Chicken Biryani

I ran across this recipe the other day while looking for alternatives to jambalaya. This wasn’t actually an alternative, but somehow I got here. So worth it.

I admit, I changed it a bit. Evaporating the sauce made no sense to me, our house is all about sauce. I didn’t cook the rice in with the chicken, either.

This is best if you start either early in the day or even the night before. There’s some marinating involved.

p.s. Please ignore formatting issues….my laptop crashed, for no reason I can find, and I still haven’t managed to recover it, so I wrote this on the WordPress website, using my phone. What a thoroughly irritating endeavour!

Marinade Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts or 4 thighs or whatever combination of chicken you like (about 1lb worth)
  • 3 TB of plain yogurt (I was extremely generous with the yogurt)
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger, chopped (I had no ginger so had to use powdered -same amount)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 TB garam masala
  • 1-2 TB lemon juice

Mix it all up and spread over your chicken. Leave to marinate as long as you can. I took my chicken out of the freezer, smeared it with the marinade in a container with a lid and just left it in the fridge until the next evening when I wanted to cook it.

When you are ready to cook, chop up the chicken (more surfaces for flavour)…..you can absolutely not chop if you don’t want to.

Before you do start, though, I recommend getting the rest of your ingredients together.

Spices:

  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 inch of a cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 3/4 tsp caraway seeds

The Rest of the Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rice – original recipe recommends aged basmati, I used regular brown rice
  • 2 TB oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 TB green chili
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • Water to cook the rice

Heat the oil in a large, not massive, pot. Add the spices. Skip any you don’t have or use powdered if you have that. If you use powdered, I would start with 1/4 tsp of each, cook the chicken, then taste and add more if needed.

The chicken after it marinated for 18 hours. I just put the leftover marinade in with the chicken to cook.

When the spices start to sizzle, add the chicken and onions. Stir until the chicken is pale…not done, but starting to cook the outside.

I don’t know if the chicken was exceptionally tender or my knife was super sharp, or if I’m just not used to cutting up thawed chicken, but wow, it was easy dicing!

Lower the heat and put a lid on it. Let it cook gently until the chicken is cooked through & tender. Cook the rice….I used my rice cooker.

Toast those spices!

Add the yogurt, the chili, the chili powder and the garam masala and mix in thoroughly. I did pause for a few moments and try to retrieve the spices. I missed 3 cardamom pods and 4 cloves, but no one bit into the bay leaf, so that’s a win.

At this point, it smelled so good, I was drooling a little.

Fluff the rice when it’s done, top with the biryani and add some yogurt on the side if yours turns out as spicy as mine did.

Look at that sauce!

The spices are warm and fragrant and the whole meal is beautifully flavourful. I might have gotten a little generous with the green chili and that’s what made mine a bit of a mouth burner, but it was not so spicy it couldn’t be eaten. Yogurt certainly helped, though. 🙂

So good.

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