Place 350g day-old chilled cooked rice in a bowl and break up with your hands. Heat ½ tbsp vegetable oil in a large wok over a high heat until smoking. Add half of the rice and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring, until toasted. Transfer to a bowl and repeat with the remaining rice, using another ½ tbsp oil. Return all of the rice to the wok and press it up the sides, leaving a space in the middle. Add ½ tbsp oil to the space and cook 1 chopped onion, 1 chopped carrot, 3 chopped spring onions and 2 crushed garlic cloves for one minute, stirring gently. Add 1 tsp soy sauce and 1 tsp toasted sesame oil and toss everything together to coat. Push the rice to the side of the wok and add another ½ tbsp oil. Break 1 egg into the oil and scramble. Toss the egg and rice together. Add 120g frozen peas and stir for 2-3 minutes, then serve.
One-pan Moroccan chicken and rice
Toast 30g flaked almonds in a hot, dry pan until golden. Set aside. Slice 4 skinless chicken thighs into 3-4 pieces each and place in a plastic bag with 2 tsp garam masala and a pinch of salt. Shake and massage until the chicken pieces are well coated. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat and cook 1 sliced onion until soft and translucent. Add 2 crushed garlic cloves, ½ tsp ground cumin, ½ tsp dried coriander, a pinch of cinnamon and 50g raisins or sultanas. Cook for one minute until fragrant. Stir in 200g brown rice, 250ml chicken stock and 1 x 165ml tin of coconut milk. Bring to a boil, then add the spiced chicken. Turn the heat to a gentle simmer, cover and cook for 35-40 minutes until the rice is tender. Divide between bowls and scatter with the toasted almonds and some chopped mint.
Greek lemon, chicken and rice soup
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a soup pot over a medium-high heat. Add 1 chopped onion and 1 chopped carrot and cook for five minutes or until just tender. Add 950ml chicken stock and 100g Arborio rice and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes or until the rice is cooked through. In a small bowl, beat 3 eggs together with the juice of 1 lemon. Add 300g cooked, shredded chicken to the pot and stir. Transfer one ladle of the soup to the egg mixture and stir, then pour the egg mixture into the soup. Season with salt, black pepper and lemon juice to taste. Add 4 tbsp chopped dill and cook for 2-3 minutes, then serve.
Pea, mint and Feta risotto
Melt a knob of butter in a large pot over a medium heat and cook 200g Arborio rice for 2-3 minutes. Make up 1l of vegetable stock and add a ladleful to the rice. Cook, stirring, until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed. Add another ladle of stock and stir again until almost absorbed. Continue until the rice is cooked to al dente – you probably won’t need all of the stock. Add 150g frozen peas and cook for 2-3 minutes more (longer if using frozen). Season with salt and a generous amount of black pepper. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the zest of 1 lemon and 60g crumbled Feta cheese. Divide the risotto between bowls. Finely chop a small handful of fresh mint and scatter some over the top of each bowl before serving.
Luxurious buttered Parmesan rice
Melt 60g butter in a pan over a medium heat. Add 3 crushed garlic cloves and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add 200g uncooked white rice and stir to coat. Add 250ml chicken stock and 250ml whole milk and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom. Stir in 40g grated Parmesan and 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley. Season to taste, then remove from the heat, cover and allow to rest for five minutes. Serve as a side dish for chicken or pork.
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