Chicken Biryani is one the delicious variants of spiced rice dishes made across different countries in the world. It is a combination of fragrant spices with aromatic basmathi rice with spiced chicken pieces on bone. It is believed that chicken biryani was brought to India with the Mughal invasion in the country. Mughals considered biryani as a quick and sumptuous whole meal for their troops fighting in the war. Biryani was not only an essential part of Mughlai royal menus but also happened to appease many Kings and Maharajas, and Sultans across the world.
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Steaming fragrant basmathi rice seasoned with aromatic spices, layered between the marinated chicken pieces stewed in a spicy stock.
Preparation time: 30-35 minutes
Cooking time: 35-40 minutes
Chicken on the bone(cut into 1½ inch pieces) 500 grams
Basmati rice(washed and soaked for 30 minutes) 1 ½ cups
Ginger paste 1 tablespoon
Ghee 4 tablespoons
Garlic paste 1 tablespoon
Green chilli paste 1 teaspoon
Coriander powder 1 tablespoon
Roasted cumin powder 1 tablespoon
Garam masala powder 1 teaspoon
Green cardamom powder 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Yogurt 1 cup
Oil 3 tablespoon
Bay leaf 1
Green cardamoms 2
Black cardamom 1
Chicken stock 5 cups
Saffron soaked in milk a few threads
Caraway seed (shahi jeera) powder 1 teaspoon
Onion sliced and deep fried 2 medium
Fresh mint(chopped ½ cup
Fresh coriander(chopped) 2 teaspoons
Are you ready to surprise your family on a Sunday lunch with a Mughlai royal dish ‘Chicken Biryani’?
Start by heating four cups of water in a deep thick-bottomed pan on a medium flame. While the water comes to a boil, take a small piece of muslin cloth and place the whole spices: Black and green cardamom, cloves, pepper, bay leaf, and cinnamon stick on the centre of the muslin cloth. Bring the four corners of the cloth together and tie it into a pouch.
Drop the spice pouch into the water along with salt as per taste and shahi jeera. Let the water come to a boil. By making a pouch of the spices, you will get the flavours infused into the water without having a mess.
While the water comes to a boil, marinate the chicken pieces with the spices. Take a mixing bowl and place the chicken pieces in it, add ginger-garlic paste, red chilli powder, salt to taste, yoghurt, garam masala, green cardamom powder, fried onions and two tablespoons of ghee. Mix well, it is better to mix the spices and the chicken with your clean hands. In this way, you can ensure that each piece of the chicken is smeared well with spiced yoghurt mixture.
Halfway through add turmeric, limejuice, and chopped green chillies.
Mix well and let the chicken pieces marinate for about thirty minutes so that that they absorb the flavours of the spices in mixture.
Once the water is boiling, add rice. Semi-cook the rice in a way that it is tender to touch but not fully cooked, which will take about fifteen minutes of cooking time. As for biryani you want the rice grains to stay separate but moist at the same time. So do not overcook the rice else, biryani might turn out mushy like porridge.
The reason we suggest you to use chicken on bone because if you use chicken lumps, then you would need chicken stock to bring that extra oomph to the Biryani. By using chicken with bone, the flavour of the chicken stock is infused into the Biryani while the chicken is being cooked.
Check the rice after thirty minutes and if it has cooked partly i.e. rice grain is soft to touch but not mushy, strain the water from the rice by passing it through a sieve and keep it aside.
Now, let us give the final form to the Biryani by heating a wide and deep pan on a medium heat. Grease the pan with oil or ghee and place the marinated chicken pieces on the bottom of the pan.
Layer a generous serving of the semi cooked rice on top of the chicken pieces. Then sprinkle garam masala, green cardamom powder, fried onions, chopped mint, and coriander. Also, add a little water to keep the rice moist.
Now layer the remaining rice on top of the spices and sprinkle the same masalas that you did for the previous layer of the rice.
After sprinkling the masalas, drizzle the saffron milk solution and add two tablespoons of ghee on the top of rice. It will keep the grains separate and moist.
Now lower the heat and ensure Biryani is cooked without burning at the bottom.
Cover the pan with a tight lid to trap the steam and cook the Biryani.
If you do not have a tight lid, seal the rim of the pan with bread dough and then place the lid on it. Firmly press the lid to seal the pan. You can also take a clean tea towel and cover it on the pan before placing the lid.
Leave the rice and chicken undisturbed to cook for about fifteen minutes. After fifteen minutes, if you see the steam escaping through the rim of the pan that is indication that the Biryani is almost cooked.
At this moment, lower the flame or place a griddle under Biryani pan and burner on which the pan is placed. It will ensure rice and chicken does not burn at the bottom. Leave the rice to cook for about five more minutes and then turn off the flame.
Let the Biryani rest for a couple of minutes and then remove the dough on the rim with a spatula and when you remove the lid, a lot of steam is whiffed and you can smell the irresistible aroma of spices.
Check the rice and chicken if they are well cooked by gently running the spatula from the edge of the pan to the bottom. Gently upturn the layer of chicken pieces and the rice. Poke the chicken with the spatula an if it is tender to touch then grab yourself a plate and have a liberal serving of Biryani and dig in.
Serve the Chicken Biryani piping hot, garnished with fried onions on top. It goes well with cool and refreshing onion raita or spicy mirchi ka salan.
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