Oh. Wow. This Chicken and Bacon Fried Rice has been declared by my family as the best “unplanned and amazingly delicious” meal to come out of 2020.
Initially made on a whim one night when I had leftover rice in the fridge, I’ve been making it on repeat for months now and finally was able to get some photos so that I can share it with you.
The whole family very happily gives this dinner two thumbs up each time I make it.
Easy Chicken Fried Rice
There really aren’t many meals that top the convenience of combining leftover rice with leftover chicken in a way that delivers so much deliciousness.
Chicken fried rice has become such a staple on our weeknight dinner plans, I regularly double or triple the amount of rice needed for a meal, just to make sure there is plenty leftover for a fried rice dinner too.
And for the easiest “leftover” chicken ever, I often pick up a rotisserie chicken at the store. Full disclosure, with two teenage boys and a very rapidly growing 10 (almost 11) year old in the house, there’s rarely anything truly leftover after most meals.
And if there is? You just might find it in my fridge with a giant note on the container that says “DO NOT EAT THIS” if I actually want it to be there for a recipe the following day. Anyone else relate to this?
Fried Rice with Chicken and Bacon
Can you go wrong adding bacon to fried rice? I say that it’s impossible. As evidenced by this mouthwatering Chicken and Bacon Stir Fry that we’ve been making for almost ten years now, the combination of chicken + bacon + Asian flavors is absolutely fantastic.
Tender chicken, salty bacon, along with bites of egg, onion, and peas in a very flavorful rice skillet? Oh yeah, you need to make this.
Perfect Every Time Fried Rice
If you’ve made the Better Than Take-Out Fried Rice that I shared a few years ago, you may recall that our method is a little different from some.
Two things that sets this fried rice apart are those extra minutes with just the rice and the sauce in the skillet. It really does makes a difference. It allows the flavor to permeate each grain of rice and it crisps up a bit as well.
Side note: The rice for this recipe needs to be completely chilled so that it can be easily broken apart into individual grains without any clumping or sticking.
I suggest making the rice a day or two (even as much as 4-5 days) before you want to use it. The key to great fried rice is using rice that is as dry as possible so that your fried rice won’t be mushy or soft.
The second thing that is different from most is the method for cooking the eggs. You are going to cook the eggs first, in a flat pancake, and then just dice that pancake up. This was a fried rice game changer the first time I tried it and I’ll never go back to scrambling them in the skillet with the rice.
Start to finish this entire recipe is going to be ready to eat in just 15-20 minutes. Promise that you won’t skip that extra 5 minutes of time with the rice in the skillet. It’s worth it, I promise!
Bacon Fried Rice
You have several choices with the bacon in this recipe. You can cook the bacon in the oven, either when you’re ready to make the recipe or a day or two ahead of time.
You can chop the bacon up and cook it in the skillet before starting the recipe here.
Or for the easiest option ever, you can use real bacon crumbles like these. (Please note that these are not the crunchy dried bacon bits that you find in a jar.) We use these crumbles in our omelets and on salads. They even crisp up when warmed in a skillet. They’re basically magic.
I use bacon grease in this recipe (and I always have a jar of it in the fridge) however, refined coconut oil or light flavored olive oil also work nicely.
Also, because I use bacon grease, I can make this recipe in a non-stick skillet (above photo) and it works perfectly with zero risk of burning anything.
If you’re using a higher heat point oil, you should be able to use a stainless pan (below photo) without any issues.
Fried Rice Recipes
Kielbasa and Shrimp Fried Rice is another fried rice meal of which we can’t get enough. For a twist on the classic Asian flavors, Mexican Fried Rice is filled with ground beef, bell peppers, black beans, corn, and green chile.
And for those times when you might want something a little different, Cauliflower Fried Rice takes fresh, cold cauliflower rice and fries it up with veggies, Mexican spices, cooked chicken, and a generous helping of shredded cheese.
For the crazy heat lovers in my family, I just put this Nasi Goreng Gila (aka Crazy Spicy Fried Rice) on my list to try. With Trinidad Scorpion and Scotch Bonnet peppers in the recipe, “I” will steer clear, but my oldest son will likely love it.
If you’re looking for another lightning-fast dinner option that packs a ton of flavor, this Sausage Egg Roll In A Bowl is a huge favorite too!
How to Make Chicken Fried Rice
- Warm a tablespoon of bacon grease, or oil, in a large skillet over medium heat. Swirl the oil to coat the surface of the pan. Pour the eggs into the pan and tilt as needed to spread across the skillet.
- Let the eggs cook for 2-3 minutes and then flip them over. Cook one more minute. Slide the egg out of the skillet onto a cutting board and allow it to cool. Cut into 1/2-inch wide strips and then cut into small pieces.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of grease, or oil, to the skillet and increase heat to medium-high. Add the rice and stir to coat. Continue stirring and cooking for about 2 minutes. Add the soy sauce and sesame oil. Stir well, to distribute the sauce throughout the rice. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently until the rice is heated through.
- Add the chicken, bacon, and peas. Stir and cook an additional 3-4 minutes, until everything is hot. Add the eggs and green onions to the skillet. Sprinkle with pepper. Stir gently to mix. Taste the rice and add salt, only if needed. Serve with soy sauce on the side.
Chicken and Bacon Fried Rice
- 2 tablespoons bacon grease, or the oil of your choice, divided
- 3 eggs beaten
- 5 cups COLD cooked rice *
- 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce, plus more for serving
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cups cooked chicken, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 cup cooked and crumbled bacon, about 1 lb bacon
- 2/3 cup frozen peas
- 3 green onions sliced thin
- optional: kosher salt only as needed.
- Warm a tablespoon of bacon grease, or oil, in a large skillet over medium heat. Swirl the oil to coat the surface of the pan. Pour the eggs into the pan and tilt as needed to spread across the skillet. Let the eggs cook for 2-3 minutes and then flip them over. Cook one more minute. Slide the egg out of the skillet onto a cutting board and allow it to cool. Cut into 1/2-inch wide strips and then cut into small pieces.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of grease, or oil, to the skillet and increase heat to medium high. Add the rice and stir to coat. Continue stirring and cooking for about 2 minutes. Add the soy sauce and sesame oil. Stir well, to distribute the sauce throughout the rice. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the rice is heated through.
- Add the chicken, bacon, and peas. Stir and cook an additional 3-4 minutes, until everything is hot. Add the eggs and green onions to the skillet. Sprinkle with pepper. Stir gently to mix. Taste the rice and add salt, only if needed. Enjoy!