Here is an easy stir-fry dish that can be made in about 20 minutes. You can get a head start by making the rice one day ahead of time.
1 cup basmati rice, cooked
2 to 4 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 large boneless, skinless, chicken breast, cubed or sliced (about 10 oz.)
4 cups button mushrooms, sliced (8 ounces)
1 cup red onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, chopped, about 1 heaping tablespoon
Handful cilantro, leaves and tender stalks, chopped fine, about 1/3 cup
1 tbsp. fresh rosemary, minced
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ tsp. cumin seeds
½ tsp. paprika
½ cup to 1 cup chicken stock, or water
2 tbsp. soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste
Cook the rice and turn out onto a large sheet pan to cool. Or you can cook the rice one day ahead of time and chill, which is my preferred method. I think this makes it easier to stir fry. If you start with cold rice, there is less chance of the rice breaking up as you stir.
In a large sauté pan, heat up 2 T. vegetable oil and add the chicken strips. Brown lightly on one side and turn the strips. This step should take less than 5 minutes. Remove to a plate when finished browning. The chicken won’t be completely cooked at this point, it will be added back to the pan later to finish cooking.
In the same pan, heat up a little more vegetable oil and add the sliced mushrooms. Sauté over medium-high heat for two minutes without turning them, let them get brown on one side. Give them a stir, add another splash of oil, and then add the chopped onion and garlic. Turn the heat down to medium and let the this cook, about one more minute.
Toss in the chopped coriander leaves and stalks, cumin seeds, cinnamon, rosemary, and paprika. Let this mixture cook until everything looks toasty, and a little dry. This step is concentrating the flavors of the mushrooms and the seasonings.
Add some chicken stock, about ½ cup to deglaze the pan. Add the soy sauce, then the chicken strips, warm up the chicken for a minute, then add the rice. Turn heat to medium low, and gently combine the ingredients until everything is well coated and mixed up. Add more chicken stock or water as necessary to help everything come together.
This is what Kaluhi, the author of Kaluhi’s Kitchen, has to say about this step: “Make sure your rice is nice and singular, or ‘moja moja’ as Kenyans may say, so that your cumin chicken and mushroom fried rice looks attractive and not like a lumpy broken-up mass!”
Turn out onto a platter and garnish with cilantro sprigs.
Notes and Instructions
Recipe and photo credit: Linda McElroy