Tag Archives: chicken

Fried Rice, from leftovers

I’m sitting here shoveling down the leftover fried rice from last night, but the leftovers began the night before. If you like fried rice and never know what to do with leftover roast chicken, read on.

Recipe – Fried Rice à la Meeka

Ingredients*

Leftover roast or braised chicken, meat removed from bones

Leftover cooked rice [boiled or via the absorption method]

1 – 2 rashers of middle bacon [or ham]

1 – 2 eggs

Capsicum, red [diced]

Spring onion [the white part, cleaned and chopped into small pieces] 

Leftover corn on the cob if available [kernels cut off the cob]

Sesame oil [a drop or two]

Soy Sauce [Light or dark]

Peanut oil for frying [it has a light, clean flavour that’s perfect for Chinese dishes, but I use it for everything]

A large wok

An egg slice or some other tool for stir frying the rice

*quantities will depend upon how many people are to be served and how much they like certain ingredients. As a rule of thumb, you’ll need approx. 1.5 – 2 cups of cooked rice for two medium sized people.

Method

Heat a couple of tablespoons of peanut oil in the wok until you can see a ‘heat haze’ rising from the oil.

While the oil is heating:

  • beat the egg[s]
  • cut the rind off the bacon and cut the meat and fat into small cubes/squares.
  • wash and cut the capsicum into small squares.

When the oil is hot, pour the beaten egg into the hot wok and swirl it around to spread it as much as possible [a bit like making a pancake].

When one side of the egg pancake is done, flip it over and cook the other side until it too is golden. Remove from wok and place on a cutting board. Cut into bite sized pieces and set aside.

Next, place the bacon pieces into the remaining oil along with the capsicum. Lower the heat and allow to cook gently until the bacon is nicely coloured but not quite crisp.

If using, add the corn kernels to the bacon and capsicum. Allow to cook gently for a few minutes more. [This is just to heat the corn through as it’s already cooked].

Remove the bacon, capsicum and corn from the oil. You can add it to the cooked egg.

Add a drop or two of sesame oil to the oil remaining in the wok. Don’t throw this oil out as it contains all the lovely flavours of the bacon etc!

Add the cooked rice to the wok and break up the lumps, tossing the rice almost constantly until the grains are nice and loose.

Return the egg, bacon, capsicum and corn to the wok and toss through the rice.

Add the pieces of cooked chicken.

Keep tossing until all the ingredients are heated through again, and the flavour has had a chance to spread through the rice.

Finally, add the chopped spring onions and a slosh of soy sauce to the rice. Do NOT overdo the soy sauce. 1/2 a tablespoon is more than enough at this stage. People can add more later, to suit their own tastes.

Toss the soy and the spring onions for a minute or two until the rice is slightly…beige? It will get a little colour from the soy, but it shouldn’t be brown. That means there’s too much soy!

Serve as is or braise some Chinese vegetables to serve with the rice.

To reheat the next day, place the leftover fried rice in a pot and add 1 tablespoon of water [the water will steam the rice and stop it from burning]. Cover and heat on a very low flame until it’s hot enough.

Bon appetit!

Meeks

 


Cold nights and chicken soup

I spent quite some time thinking about this post – all of five minutes – before deciding to indulge the foodie within. If you must blame anyone then please blame Maggie O and SweetMother. Those  dear lady bloggers are talking diets and food at the moment and I’m just too weak to resist such a potent trend so what else could I write about except my Mother’s chicken soup?

My Mum swore that chicken soup could cure anything. Sadly no double-blind experiments were ever done to prove or disprove that assertion so I can’t promise you a cure for cancer or bunions or sagging boobs but it does taste wonderful and is one of the easiest recipes I know. Plus! You don’t have to go out and buy a ton of fancy ingredients. All you’ll need are a few common vegetables, a chicken and some soup noodles. So let’s begin!

Hungarian Chicken Soup Recipe

Ingredients :

1 whole chicken or chicken portions with bones – think wings, drumsticks etc. The flavour comes from the bones people.

1 brown onion

3 cloves of garlic

2 good sized carrots

4-5 sticks of celery

1 parsnip [optional]

1 capsicum [sweet bell pepper]

fresh parsley

salt & pepper [white or black according to taste]

soup noodles

Method :

Put the chicken into a pot at least twice as large as the chicken. Fill with cold water and bring to the boil.

Peel the onions and garlic and throw into the pot whole.

Wash the celery sticks, cut in half and throw in the pot.

Peel the carrots [and parsnip if using], cut in half and throw in the pot.

Wash the capsicum [bell pepper], cut in half and throw in the pot.

Wash the parsley [about 2 small handfuls] and – you guessed it – throw in the pot.

By now the water should be close to boiling and you should see a pale foam starting to come to the top. Skim the foam off a couple of times with a ladle so you end up with a nice, clear broth at the end. Once the foam stops, lower the heat to a gentle simmer, add a little bit of salt and a fair bit of pepper, put the lid on and go away for about 2 hours.

The biggest secret to flavour is time. You’ve put all the good stuff in now let it cook long enough for all those flavours to combine.

When the soup is cooked you will have a number of options :

I’m hungry now option

In a separate pot cook some fine soup noodles [I use angel hair noodles that take about 3 minutes to cook].

While the noodles are cooking grab your trusty ladle and skim off as much of the fat floating on top of the soup as you can.

Drain the noodles, serve up into bowls and top with the cooked carrots and lots of chicken broth. Add extra salt because my recipes are never salty enough and eat!

I’m on a diet option

Nothing terribly tricky for this one, just patience and a bit of organization.

Pour the soup through a strainer into another pot. Reserve the carrots [and chicken if you like boiled chicken] and throw the rest into the compost.

Let the soup broth cool a little then cover and put in the fridge overnight.

When you’re ready for dinner the next night, skim off all the congealed bits of fat floating on top of the broth and discard. What you’re left with is a rich broth with no fat. Reheat and serve as for the ‘I’m hungry now‘ option.

I’ve had enough soup now option

The broth will last for about 3 days in the fridge. After that you can freeze it in smaller portions. I use these portions to add extra flavour to everything from rice to sauces to stews. And of course you can always just reheat them as soup! Nothing goes to waste 😀

I probably shouldn’t write this next bit as it completely ruins the healthy, low fat tone of the soup recipe but… I sometimes whip up some crepes to round off a soup meal and fill those last few holes. They are delicious  served with cinnamon and sugar or jam or even just lemon juice and sugar. If you’re good and ask nicely I may post my recipe for quick, easy crepes on another day when I’m feeling self indulgent…

Enjoy!


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