Abby Allen · Mar 8, 2021 · 3 min read
Don't let this semi-intimidating name fool you, this chicken-rice-salad situation may sound intricate, but the truth is, it's anything but. It all starts with some leftover rice, chicken, strawberries, whatever greens you have on hand and a few simple pantry staples items - that's it.
What is crispy rice you ask? This was something I discovered in the early stages of quarantine whilst watching Bon Appetit Magazine's YouTube channel. In said video, they showed one of their favorite ways to utilize leftover rice (because let's face it, we all always make way more rice than we need) by simply heating some oil/fat of choice over medium heat, spooning in and patting down some cooked rice and allowing the whole happy party to simmer away. Tenish minutes later, after a nice little invert, you're left with a perfectly golden-brown crisp layer of sheer rice gold.
When it comes to the type of rice to use for crispy rice, it's truly all about preference. I usually like to use a basmati, just because that's typically what I have on hand. Rollin' Oats has a premium array of top-notch rice selections to choose from, and as always, they also have every single ingredient needed to make this recipe. Not only do they just have the ingredients, but Rollin' Oats has the premium selection for all of the ingredients needed and so much more.
As with the majority of my cooking, this recipe was designed with versatility in mind. It's meant to be prepared in a way that suits you and your likes, lifestyle, etc. For example, if you follow a Vegan lifestyle, omit the chicken, add some crispy tofu or some extra vegetables. Or, if chicken isn't your thing, replace it with a more desirable protein and perhaps swap out the strawberries. Add, subtract and improvise however you see fit.
Strawberry-Balsamic Chicken with Watercress & Crispy Rice
- 1 cup Strawberries Washed, tops removed and sliced into small pieces
- 1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2 cups Leftover Cooked Rice
- 4 tbsp olive oil
Chicken & Salad Assembly
- 1 bag Watercress Or any other similar green, like Arugula.
- 1 Avocado
- 1 lb Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast Cutlets 2 8oz cutlets. Or, one 1lb butterflied breast
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- Salt and Pepper
- 1/4 cup Fresh Basil Chopped
- Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover and set aside until ready to use.
- Heat a nonstick skillet, approximately 8", over medium heat and add olive oil. Spoon cooked rice into skillet while carefully patting down, making sure to cover the entire surface of the skillet. Continue to cook over medium heat until the edges of the rice begin to brown, approxmately 10-12 minutes.
- When all of the edges are golden brown, carefully place a heat-proof plate face-down over the skillet. Carefully invert the rice onto the plate - the top should be a nice brown color and ultra crispy. Set aside until ready to serve
Chicken and Salad Assembly
- Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Salt and pepper all sides of the chicken breast cutlets and place on prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes and remove from the oven. Flip chicken and spoon reserved Strawberry-balsamic mixture over the chicken. If some Strawberries roast on the pan and not on the chicken, that's completely fine.
- Bake for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a few minutes. Remove strawberries from chicken (do NOT discard!) and slice chicken.
- To assemble the salad, start with the Watercress, spoon in some crispy rice, add avocado, top with sliced chicken, roasted strawberries and basil, evenly distribute oil and vinegar over the two salads and add salt and pepper to taste.