Chicken Biryani

Chicken-BiryaniI made this the other night for a potluck Indian feast at a friend’s house. It was outstanding, I must say. However, biryani is not only considered an Indian dish, but also a Pakistani dish. Unlike Paella, you want to use a long-grained rice for this dish. Basmati rice is absolutely perfect for biryani.

This dish also makes use of one of the greatest spices on the planet: Cardamom. It may well be expensive, but it’s lends an amazingly aromatic flavor to this dish. I used both pods and ground Cardamom for mine.

Ingredients

3 lbs boneless, skinless thighs, cut into bite-sized chunks

4 tbsp canola oil; plus an additional 2 tbsp canola oil

6 small potatoes, cut in half

2 large onions, chopped

1 large onion, diced

2 cloves minced garlic

1 tbsp ginger paste

2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp chili powder

1 2-inch cinnamon stick

1 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves

2 tsp ground turmeric

1 tbsp cumin

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional; but not really if you like a little heat)

1.5 tsp salt

1 15-oz can diced tomatoes

2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt

5 Cardamom pods

1 tsp ground Cardamom

1 pinch Saffron

16 oz Basmati rice

4 cups low-sodium chicken stock

Directions

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large skilled. Add the potatoes and fry until browned. Remove to paper towels and reserve.

Add 2 more tbsp oil to the skillet and fry the 2 finely chopped onions, garlic, and the ginger paste until the onions are soft and golden. Add the chili powder, pepper, red pepper flakes, turmeric, cumin, salt and the tomatoes. Cook, stirring continuously, for about 5 minutes. Add the yogurt, mint, cardamom pods and ground cinnamon. Cover the skillet and cook over low heat until the tomatoes become pulpy. Add a bit of chicken broth or water if the mixture becomes too dry and begins to stick to the pan.

Once the mixture becomes thick and smooth, add the chicken and stir well to coat evenly. Cover and cook over very low heat for about 45 minutes, or until the chicken becomes very tender. The mixture should be fairly thick once the chicken is done. If your mixture looks to runny, remove the cover and cook for several minutes to reduce the mixture.

While your chicken is cooking, wash the rice well and allow it to drain in a colander for about 30 minutes.

In another large skillet, heat the additional 2 tbsp canola oil and fry the single diced onion until it is golden. Add the saffron, ground cardamom, cinnamon stick, ground ginger, ground cloves and rice. Stir continuously until the rice is coated with the spices.

In a medium-sized pot, heat the 4 cups of chicken stock. When the stock is hot, pour it over the rice and stir it well. Add the chicken mixture from the other skillet, as well as the reserved potatoes. Stir everything together gently, and bring it to a boil. Cover the skillet tightly, turn the heat down low and cook for about 20 minutes. Do not life the lid or stir while cooking.

Spoon the biryani onto a warm serving dish, remove the cinnamon stick, and you’re ready to feast!

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