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: