This post was originally going to be General Tsao’s Chicken with Fried Rice, but lately I’m finding it harder and harder to get motivated to cook for one. Yep….that’s right….Mrs G is on the road again for work. Chicago this time, before that it was LA and Atlanta and coming up is Orlando, Toronto, Vegas and Germany. While she’s traipsing around, calling me and telling me about all the wonderful places she’s at and the great meals she’s having. I’m stuck at home trying to figure out what to cook. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hold it against her, I’m happy for her, but cooking for one
sucks isn’t much fun.
Yesterday, with great intentions, I had researched General Tsao’s chicken, printed out some recipes and was ready to wok it out. When I got home, I realized I had forgotten to get dog food. Quick trip to the store and back home. I’m pulling out my ingredients, getting to ready to go and I realize I was missing a few things…enough that I wouldn’t be able to do this recipe. Rather than facing another trip to the store, I scrapped my plans and went with some simple chicken fried rice (something I DID have the ingredients for).
When cooking stir fry (or anything in a wok for that matter), it is very important to have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go. You are cooking at such a high temperature and for such a short time that you don’t have time to chop up an onion or measure out so much of this or that ingredient. No…you need to have everything prepared, measured out and in separate bowls ready to go. The French have a term for this called “Mise en place” or everything in place.
- 1 packet of Fried Rice Seasoning Mix
- 1/3 cup of protein (I used one chicken breast which was probably more than 1/3 of a cup)
- 3 cups of cooked rice, cold (made at least the day before and allowed to sit in fridge overnight)
- 1 cup of mixed veggies ( I used carrots, peas and corn but feel free to use whatever you wish)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- soy sauce
- peanut oil
- green onions can be used for garnish
- Feeds about 4 people
Yeah, I know what you are thinking. Fried rice seasoning? Really? Yeah, I know. I should probably look up some way to prepare this using fresh ingredients and so that I know what is in it. But trust me, this stuff is good and its a quick, easy way to do it and let’s face it….with the pace of life these days sometimes we all need an easy way to do it once in awhile.
- Set up your Egg at 500F with the Spider legs down. If using a stove top, you are going to want to get it as hot as you possible can. Add a few tbsp of peanut oil (yes, you need to use peanut oil, vegetable oil and canola oil have a lower burn point and will start to smoke and get nasty) Before starting to cook, shut lower vent on the Egg.
- Cook your protein in batches. Adding too much will drop the temp of the wok and it won’t cook properly. For one chicken breast, I cooked it in two batches allowing time for the wok to reheat in between. Set chicken aside when done.
- Cook beaten eggs and set aside.
- At this point you may need to add some peanut oil. Allow it to heat up and then add rice, seasonings and soy sauce, stirring constantly.
- Allow rice to cook for a few minutes and then add in your mixed veggies and continue to stir for 2 or 3 minutes.
- Add your protein and eggs back to the rice mixture and continue cooking until heated through.
OK….so maybe I should have checked the weather before I got started. I knew there was a small chance of some rain, but they’ve been saying that for days and nothing. So of course as soon as I start cooking, the rain starts. Kinda like it always rains as soon as you wash your car. Glad I have a covered patio and was able to move the Egg in out of the rain to finish. And we needed the rain, so I won’t complain.
Back to dinner….what is Chinese food without some eggrolls? To me that might be my favorite part of Chinese food and someday I’ll learn how to make them on my own (it’s on my list of things to do). But since I was cooking for one, I just got some frozen ones from the store, cooked them in the oven before I started my fried rice and then wrapped them in aluminum foil to keep warm.
So yeah….maybe I took some short cuts, but sometimes in life you have to do that. And let me tell you, even with shortcuts, this chicken fried rice BLEW delivery away (and came in much cheaper). Ever since we got the wok, we don’t order Chinese food much anymore. Would you? Next time it will be General Tsao’s chicken I promise.