Easy Chicken Fried Rice
Cooking the rice in advance and using a rotisserie chicken makes this Easy Chicken Fried Rice a meal that comes together in just 10 minutes…yup, 10 minutes!
This Easy Chicken Fried Rice recipe is proof that you can have an absolutely delicious meal on a weeknight – in about 10 minutes. Now, to be fair, there is a little bit of prep to do ahead. The rice needs to be cooked and refrigerated, and the rotisserie chicken needs to be picked. Other than that? 10 minutes. (And the prep work can be done several days in advance – say Sunday afternoon while you’re watching football in the background? That’s how we roll around here.)
Fried rice is one of our go-to meals around here. Robbie loves it – and that alone says a lot since he’s been a picky eater pretty much since he was born. I enjoy fried rice as a side dish, but for this Easy Chicken Fried Rice, I added shredded rotisserie chicken to turn that side dish into a main dish.
Easy Chicken Fried Rice
Speaking of fried rice, one of the most important steps involves your refrigerator. If time permits, cooking the rice ahead of time and then refrigerating it will yield a better batch of fried rice. Not only that, but (as noted above) cooking the rice ahead of time means you can get dinner on the table in a jiffy. Heck, I think it takes longer to microwave a frozen meal! Maybe not, but I haven’t eaten a frozen meal in a long, long time. My timing might be off. The point remains that this Easy Chicken Fried Rice is amazing – and easy!
So why do you refrigerate the cooked rice? Fried rice isn’t exactly a scientific meal. You toss a bunch of stuff into a wok or skillet, and *boom* dinner’s ready! However, there is a slight bit of science lurking in the shadows here. Cooking the rice in advance and then refrigerating it helps dry the rice out. When the rice is warm, it’s a bit sticky. That stickiness turns into mushy rice once it goes into the wok. Instead, cold rice can be broken apart with your fingers which leads to a better texture for your fried rice.
One final note about the ingredients in this Easy Chicken Fried Rice. Sesame oil. It’s potent stuff. This recipe makes a big batch of fried rice, but there are only 2 teaspoons of sesame oil in it. Even then, the flavor is quite noticeable. Sesame oil is oil from sesame seeds, and it brings a unique nutty flavor to dishes. (It’s commonly used in Asian cuisine.) It’s only 2 teaspoons – such a small amount that you can probably just omit it, right? Nope – add it in! It adds a layer of flavor that’ll have you going back for seconds.
If you’re looking for a tasty meal that can be prepared in a jiffy, then this Easy Chicken Fried Rice is it. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!
Did you make a batch of this Easy Chicken Fried Rice at home? Leave a comment? Or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog) – I’d love to see your version!
Easy Chicken Fried Rice
- 2 cups uncooked white rice
- 4 cups water
- 3 Tbsp canola oil divided
- 12 oz. 12-oz. package mixed frozen peas and carrots
- ¾ cup white onion finely diced
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 3 cups rotisserie chicken skin removed, finely chopped
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- green onions chopped
- Using a large saucepan, combine rice and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for 20 minutes. (Tip: Place the rice in the refrigerator to cool. Cooled rice tends to break apart easier in the pan, which is perfect for fried rice.)
- Using a wok or large sauté pan, add 2 Tbsp of canola oil; place over high heat. Once hot, add onion and cooked vegetables. Sauté, stirring often, for 5-7 minutes. Remove mixture and set aside.
- Add remaining 1 Tbsp of oil into wok or sauté pan. Once hot, crumble cooked rice into pan with fingers; stir until well combined. Push rice to sides of pan to create a well; add eggs into well, stirring constantly to scramble eggs in pan. Once eggs are cooked, add the garlic, cooked vegetables, shredded chicken, soy sauce and sesame oil; stir until well combined. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
- Garnish with green onions before serving.
Looking for other easy weeknight dinner ideas? Check out these other favorites, too:
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Will be making this soon can i use tofu and mushrooms as am a vegan i never had fried rice before perfect for my after office meals love your recipes as always brightens up my day everyday after work will dm you if i make this and let you know how it goes Thanks Ramya
Ah, fried rice is the perfect recipe for making substitutions, Ramya! In fact, we often use fried rice as a way to use up leftover veggies. I do hope you try this recipe after work one day – it’s easy and delicious!
