leftover chicken fried rice

The Best Leftover Chicken Fried Rice

If you’re wondering what to do with leftover roast chicken then this recipe is for you! It’s an amazingly quick and delicious meal to use leftover rotisserie chicken to make an awesome egg fried rice. This recipe is incredibly flexible and is a great way to use scraps of vegetables that need using up in your fridge.

leftover chicken egg fried rice recipe

Roast chicken on a Sunday is something that I love and there’s a myriad of options for the leftover meat and carcass. I love making a warming bowl of chicken soup but more often than not, egg fried rice is what I crave. It’s incredibly cheap and a great way to use scraps of vegetables that need using up. So read on to find out how to make a delicious egg fried rice with leftover chicken.

Our leftover chicken fried rice recipe keeps it super simple is a great formula to follow if you want to try other ingredients. It will work just as well with leftover roast pork and even lamb. You can play with other vegetables such as corn and mushrooms – it depends on what you have!

Ultimate Leftover Chicken Fried Rice Recipe

The first thing to consider is the rice. If you don’t eat a lot of rice then making it on the day is fine. It is best kept uncovered in the fridge over night but making it ‘fresh’ is fine. The only must is to make sure the rice has cooled down and left in the fridge for a few hours. This removes moisture and stops the grains from becoming sticky.

For the chicken, I’d recommend using leg meat as after roasting, the breast meat will generally be pretty dry. However if that’s only what you’ve got that it’s best to really thoroughly shred the meat. Boiling the bones and the jellied juices makes a fantastic broth which can be flavoured with ginger and spring onions as a delicious starter!

As a base for the dish I use a finely minced onion, 3 or 4 cloves of garlic and to season, soy sauce, white pepper and MSG (this is optional!).

The cooking is simple and really quick. You want to get your wok or pan on a high heat and start with the eggs. Get your beaten eggs in with plenty of oil and let them set – turn once and remove even when the eggs are still runny inside. Any more and they’ll be overcooked and rubbery when on the plate! After this we add the onions and garlic (and other veg if you’re using) and stir-fry until softened. It’s important to moderate the heat and stir constantly to avoid anything burning (especially the garlic!). After this you add the frozen peas, rice and chicken. Now it’s all about frying the rice and warming the chicken through – this usually takes a few minutes. Finally you want to season the rice with soy, white pepper and MSG (which is 100% safe!). Garnish with spring onions/scallions and enjoy!

What You’ll Need

To make leftover chicken fried rice you’ll need the following:

  • Rice: For rice I tend to use Jasmin or Basmati rice and around 100g of uncooked rice per person. This, ideally, should be cooked a day in advance but you can do it on the day as long as you let the cooked rice dry out in the fridge for at least 4 hours.

  • Chicken: Leftover roast or rotisserie chicken is the best for this recipe. I’d advise that you use leg meat as breast will dry out once cooked a second time. You can of course use uncooked chicken and if so, stir fry in the wok before you start from step 1.

  • Eggs: It wouldn’t be egg fried rice without eggs! The general rule of thumb is 1 egg per person. If you don’t eat eggs you can omit.

  • Aromatics: Onion, spring onion (scallions) and garlic make the typical Chinese egg fried rice flavour profile. You can also add ginger if you like!

  • Optional Ingredients: Corn, mushrooms, celery, bell peppers, chilli all are awesome in egg fried rice.


Makes 4 portions.

  • 400g of uncooked rice, cooked and cooled in the fridge for at least 4 hours
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 white or brown onion, finely minced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 75g of frozen peas
  • 4 medium spring onions/scallions, finely sliced
  • 4 tbsp of light soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp of white pepper
  • 1 tsp of MSG (Optional)
  • 30g mushrooms (Optional)

How to Make Leftover Chicken Egg Fried Rice

  1. Start by cooking your rice the day or 4 hours before. Take the rice and rinse under cold water – repeat this at least 4 times for best results. Soak the rice for at least 30 mins before cooking. Cook the rice using you preferred method. Cool the rice and place into the fridge uncovered.

  2. Place a wok or non-stick pan on high heat and add 2 tbsp of vegetable oil. Place the beaten eggs into the wok/pan and let them set – flip the mixture and let set on the other side. Remove and reserve.

  3. Add another 2 tbsp of oil and add the onions and stir fry on a medium high heat until softened. Add the garlic and stir fry until fragrant.

  4. Add 1 tbsp of oil and add the frozen peas, chicken and rice. Break-up the rice with a back of a spoon.

  5. Cook for 2-3 minutes, tossing the rice constantly ensuring nothing sticks.

  6. Add the sliced spring-onions/scallions.

  7. Season with soy, white pepper and MSG if using. Serve immediately!

Why is my Fried Rice Mushy?

Fried rice becomes mushy for a few reasons. The first is that your rice is too wet. It’s really important to use rice that’s been cooled and dried in the fridge (the dry, cold air slowly dries out the rice). The other reason is that the rice was over cooked – this can lead to the grains breaking apart as you fry it and the mixture appearing mushy.

Finally, it’s important to use a good amount of oil to really fry the rice on a high heat – don’t be afraid to add more!

Can You Freeze It?

No, this is one dish that won’t freeze well. As the main ingredients have already been cooked twice it will defrost and reheat poorly.

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