Chicken Biryani

Total Time:
2 hr 32 min
Prep:
30 min
Inactive:
2 min
Cook:
2 hr

Yield:
6 to 8 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • 2 pounds chicken pieces (legs and breasts)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, 1-inch wide
  • 6 medium onions
  • 10 cloves
  • 20 black peppercorns
  • 8 cardamom pods, seeded
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mace
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus 3 teaspoons
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 10 ounces (1 1/4 cups) yogurt
  • 8 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 large whole black cardamom pods
  • 2 teaspoons saffron threads, dry-roasted, method follows
  • 2 tablespoons milk, warmed
  • 1 3/4 cups long-grain rice
  • Optional garnishes:
  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins
  • 2 tablespoons blanched almonds
  • 2 hard-cooked eggs
Directions

Remove and discard the skin from the chicken legs and breasts. Cut each leg into drumstick and thigh, and quarter the breasts.

To prepare the marinade paste, peel and coarsely chop the garlic, ginger, and 3 onions. Place in a blender with the cloves, peppercorns, cardamom seeds, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, poppy seeds, mace, 1 teaspoon salt, and the lemon juice. Blend to a smooth paste. Turn into a large bowl, add the yogurt, and mix well.

Dry Roasting: Spices are often dry-roasted before use. It is best to do this over medium heat in a preheated small, heavy, cast-iron frying pan. No oil is used; the spices are just stirred around in the pan with a wooden spatula until they brown lightly. Roasted spices develop a heightened, nutty aroma. They can be stored for several months in an airtight jar.

Peel the 3 remaining onions, halve lengthwise, and slice finely. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add the bay leaves and cardamom pods. Fry for 10 to 15 seconds. Add the sliced onions and fry, stirring, for about 10 minutes or until brown and crisp, but not burned. Remove with a slotted spoon, squeezing out as much oil as possible. Reserve the oil, cardamoms, and bay leaves. Add 2/3 of the fried onions to the marinade paste and mix well. Drain the rest on paper towels and set aside for garnishing.

Pierce the chicken pieces with a fork and add to the bowl of marinade paste; mix well. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight, turning the chicken occasionally.

Transfer the chicken and marinade to a large heavy-based cooking pot or pan. Bring slowly to a boil, cover, lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Lift out the chicken pieces with a slotted spoon and place them in a 6-quart casserole dish; cover and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Crumble the saffron into the warm milk and set aside to soak.

Boil the marinade paste, stirring, over a medium heat, until reduced to 9 to 10 tablespoons. Spoon the paste over the chicken. Cover again.

Pour about 3 quarts water into a large cooking pot or flameproof casserole. Add 3 teaspoons of salt and bring to a boil. Add the rice, bring back to a boil, then simmer for precisely 5 minutes. Drain the rice in a colander, then place it on top of the chicken in the casserole.

Pour the saffron-infused milk over the rice, streaking it with orange lines. Sprinkle the reserved cardamom, bay leaves, and oil over the rice (retaining 1 tablespoon oil, for frying the raisins, if using). Cover the casserole dish with foil, cut 2 inches wider than the rim of the dish. Now put the lid on and use the protruding foil edges to seal the dish as best you can by crinkling it and pushing it against the sides. Bake in the oven for 1 hour.

To prepare the garnishes, if including raisins fry them briefly in the reserved oil. Lightly toast the almonds if you wish. Quarter the hard-cooked eggs lengthwise, or cut into slice.

Spoon the rice and chicken onto a large warm platter. Sprinkle with the fried onions, raisins, almonds and hard-cooked eggs. Serve hot.


CATEGORIES:
View All

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
Loading review filters...
BROWSE REVIEWS BY KEYWORD

    6 Reviews
    3 6
    0/1000 characters
    Your Rating:
    (Required)
    Sort by: 
    Madhur Jaffrey is One of the Leading Authorities on Indian Cuisine. This is a labour intense Dish and the end rewards Are Worth the Time. Especially for Friends that regularly enjoy exotic Cuisine. Those from the U.K. would enjoy Your efforts for this delicious meal quite a bit.To have a go would be brilliant.Especially if the aeromatics are enjoyed. An adult palate dish. If not prepared too hot w/children in mind, they may enjoy as well.
    Let me start by saying that I usually LOVE Madhur Jaffrey's recipes and own several of her cookbooks. This one just is not at par with her other recipes that I have tried. I wish I had read the comments before I spent all this time making it. Cooking the chicken with all of the marinade was such a terrible idea...the raw onions (paste in the marinade just get boiled! Ugh! 
    Also, there was no heat in the dish..the flavors were all mild, sweet, and blah....no complexity at all! 
    I would give it zero stars if possible. Please do not make it!
    Would put a single star as a grace mark maybe.. 
    As an Indian and as an ardent 'Biryani' lover I am very disappointed with his lengthy recitals.. 
    I think easier recipes(methods) excist and so should it be tried and reposted.. 
    eg: Malabar/Thalasseri Biryani, Hydrebadi Biryani, Bombay Biryani.. 
    Good luck again.. 
    I am very familiar with with Ms. Jaffreyt's recipes and cookbooks, I have several. I don't know what happened with the writing of this recipe and why Food Network published this like this. The directions aren't even in order nor is it efficient for the home cook even after you re-write it in an order that makes any sense. 3 hours after I started this recipe I finally got the whole mess in the oven! I'm soooooooo aggrivated! I let you know if it even tastes good after this. Food Network? You're slipping. This is the second recipe this week (the first one was Emeril's for demi-glace) that is written wrong. I've never had this problem before and you guys are 2 for 2 just in the last 5 days. Shame Shame!
    This recipe came out tasting ok, but it was too dry and not worth the 5 hours it took to make it.
    The instruction was easy to follow and the food was great my guest loved it
    Flag as inappropriate

    Thank you! your flag was submitted.

    More Recipes and Ideas

    Not what you're looking for? Try:

    Big Daddy's Kick'n Chicken Salad

    Recipe courtesy of Aaron McCargo Jr.