Can I use basmati rice
Hey Jacqueline! Yes, you can absolutely use basmati rice for fried rice. Any long-grained rice works for fried rice, and basmati is a long-grained rice. Enjoy!!
We make fried rice often as it’s a great way to use up day-old cooked rice. But, with that said I’ve never made it using rotisserie chicken. We always have extra cooked rice in the freezer, so next time we get a rotisserie chicken, I’ll give your method a try.
I hear ya, Ron – fried rice is a great way to use up random bits of leftover veggies and cooked rice. I like your idea of keeping cooked rice in the freezer. I’ve never done that, but we do keep rotisserie chicken meat in the freezer. I’ll have to start keeping some rice in the freezer now, too!
I love fried rice. It’s one of my favorite Asian dishes. I’ve though about making it at home, but have never gone so far as to look for a recipe. However, now that I know that you can – and even should – make it from leftover rice, I’m going to be making it at home for sure. I love rice, and very often have leftover rice sitting in the fridge. Believe it or not, I often douse it with sugar, cinnamon, and milk, and have it for breakfast. But now I think I’ll be having fried rice instead.
Ah, fried rice is SO easy to make at home, Jeff. In fact, it’s one of our go-to dishes when we don’t have anything in mind. You have to make the rice ahead of time (or keep cooked rice in the freezer as Ron suggested), but aside from that it’s super easy. Give it a try! (Plus, it’s a great way to use up random bits of veggies and/or meat that you have hanging around the fridge.)
10 minutes for this beautiful fried rice? You have my attention. This is 100% a must try!
Exactly! When you can get a yummy dinner on the table in just 10 minutes, you get my attention, too! 🙂 Thanks, Marissa!
Ohh yeah! nice to see fried rice on your blog. Like what Ron said a day old cold rice works better. And if you like the best quality, try it with basmati.
Thanks so much, Raymund! I do love Ron’s idea of making the rice ahead of time and keeping it in the freezer. Nice and easy!
Fried rice is so good. I would have thought you used ground chicken. I really like the rotisserie version! Way tastier!
Rotisserie chicken is such a time saver – and it’s quite delicious, too! We keep bags of rostisserie chicken in the freezer. They’re perfect for recipes like this fried rice and soups (now that we’re heading back towards soup season). Thanks, Mimi!
I see you’re moving on comfort food David (Although it would be safe to say you have plenty of comfort foods throughout every season.) This looks terrific – perfect transition dish from summer to fall; filling and soul-warming yet not too heavy. Loving the addition of sesame oil…and I even think that I would to try this with some sort of tahini sauce on a side 🙂
I am indeed heading towards comfort food season. We still have a little bit left in terms of warmer days, but the mornings are getting chilly here. This fried rice recipe is a staple in our weeknight dinner routine. It’s easy, but still delicious, too! Thanks, Ben!
Oh my, David that was so awesome…big hit! In all the years I have been making fried rice this was by far the best! Thank you and keep it up with your wonderful recipes. I cook and bake alot. The hounds at the Beer Store where hubby works loves it when he walks into work with a large container of some sort in tow…they attack him lol…anyway have fun with your next recipe…btw Robbie is so adorable. Take care!
Hey Jacqueline! Thank you so much for the kind words – I do love this fried rice recipe. It’s a pretty simple dinner idea, and it’s a great way to use up any random bits of vegetables that might be hanging out in the fridge. Also, I didn’t realize your husband works at a beer store – too bad you don’t live closer! 🙂 And thanks for the kind words about Robbie. The little guy just headed off to his first day of Kindergarten this morning!
I love easy meals that are perfect for busy weeknights. I think I can handle 10 minutes, especially when the result is this delicious! Thanks for the dinner inspiration!
This chicken fried rice is definitely on rotation here in our house, Kathy! It’s super easy and the flavor is spot-on. It’s always good to keep a few recipes in your back pocket like that! 🙂
I often do quick fried rice recipes like this David. And if I’m making a dish that requires rice I double up the rice so that the left over rice is used the next day in such a dish. Lovely!
That’s a great idea to always double the rice so that you can make fried rice the next day. I like Ron’s idea of making the rice and keeping it in the freezer, too – I’m going to start doing that! Thanks, Neil!