One evening, not too long ago, we had dinner at a chain-restaurant-which-specialises-in-ice-cream-but-also-has-a-hot-food-menu. The dinner crowd was starting to pack into the mall, and we didn't want to walk around aimlessly wondering what to eat. Seeing that the queue was still reasonably short, we decided to eat there.
We placed our orders, and my daughter ordered a chicken baked rice. When her dish came, I took a small bite. To describe it objectively, it was plain white rice topped with tasteless, dry chicken fillets and smothered with a layer of diluted, starchy gravy.
Oh, yum. Bleah. Needless to say, we won't be going back there. Period.
The very next day, I whipped up my own version using some overnight rice and plenty of common sense. And it totally rawked, if I may say so myself ;) The kids licked the platter clean, literally!
As for that restaurant, tsk tsk. I think they should just stick to serving ice-cream.
- 6 to 7 tbsp chicken stock
- 2 tbsp heavy cream
- 1 tsp corn flour, diluted with a little water
- 2 rice bowls cooked rice (best if it's overnight rice kept in the fridge)
- Carrots, sliced thinly
- Honey baked ham, shredded (or any other ingredient you like)
- A knob of butter
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- Grated cheddar and mozzarella
- Grated parmesan
1. In a saucepan, bring chicken stock and heavy cream to a boil. Add corn starch liquid. Stir till the mixture thickens. Set aside.
2. In a skillet or wok, melt some butter. Fry the garlic till fragrant. Add carrots and fry over a low flame till semi-cooked. Add ham. Add rice. Keep frying and tossing. Break up all lumps.
3. Pour butter fried rice into a casserole dish. Pour chicken stock mixture over. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
4. Top with grated cheddar and mozzarella. Add a generous layer!
5. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 8 to 10mins, at 200 degrees celsius or until the cheese browns to a golden crust. This will happen very quickly, so keep your eyes on the dish. Serve piping hot.
Now, how difficult is it to get that right?!