Made with leftovers and better than takeaway
Leftover chicken from your Sunday roast? Here’s one of the easiest and most delicious ways to use it up – family-friendly and super-quick Leftover Chicken Fried Rice. So much cheaper than a takeaway, and tastes so good.
Using Up Leftover Chicken
What do you do when you have some leftover chicken from a roast or something else, but it doesn’t look like there’s enough to turn it into another meal? Put it into chicken fried rice! This recipe is perfect for the leftovers from roast chicken, rotisserie chicken, plain chicken breasts or legs, or any other kind of cooked chicken that’s not in a sauce.
It’s also really family-friendly. Even fussy eaters are usually won over by the tasty combo of what’s essentially just chicken, rice and a few veggies. I add eggs in as well, which gives some more protein (and is pretty delicious), but if you have egg-hating kids you can easily leave it out.
Another great way to use up what’s left of your chicken is this Leftover Roast Chicken Pie, which is easy comfort food and a big family winner.
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What to Put in Chicken Fried Rice
Fried rice dishes are really flexible with what you add into them. I normally put frozen peas or sweetcorn in as we always have those in the freezer.
Other good additions are spring onions, chopped broccoli, sugar snap peas, chopped peppers, etc. Basically you can use most vegetables, so go for whatever happens to be in the fridge.
You’ll also notice in the recipe that the quantities are really flexible. Depending on what you have, or what you like, you can add more or less of most of the ingredients in this recipe.
Do I Need a Wok for Chicken Fried Rice?
Nope, you can make this in any large frying pan or skillet. Just make sure it’s big enough to fit all the ingredients in there. (If it’s about as big as a typical wok, it will be fine.)
Do I Boil the Rice First?
Yes, you need cooked rice to make fried rice. So boil the rice first and then quickly cool it, ready for frying. If you get a chance, boil your rice a few hours before you need it, then drain it off and spread it out on a large plate or serving dish. As soon as it’s cool, make sure you put it in the fridge.
You can also cook the rice just before you need it, and then cool it by running it under the cold tap in a sieve. Just make sure you drain it really well if you do this, as wet rice won’t fry well.
Shortcut: If time is short, you can also use the pre-cooked rice that comes in microwave pouches. That makes this dish even faster.
Tips for Making Amazing Chicken Fried Rice
The only thing you really need to know is that it works best if you keep your frying pan nice and hot while you’re cooking, and keep the food moving around in the pan.
Add whatever condiments you like to add your own twist. I like soy sauce and a dollop of sweet chilli sauce for serving. Sesame oil is also lovely drizzled on top.
Leftover Chicken Fried Rice Recipe
Prep Time: 20 minutes (includes boiling rice)
Cooking Time: 10-15 minutes
Wok or large frying pan / skillet
- 300 – 400g leftover roast chicken (or however much is left!), shredded
- 400 – 500g cold cooked rice (either pre-boiled or from shop-bought pouches)
- 1 chopped brown onion
- 2 – 3 eggs, beaten
- 100-200g frozen peas and/or sweetcorn
- 1 tablespoon of oil for frying
- Soy sauce
- Sweet chilli sauce / sesame oil for serving (optional)
- Heat the oil in the wok or frying pan. Pour in the beaten eggs and stir them about for a minute or two until they’re scrambled. Then remove them from the pan and set aside.
- Add the chopped onion to the pan and fry for a few minutes until softened.
- While the onion is cooking, put your frozen veg in a bowl or pyrex jug, and pour boiled water on top to defrost them. Let them sit until you need them.
- Add the cooked rice to the pan and stir fry it for 5-6 minutes.
- Add the chicken plus a good few shakes of soy sauce (according to taste). Stir fry for another 2 minutes.
- Drain the veg well and add to the pan. Stir fry for another few minutes or until the rice is starting to look golden and crispy.
- Add the eggs back to the pan, and stir fry until everything is piping hot.
- Serve, along with with extra soy sauce, sesame oil and sweet chilli sauce.
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