Friday, January 29, 2016

Chicken Fried Rice

So, the other night I was pondering the daily dilemma … what to have for supper. Isn’t that a perplexing perennial question? What sounds good? What can I make with what I have? I had just bought a bag of Tyson Crispy Chicken Tenders. They are great to have around for a quick meal. They work great for a stir-fry. I also like to cut them in bite sizes and put them on a big salad. Then it hit me - fried rice with chicken. I had some leftover rice in the freezer. All I needed were some basic veggies to do a fried rice. Now, you don’t have to use fried chicken tenders for a chicken fried rice, you can use a boneless/skinless chicken breast, or chicken tenders from the market. Or buy some fried tenders at the market or pick some up at Lee’s Famous Recipe.  Got shrimp? Make a shrimp fried rice.

  • You’ll need some cold rice. Fried rice works best with cold rice. Cook some ahead of time, let it cool and refrigerate for a few hours or thaw out some you have in the freezer. You’ll need about 1-1/2 cups of cold rice for a single serving. White rice works best. Brown rice get’s gummy.
  • You’ll need some vegetables. I always have carrots, celery, onion, bell pepper on hand. But some mushrooms or pea pods are a great addition as well. You could also add some broccoli or even peas. It’s all up to what you have on hand. Just chop everything into small, 1/2 inch pieces. The vegetables in a fried rice are smaller than in a stir-dry. For a single serving you’ll need about 1 to 1-1/2 cups of veggies. The amount is up to you.
  • You’ll need a serving of chicken. If you need to cook your chicken get that done or put your frozen enders in the oven. The Tyson tenders take about 18 minutes - about the same time it takes to do the fried rice. If they finish baking before the fried rice, turn off the oven and just leave them in the oven until you need them. If using raw chicken, cut it up in bite size pieces, add a little oil to your pan and cook the chicken. Just leave the cooked chicken in the pan and go to the next step. (If using shrimp, just fry them up in the pan with a little oil, remove when just done and add back to the rice at the end to warm them up. If you leave them in the pan while doing the rice they will get overdone and rubbery.)
  • Start by putting 4 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet. Set the pan to medium heat. When the butter has melted add your veggies and sauté them about 5 - 7 minutes stirring often. You want them to start to get soft. Add the cold rice and toss well so the rice is coated with the butter in the pan. Turn the pan to medium high heat and stir the rice often. It will sizzle which is what you want. The rice will get a little brown on the edges.
  • If you want you can add an egg at the end - which is pretty traditional in a fried rice. Move the contents in the pan to the sides to create a large hole in the middle of the pan. Pour in a beaten egg. Leave it alone. Let it get firm. Flip it. When done chop it up with your spatula and mix it into the rice.
  • Just before serving cut your chicken tenders into bite size pieces, add to the rice, sprinkle a little soy sauce into the rice and toss. (If you bought chicken tenders and they are cold, cut them up and toss into the rice in the last 2 minutes to warm them up.) Time to eat!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Best Products

I am a fan of America’s Test Kitchen. I enjoy their show on PBS though many of their recipes are laborious. They also taste-test many products. Here are some products they tested a few years ago. You might find this interesting and helpful. To see their recommendations for the following click HERE.

Olive Oil
Yellow Cake Mix
Cornbread Mixes
Biscuits in a Tube
Soy Sauce
Tomato Paste
Tuna in a can
Whole Wheat Pasta