As recently as two years ago, had anyone offered me fried rice, my nose would have wrinkled. My lack of appreciation for rice and the unsophistication of the dish were two egotistical hindrances that denied my taste buds what I now know to be nothing short of a foodgasm.
My recent travels to Asia were educational and eye opening, enlightening my palate to what was once a foreign concept of fried rice and to what it can be when given a personal touch.
This dish hits every note imaginable. The cohesion of flavors and textures broadens its place on the food spectrum from comfort food to fine dining. My recipe is a guideline, to say the least. This can be as adaptive as your imagination and available ingredient supply will allow.
My wife and I love eating this at home. When it’s for a crew dinner, it’s a given to make extra so their respective families are dining on it that evening as well.
In a bowl, mix the chicken breasts with olive oil, Chinese spice, chili flakes and garlic, and lay out on a baking sheet.
In another mixing bowl, combine the butternut and coconut oil. Lay out in a baking sheet.
Season both trays and place in an oven set at 375 F and roast until both are done. Chicken should take 7-10 minutes and the butternut closer to 20 minutes to soften and brown. Remove and set aside. When chicken has cooled, shred.
In a heavy bottomed pan, brown the butter and add the mushrooms, salt and pepper, and cook at a high heat for 5 minutes. Set aside in a bowl.
Steam the broccoli, and set aside.
Drizzle a little olive oil in a large shallow pot/wok/pan and sauté the onions for 5 minutes.
Add the chilis if you are using them and cook 5 minutes more.
Add the sauce component ingredients and simmer for 2 minutes. While still stirring, add the shredded chicken, butternut, mushrooms (and their liquid), broccoli, rice and cashews.
Dry the eggs in a separate pan, breaking the yolks and scrambling them, then add them to the rice. Season to taste.
Plate immediately garnishing with the avocado and scallion tops.
Mark Godbeer has been a yacht chef for more than 10 years. Contact him through chefmarkgodbeer.com. Comments are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.