I’m not going to lie to you, I do miss rice occasionally. Especially if we have a stir-fry. This cauliflower version of egg-fried rice definitely puts the rice cravings at bay. If it’s not over-cooked it does have the quality of rice, and certainly tastes like egg-fried rice with a hint of cauliflower! If you haven’t boiled a chicken yet, then do it (as long as you have a big enough pan/small enough chicken). The chicken stays really moist, it cooks in no time, and it gets infused with all the flavours you add to the stock. YUM.
1 small chicken (this one was 1.2 kg)
1 large onion, chunked
1 bunch spring onions
3 large cloves garlic
3 red chillies, chunked
5 cm piece of ginger, sliced
1 tsp Schezuan peppercorns
2 tsp five-spice powder
2 whole star anise
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp sesame seed oil
1 tbsp tamari sauce (or soy sauce)
1 stock cube / fresh chicken stock
For the egg-fried cauli-rice:
1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
To prepare the chicken, place all of the vegetables and seasonings/spices into a large pan and place the chicken (breast-side up) on top. Fill the pan with hot water – the water should reach up to the chicken thighs (this way the breasts will steam, rather than boil).
Bring to the boil, cover, then turn the heat down and simmer gently for about 30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked (test whether the juices run clear by poking the thickest part of the breast/leg with a knife).
Meanwhile, prepare the cauli-rice. Whizz the cauliflower in a food processor until it has a rice-like quality (not too finely whizzed. Yes I do have a pink Magimix).
Heat the oil in a frying pan, add some of the spring onions and garlic from the chicken pot and stir-fry for a minute. Add the cauliflower and stir-fry for a few minutes. Add a ladle of stock from the chicken pot, cover, and simmer for a few minutes until the cauliflower is cooked (keep checking, it won’t take long). Push the cauliflower to one side of the pan, and add the eggs to the other. Scramble the eggs until they are almost cooked, and then mix everything together. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper (or extra tamari/soy sauce) as required.
Carve the chicken, and serve with the rice, some steamed mange-tout, the cauli-rice and lots of the stock!