Before I get into the recipe, let me say that this recipe was given to me by vegan and fellow friend, foodie, and follower, Courtney P. I ate it vegan style, but I made chicken to go with it for my brother and dad (who, incidentally, ate it sans chicken, too). My brother is a big carnivore so I thought I’d be nice and add it to his plate. HUGE thanks to Courtney for sharing this recipe with me–it was beyond delicious. It will definitely be a welcoming repeat offender for weeknight dinners.
I got up this morning and made the chicken and rice in the morning so all I’d have to do tonight is throw everything together–a lesson I learned from nannying. Prepping in the morning is always worth it. Lucky for me, freelance writing offers schedule freedom so I can utilize my time however I please–for the most part.
Please take note that chicken is optional and while I’m sure it was good, I recommend trying it without the poultry. It’s just as filling, as the beans act as protein. But if you have meat-lovers in the family (or if your significant other is anything like mine), by all means add the chicken! You could even add an egg or two to make it more like the “traditional” fried rice.
Also, if you have a wok, utilize it with this recipe! I have one that I have yet to break in, but since I’ve moved, it’s hiding away in storage under a mountain of heavy boxes. :(
First things first:
Rub 2 cleaned chicken breasts with your favorite dry rub. I like the southwest-tasting one from McCormick. (It’s just called “Chicken Dry Rub”).
In a hot pan, drizzle a couple tablespoons of EVOO. Drop the chicken in and cook until cooked completely through. Make things easy on yourself and pound the thicker side of the breast so your meat cooks evenly.
Once cooked, set aside, tented, to rest. If you make it in the morning, throw in the fridge and reheat later, then slice, when you make the rice.
Now to the good stuff:
- 2-3 cups cooked brown rice (even if you think you don’t like brown rice, make it anyway. It’s healthier for you and once you add everything, you can’t tell the difference between it and white rice)
- 4 Tbsp. EVOO (2 Tbsp. at a time)
- 1-2 medium zucchini, cubed/chopped to liking (or broccoli, bell pepper, whatever you like)
- 1 medium yellow or sweet onion, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 1/4 cup frozen peas
- 1/4 cup frozen corn
- 1/2 medium lemon
- 2 small carrots, chopped
- 1/8 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp. ground chili powder
- 1/2 tsp. of Italian seasoning
- 1/8 tsp. onion powder
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- Add 2 Tbsp. EVOO to large frying pan and chopped onion. Sautee until onions are translucent.
- Add remaining 2 Tbsp.of EVOO and add rice and beans. Stir well to coat rice with oil.
- Add carrots, zucchini, corn, and peas and whatever other veggies you chopped up. Stir well to combine.
- Add soy sauce, cumin, cayenne pepper, chili powder, onion powder making sure to sprinkle all over rice and veggies to get them all coated. Stir around to coat everything well.
- Add juice from 1/2 lemon. Squeeze lemon with flat side up so seeds do not fall into rice.
- Stir, stir, stir nearly constantly to keep rice from sticking.
- Cook about 5-15 min (depending on how big your veggies are cut, flame size, etc.) until zucchini is softened to your liking carrots are chewable to liking and peas and corn are defrosted.
- Adjust seasoning to your liking.
- Shovel into mouth and say “mmmmm”