Besides irreparable damage, I’d say a chef’s worst enemy that would completely get in the way of how they do their jobs is sour candies. I’m a sweet tooth and I don’t normally eat sour things specifically because they basically paralyze your taste buds for the next day or two. Still, there is sometimes a craving for them with me, so I get Sour Patch Kids. I get punished for having them by getting pain on my tongue, which motivates me to finish them off within the next couple days, causing even MORE hardly-bearable pain on my tongue.
Since that completely jeopardizes my sense of taste for the next few days, I had to rely solely on guesswork while making the chicken fried rice recipe I got from BuzzFeed. Actually, it was “Bacon, Egg, and Rice Dish“, thanks to their new Tasty website. (Which I recently learned because I have been obsessed with those short DIY videos, specifically the recipe ones. And, if you have time, check out Tastemade’s “Tiny Kitchen”: it’s not just tiny foods, but the entire kitchen is also tiny, which means so are the tools.)
We don’t have bacon, so I substituted chicken (as usual). I also didn’t use the measuring cups because I figured I could’ve predicted how much of something I needed. That might have been a mistake, however other factors still could have been at play to this so-so meal.
I had to make it twice because there was dinner for my mother, brother and myself, and then there was one for my dad, who got home later because he was working. In my opinion, the second attempt was better because I knew what to expect. The first was sort of a disaster, but not inedible.
When I made the first batch, the rice was freshly cooked because it took me the entire rice cooking period to prepare the rest of the recipe. I set all the ingredients out separately to make it easier to put into the pan while cooking: eggs, onions, meat, etc. Unfortunately, I thought that meant I could immediately use the rice once it was finished. I think I used a little too much water for the rice cooker because it was slightly too moist. I mean, I generally like it that way, but I guess specific dish didn’t.
My timing was almost perfect though. As soon as the rice was done, the timing of the recipe was just right, for it to be added into the pan. Word of advice though: just because it seems like perfect timing does not mean you should get a jump start on the next step. Just thought I’d clarify that for you guys out there who read this for educational purposes, not entertainment.
Because of this, I added the onions after the rice, but I don’t think that order makes too big a difference? I don’t know specifically because a) my taste buds have been compromised thanks to the Sour Patch Kids, and b) even if they were lucid enough for me to taste, I couldn’t tell what was good or bad about it. They just aren’t trained enough for that yet. I mean, I’m sure I’d have a better idea than the beginner I was just months ago, but I’m still not at professional level quite yet, obviously.
The second time, I let my mom taste it and she said it was fine, so I trusted her judgment, seeing as how she is the typical American housewife. She knew that the second try was going to be better just by looking at it.
Also, the green onions, while we do have them, are pretty old. They were brown at the tips and wilting, so I figured, yeah, I can skip the garnish.
My second attempt was easier, also because the rice was drier. Pulling apart the “clumps” of rice in the pan got me confused the first time because it seemed like they were more focused on becoming some kind of risotto. With the drier rice, I got a much better sense of what they meant by “breaking up the clumps”.
After all this hard work, it turned out my dad didn’t like it. He took one bite and…yeah. He says it’s because he doesn’t like his rice mixed with anything else, but I’m getting the feeling that he thinks this dish (for now) was one bad apple in a healthy bushel. Honestly, I don’t blame him. I’m mostly pointing my fingers at those dumb Sour Patch Kids. (Seriously, a chef loses her mojo when she’s on those things! Whenever you cook something, avoid them at all costs!)
As far as the guesswork goes, I’d say I was pretty accurate. I mean, then again, I wouldn’t really know since I never tasted it with my normal tastebuds, but my mom says it’s good and she doesn’t even know about my candy stash. While predicting how much of one ingredient goes into the pot, all I kept thinking about was, I can’t rely on recipes forever. One of these days, I have to memorize them and try to stick to them as closely as possible, so when I do manage to make it all on my own, I have my own variations of these dishes. I’ll eventually get a feel of how much a tsp. is as opposed to a tbsp. I’m sure. Like I said: cooking is a science experiment.
Oh, before I forget, Mom also said to cut the chicken chunks into smaller pieces after the first try.
AND…the first time, I used half a yellow onion while the second photo shows that I used red onion. A whole one, in fact.