Chicken Biryani

Recipe video above. Curried chicken cooked in a pot buried under a mount of fragrant, fluffy rice. Biryani is a celebration of all that we love about Indian food! Make this with other proteins or vegetables - see notes. There's a load of spices in this - and it's worth it! (Plus you'll find everything at every day supermarkets). 

Recipe video above. Curried chicken cooked in a pot buried under a mount of fragrant, fluffy rice. Biryani is a celebration of all that we love about Indian food! Make this with other proteins or vegetables - see notes. There's a load of spices in this - and it's worth it! (Plus you'll find everything at every day supermarkets).


Ingredients
  • 750 g / 1.5 lb chicken thighs , skin on, bone in, halved along bone (Note 1)

MARINADE:
  • 2/3 cup / 150 ml yoghurt , plain
  • 1/2 cup / 125 ml water
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil (or other plain oil)
  • 6 garlic cloves , minced
  • 2 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne (adjust spiciness to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 2 tsp garam marsala (Note 2)
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp paprika , sweet / ordinary (not smoked)
  • 1 3/4 tsp salt

PAR BOILED RICE:
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 10 cloves
  • 5 dried bay leaves
  • 1 star anise
  • 6 green cardamon pods
  • 2 1/4 cups / 450g basmati rice (Note 3)

CRISPY ONIONS (NOTE 4):
  • 2 medium onions (yellow, brown) , halved and finely sliced
  • 1 cup / 250 ml oil , for frying

SAFFRON:
  • 1 tsp saffron threads (loosely packed) (Note 5)
  • 2 tbsp warm water

BIRYANI:
  • 1 cup coriander / cilantro , chopped
  • 60 g / 1/4 cup ghee or unsalted butter , melted (Note 6)

GARNISH:
  • Crispy onions (above)
  • Chopped coriander / cilantro
  • Yoghurt (Note 7)



Instructions
  1. Mix Marinade in a large pot (about 26cm / 11" diameter). Add chicken and coat well. Marinade 20 minutes to overnight.

PAR BOILED RICE:
  1. Bring 3 litres / 3 quarts water to the boil, add salt and spices.
  2. Add rice, bring back up to the boil then cook for 4 minutes, or until rice is just cooked still a bit firm in the middle. Rice will taste salty at this stage, disappears in next stage of cooking.
  3. Drain immediately. Set aside. (Note 10 re: leaving whole spices in)

CRISPY ONIONS:
  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Cook onion, in batches, for 3 to 4 minutes, until golden brown. Don't burn - they become bitter.
  2. Remove onto paper towel lined plate. Repeat with remaining onion.

SAFFRON:
  1. Place in a bowl, leave for 10 minutes+.

BIRYANI:
  1. Place pot with chicken in it onto a stove over medium heat. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Remove lid. Cook for 5 minutes, turning chicken twice.
  3. Remove from heat.
  4. Turn chicken so skin side is down - it should cover most of the base of the pot.
  5. Scatter over half the onion then half the coriander.
  6. Top with all the rice. Gently pat down and flatten surface.
  7. Drizzle saffron across rice surface in random pattern, then drizzle over ghee.
  8. Place lid on. Return to stove over medium heat.
  9. As soon as you see steam, turn down to low then cook for 25 minutes.
  10. Remove from stove, rest with lid on for 10 minutes.

TO SERVE:
  1. Aim to serve it so you get nice patches of yellow rice, white rice, the curry stained rice + chicken (rather than all mixed up). To do this, use a large spoon and dig deep into the pot, and try to scoop up as much as you can in one scoop.
  2. Turn out into bowl - or onto platter. Garnish with remaining onion and coriander with yoghurt on the side (see Note 7 for Minted Yoghurt)

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