Thursday, April 18, 2013

NEW RECIPE: Mexican Chicken Fried Rice

© Constantine William Spyrou

The great thing about food is that you can mix and match ingredients from different cultures in so many unique combinations that thousands of variations of thousands of dishes are made all over the world. Each family has their own way of doing classic dishes, such as lasagna or meatloaf or even how they cook their steak. For our family, our main variation dish has always had to do with rice. Rice is a highly universal food that comes from multiple cultures. We tend to use Jasmine rice and serve it with anything from Arabic lamb kibbeh (meatballs) to Thai yellow curry chicken and even a classic marina bolognese sauce. Fried rice is another major variation our family likes to cook, and we've added everything from leftover ham and steak to edamame to a fried rice dish before. That gave me the idea to create a Mexican style of fried rice with my favorite cuisine- Greek! 

Now, I do realize that I have done fried rice in the past, but hear me out. This is more of a combination of two different rice dishes rather than a fried rice dish. This dish combines the traditional fried rice with a savory, tangy, and delicious arroz con crema. This traditional Mexican side dish is made with sour cream (which will be replaced by Greek Yogurt in this recipe) and vegetables and cheese. All of these things go really well with eggs, and that gets really showcased in this creamy and delicious dish. Served with grilled chicken mixed into the rice, this will really be a treat! 

Recipe makes 8 servings.

For the Chicken:

4 pounds boneless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup Mexican Oregano
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons onion powder
3 tablespoons chili powder
Juice and zest of 2 limes
Salt and Pepper to season

For the Rice: 

6 cups jasmine rice, cooked
6 whole eggs (DO NOT BEAT THEM)
2 tablespoons Greek Yogurt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup diced bell peppers
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1/4 cup diced roasted poblano chili (To make this, fire roast a poblano pepper over a burner until all of the skin is blackened, then peel off the skin and remove the seeds and stalk. Dice. )
1/4 cup sweet corn
Salt and pepper to season


1. Combine all of the spices for the chicken and the lime zest/juice and marinate the chicken with it by massaging it into the meat gently. Let sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours to allow the flavors to combine.
2. Place the toasted sesame oil and canola oil in a hot pan, and cook the chicken thoroughly. This should take about 5-6 minutes.
3. This is the crucial step! When the chicken is almost done, crack all 6 eggs into a small pot and add the butter. Slowly heat the eggs, whisking them vigorously and continuously as the butter melts and the eggs become scrambled and creamy. When they look about 90% done, take the stove off of the heat and combine the Greek Yogurt with the eggs. The eggs will finish cooking due to carryover, so there is no need for the pot to go back on the stove. Season the eggs, stir, and set aside.
4. When the chicken is fully cooked, take it out of the pan.
5. Add in the onions, bell peppers, green onion, and poblano chili. Let the vegetables sweat for about 2 minutes, then deglaze the pan with soy sauce and chicken stock. Season the vegetables as well.
6. Return to the chicken to the pan, and cook for about 1 minute, mixing thoroughly with the vegetables. Do the same with the eggs right afterward.
7. As soon as the eggs enter the pan, add your rice and corn and mix well. Add more soy sauce and pepper to your liking, and serve with fresh chopped green onion and cilantro leaves as a garnish.

The creamy style of cooking scrambled eggs is really what brings this dish to the next level and makes it almost a luxurious, risotto-style fried rice. Adding in the fresh vegetables and garnish also elevates it to that next level.

I hope you enjoy this dish! Let me you know what you think, and if you make it at home, tell me how it turns out! Enjoy! 

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