd say. In fact, not very many of my comfort foods are American. There are not many foods that make me happier than authentic pad thai or creamy curry with naan bread or a Korean hot pot where the rice crusts to the bowl or steaming hot mussels over silken pasta. However, those are all a little time-consuming. Fried rice, on the other hand, is quick and easy and modifiable.

Many restaurants make their fried rice main dishes with about 75% rice, 20% meat, and 5% vegetables. To me, this is unacceptable. I prefer percentages closer to 30-40% rice, 20-30% meat, and 30-40% vegetables. This way when you scoop out a serving you truly are getting an accurate serving size of grains, meat, and vegetables!

I've made fried rice many times and never really standardized what I do into a recipe. A couple days ago I paid attention to the process and here it is! So next time you cook up some rice, make a little extra and use it the next day to make this super yummy and healthy fried rice!

Chicken Fried Rice
Makes 5 servings (about 1.5 cups each)

2 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
2 tsp sambal oelek (chili-garlic can find it at the supermarket in the ethnic section)
1 tsp sesame oil
3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of extra fat

3 cups cooked brown rice, preferably leftover (I used basmati because I ran out of brown, but brown is healthier!)
1 green (or other color) bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
10 baby carrots, quartered lengthwise (Or about 3 big carrots, julienned)
2 eggs
1 tbsp canola oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp minced ginger root
2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar (unseasoned)

Start by mixing the ingredients for the sauce for the chicken in a small bowl (hoisin sauce through sesame oil). Heat a grill pan over medium high heat. Baste the chicken with the sauce. Spray the pan with cooking spray and place the chicken in the pan. Cook for 4-5 minutes per side. Remove from pan and let cool. Chop into bite-size pieces.

While the chicken is cooking and cooling, you should prep the other ingredients.

Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Beat the eggs in a small bowl. Spray the pan with cooking spray and scramble the eggs. Remove the eggs from the pan.

Drizzle in the canola oil and then throw in the minced garlic and ginger. Stir for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, until lightly browned and fragrant. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the bell pepper and carrots. Cook for another 5-7 minutes, or until the onion and pepper are soft. Stir occasionally.

Add chicken to the pan and cook for another minute. Mix the 2 tbsp soy sauce and 1 tbsp rice vinegar in a small bowl. Add rice to the pan and then sprinkle the sauce over, stirring well. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Remove from heat. Stir in the scrambled eggs, breaking them apart into smallish pieces. Grind some black pepper over it if you feel like it. Serve with hot sauce, if desired. We used sriracha! Mmmm...

P.S. You won't need salt...even the low sodium soy sauce adds enough.

Nutrition Facts
  5 Servings
Amount Per Serving
Calories  249.6  
Total Fat  8.2 g     
  Saturated Fat  1.4 g     
  Polyunsaturated Fat  2.2 g     
  Monounsaturated Fat  3.3 g  
Cholesterol  109.0 mg  
Sodium  572.2 mg  
Potassium  291.8 mg  
Total Carbohydrate  30.1 g     
  Dietary Fiber  2.9 g     
  Sugars  0.6 g  
Protein  14.7 g

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