3 March 2014

Singapore style Chicken Fried Rice (or "using up roast chicken")

We had the most amazing chicken for dinner on Sunday.  My chicken brick (which I have yet to tell you about, but is the best thing that has ever happened to my roast chickens) did its job and produced a succulent, soft and beautifully roasted bird that was just so intensely chickeny.

Having eaten our fill from the chicken for Sunday dinner, we were left with the other half of it for Monday's meal.  Now, once again, I was avoiding involving potatoes (half as a personal challenge to make a succession of meals that didn't involve potatoes and half because hubby has REALLY had enough of them) so all the "with potato" casseroles or "chicken in a wrap with potato wedges" options were out.

We hadn't had a rice dish all week - I know, how remarkable was that! - so I began thinking down ricey routes.  As I was strolling through various recipe sites on t'internet, I saw one for a Singapore style rice dish, which used both Thai curry paste and Indian curry powder.  Now that got me thinking, as I knew I had both in the fridge from previous curries.  I knew how to make a very (also known as VERY) acceptable, nay yumalicious, fried rice dish in my gorgeous Nasi Goreng, so perhaps some adaptation of that recipe might produce something along the Singapore lines, but I had to make sure it didn't just wind up like Nasi Goreng minus the prawns.

My chicken brick, with roasted chicken.

I know a little bit about Singapore (I was born in Malaysia, remember?) and know that it is a real melting pot of nationalities.  Hence, I wasn't bothered about mixing genres of ingredients for this dish.  Ultimately, I wound up with English roast chicken, Thai curry paste and fish sauce, Indian curry paste and rice, Japanese rice wine, Chinese soy sauce and bean sprouts - and some fresh coriander, which just about every country seems to have available, these days!

I can tell you what, it only worked!  In fact, it worked really well and was almost verging upon the epic.  I now have a new recipe to add to the stable of Nasi Goreng and Kedgeree.  In fact, I could quite see my cycling through the three without ever getting fed up with any of them!

Now if you've ever made my Nasi Goreng, you'll know that it really isn't tricky to make - it's simply a matter of chopping stuff, then tipping it into a wok and cooking it in the correct order for the correct time at the correct heat.  This, dear reader, is even quicker than that.  Because there are no prawns or mushrooms to worry about and the chicken is already cooked, plus the beansprouts and peas cook themselves as you go, it all came together with 15 minutes to go before I was due to ring the dinner bell.  Mind you, not that anyone was complaining - the lovely smells had raised them from their various occupations rather like Bisto kids, following their noses!

Everyone liked it, everyone enjoyed it, everyone would have eaten more if we could have fitted it in.  Son and heir was seriously considering having seconds, but decided it was an "eyes bigger than belly" situation.  Hubby has every intention of having more for breakfast and I have every intention of having more for lunch tomorrow.  I can see I'll have to separate out the leftovers into separate bowls!

The upshot of it all is, if you have the other half of a roast chicken available and don't know what to do with it, plus, if you fancy a really quick, tasty meal, then this fried rice is for you.

Would I do anything differently?  Well, I might be tempted to add some sliced water chestnuts, but that's about it.


Ingredients :

2-300g Basmati rice
2 eggs, lightly whipped
salt & pepper
2 individual knobs of butter
1 tbsp groundnut oil

a bunch (6 or 7) of spring onions , cleaned and chopped diagonally
3 fat cloves of garlic, chopped finely
2 heaped tsp of red Thai curry paste

2 heaped tsp of mild Indian curry paste
a couple of handfuls of frozen peas (still frozen)
a pinch of dried red chilli flakes, to taste
3 big handfuls of fresh bean sprouts
3 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp mirrin (Japanese Rice Wine)

a quantity of cold roasted chicken, shredded (half a chicken works for me!)
a large handful of fresh coriander, chopped.

Method :

1.  Cook the basmati rice according to the instructions on the packet, but stop the cooking a fraction before it is done, leaving a slight bite in the rice.  Drain it well and run under the cold tap to cool.  Leave in the colander or sieve to drain well, but place it back into the saucepan and put the lid on top to prevent the rice from drying out.

2.  Using a deep frying pan or wok, melt one of the knobs of butter and add half the seasoned egg mixture.  Roll the pan to spread the egg out thinly and cook to form a thin omelette, flip over to cook the other side.  Do the same again with the remainder of the egg mixture, then roll the two together to form a tube and cut into shreds.   Reserve to keep warm.

3.  Add the oil to the remains of the butter and heat until really quite hot and add the spring onions.  Stir and fry until slightly softened, just a minute or so. 

4.  Add the garlic and continue to stir and fry for another 30 seconds, taking care not to let it stick to the bottom of the pan or colour.

5.  Add the two curry pastes and stir well.  Cook for some 2-3 mins.

6.  Add the frozen peas, chilli flakes and bean sprouts and toss them to combine them with the mix.

7.  Add the soy sauce, fish sauce and mirrin and reduce the heat to prevent it burning.  Continue to cook (1-2 minutes) until a sticky and thick consistency has been achieved.

8.  Add the chicken and stir through to coat it in the sauce, quickly followed by the chopped coriander and the rice.  At this stage, you're just heating the chicken and rice through, not cooking anything, so keep the heat high enough to do the job - but not blazing!

9.  Stir or toss the rice to combine it and prevent it from sticking to the pan. 

10.  Add the omelette strips, stir through lightly and serve. 

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