Over the years, we have accumulated a large quantity of party paper napkins. You know how it goes – you buy a pack for a party and then there are leftovers. We have a large drawer of mismatched napkins. When paper napkins and paper towels were in short supply a few months ago, we made our meals festive with colorful choices. At one point, someone setting the table gave a “special” napkin to a family member and waited to see how long it took the rest of us to notice. Which one is not like the other? So now it has become a joke and every so often, a special napkin is allocated. Try it and see how long it takes to be noticed.
We have also tried lots of fried rice recipes. Usually I take the stance of “leave it to the experts” but Andrew was insistent. The first time I made it, David had the pizza place on speed dial and afterwards admitted “that was better than I had anticipated.” Lovely.
- 3 tablespoons butter, divided
- 2 eggs, whisked
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 ½ pounds chicken, boneless, skinless and cut into bite size pieces
- 2 medium carrots, peeled, diced and blanched
- 1 small white onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- Salt and black pepper
- 4 cups cooked and chilled rice, like jasmine rice – or 3 orders of steamed rice from a Chinese restaurant like Pei Wei
- 3–4 tablespoons soy sauce, or more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- Optional ingredients which we did not include but which are listed in the original recipe: peas, green onions and oyster sauce
Cook or buy your rice a day in advance. Place in the refrigerator to cool. Supposedly cold rice works the best.
In a large saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Place chicken pieces in the pan, season with salt and a splash of soy sauce. Cook through. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
Heat 1/2 tablespoon of butter in a sauté pan over medium-high heat until melted. Add eggs and cook until scrambled, stirring occasionally. Transfer egg to a separate plate.
In a large saute pan (preferably with high sides) or a wide pot, heat 1 tablespoon butter until melted. Add carrots, onion, and garlic, and season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté for about 5 minutes or until the onion and carrots are soft. Increase heat to high, add in the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter, and stir until melted. Immediately add the rice and soy sauce and stir until combined. Continue sautéing for an additional 3 minutes to fry the rice, stirring occasionally. (You can let the rice rest for a bit between stirs so that it can crisp up on the bottom.) Then add in the eggs and chicken stir to combine. Remove from heat, and stir in the sesame oil until combined. Taste and season with extra soy sauce, if needed.
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