Fried rice is my go-to dish whenever I have odds and ends to finish up in the fridge. This chicken fried rice changes it up with Brussels sprouts instead of traditional peas or broccoli, but the recipe can easily be adapted for whatever veggies and protein you have on hand. Using up leftovers and weekday supper, it’s a win-win!
Using up the perishable foods in the week before a vacation is a tricky game I take joy in. I’m aiming to cook everything that is perishable to minimize food waste while simultaneously stretching meals for an entire week so I don’t have to shop for groceries. Enter fried rice. It is one my go-to dishes when I’m trying to use up produce and meats. There are so many delicious combinations of fried rice, and almost anything goes. It’s quick, easy, and perfect for weekday suppers. I made this chicken fried rice a couple of weeks ago, for a weekday supper in a week sandwiched between two weekend trips, one to Casablanca, another to Tangiers. But, before I get to the fried rice, here’s a glimpse of our jaunt to Casablanca.
Locals call the city “Casa” and while I’ve been to Casa several times for work, Omar and I had not visited the city simply for the sake of visiting. So, a few weeks ago, we went to Casa just to explore some of the sights. We skipped the touristy Rick’s Café and headed directly to Casa’ premiere site, the Hassan II Mosque. In the midst of the exhaust-laden, pedestrian-meandering, car-honking, men-yelling, light-running, lane-intruding, motorbike-swerving chaos of the Casa streets, the Hassan II Mosque is a peaceful refuge in the city. The size of the structure itself is astounding. I hadn’t looked at any pictures of the mosque before visiting, and I was completely taken aback by the size of the mosque and it’s proximity to the ocean. Because we got a late start on our day, we arrived at the mosque just before sunset and we sat on the sea wall to see the mosque bathed in a tangerine sunset before we headed off. I don’t typically recommend Casablanca as a city stop for tourists, but if you are in Casa, the mosque is a must. It might even make the trip to Casa worthwhile on its own.
After the mosque, we stopped into the Morocco Mall and then we had a wonderful dinner at Le Cabestan, a posh restaurant with a loungy feel and expansive views of the Atlantic. We spent the entire day on Casa’s corniche, and as we walked along the ocean I experienced another side of Casa that has me eager to return.
Reality set in after our return from Casa when our fridge welcomed us home with not much more than three day old rice, Brussels sprouts, three carrots, a few mushrooms, and a couple of shallots. Meh. I walked over to our butcher picked up three chicken breasts, and Boom! Fried rice for dinner in 35 minutes.
What do you cook up when you are trying to use up your leftovers?
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
- ½ cup soy sauce, divided
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 1 small onion or 2-3 shallots, chopped
- 1 inch slice of fresh ginger, minced
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 5-6 large button mushrooms, sliced
- ½ pound of Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
- 2 large or 3 small carrots, peeled and chopped into small pieces
- 4 cups cold, cooked rice (brown or white, your preference, but day old rice works best)
- 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon sriracha sauce (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup fresh chopped scallions for topping (optional, but it kicks it up a notch!)
- Cut the chicken in 1-inch chunks and place in a zip top bag.
- In a small bowl, mix together 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and ½ cup of soy sauce and pour into the zip top bag with the chicken. Press out the air and seal the bag to allow the chicken to marinate. Set aside.
- In a large skillet or wok, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over high heat.
- When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the shallots, ginger, and garlic and cook for 3 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, and carrots and cook for another 3-4 minutes. The carrots and Brussels sprouts will not be cooked through. Remove the veggies and set aside.
- Add the remaining vegetable oil to the pan, then add the chicken with the marinade. Sauté the chicken for 5-7 minutes until the chicken is almost cooked through, tossing the chicken occasionally. The marinate should be thickened.
- Add the rice, stir to coat the rice, then allow the rice to cook for 2-3 minutes, without stirring. You want some of the rice to get crispy as it sits on the pan.
- In the meantime, whisk together the remaining sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, and sriracha if using.
- Add the vegetables to the rice and chicken, pour the sauce over and toss everything together to coat. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, until all of the chicken is cooked through and the veggies are just tender with a soft crunch.
- Salt and pepper to taste, the top with fresh scallions and serve immediately.
Eating in is easy! Use the weekday super recipes to help plan your weekly menus. Most of the weekday supper recipes can be made in just 30 minutes with normal pantry items. Here is this week’s line-up:
Monday – Pan Seared Dover Sole with Tropical Avocado Salsa by Take A Bite Out of Boca
Tuesday – Broccoli Cheese Soup by A Mama, Baby & Shar-pei in the Kitchen
Wednesday – Seared Tuna Salad with Wasabi Lemongrass Vinaigrette by Brunch with Joy
Thursday – Chicken Fried Rice by eating in instead 😉
Friday – Spinach Pesto Pasta by Alida’s Kitchen