03 March 2022

Chicken Biryani

Chicken Biryani / www.delightfulrepast.com

Chicken Biryani is a popular dish of India and beyond that originated in Persia. Biryani is also made with other meats, but I prefer chicken thighs. It varies from region to region (and from cook to cook) in both ingredients and method, and (disclaimer here) I make no claims whatever to authenticity!

If you have made, or even had, biryani of any type, I'd love to hear about it. I have much to learn. There's a great long list of spices used in biryanis, but no one recipe includes them all. I checked my bottle of garam masala to remind myself which spices were included in that blend and then added two that were not in it and extra of a couple that were.


Chicken Biryani / www.delightfulrepast.com


Many people add garlic, but I am allergic. And many people add way too much garlic, which can easily overpower a dish. So if you do add garlic, use just one small clove or even less, so your finished dish will have some subtlety! But it is very flavorful without it, and I doubt that you would miss it.

The Naan - Classic Yeasted Flatbread of India and Beyond that I posted a month ago is the perfect accompaniment.

Have you tried any new dishes or cuisines lately? I think many of us have during the last two years!
 

Chicken Biryani / www.delightfulrepast.com

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Chicken Biryani

(Makes 4 servings)

The Chicken

1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons garam masala
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, toasted and crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/3 cup (2.88 ounces/82 grams) plain yogurt
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 small clove garlic, crushed, optional
1 1/4 pounds (20 ounces/567 grams) boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
3/4 cup tomato puree (fresh or half a 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, pureed)

The Rice

1 cup (6.625 ounces/188 grams) white basmati rice
1 1/2 cups (12 fluid ounces/355 ml) water
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 small bay leaf 
1/2 teaspoon turmeric

The Onion

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 medium (12 ounces/340 grams) onion*, quartered and thinly sliced 

* I used a yellow onion, but red or white are fine.

The Garnish

2 packed tablespoons cilantro (fresh coriander)


1 In 1.5-quart mixing bowl, whisk together garam masala, fennel, salt, pepper, cumin, and cayenne. Gradually whisk in yogurt and grated ginger. Add chicken, coating well. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight.

2 In 2-quart saucepan, bring rice, water, butter, salt, bay leaf, and turmeric to a boil. Stir once and cover tightly with lid. Reduce heat to maintain a low simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, leave covered, and let stand for 10 minutes. Fluff with fork and remove bay leaf. Cover and set aside. 

3 In 12-inch skillet (that has a lid), heat oil and butter over medium-high heat and fry the onion slices until golden brown; this might take up to 20 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Set aside 1/3 of the prettiest fried onions for the garnish.

4 Add the chicken and marinade to the skillet and cook over medium to medium-high heat for about 7 minutes. Add the tomato puree and continue cooking for about 3 minutes. Stir in half of the remaining fried onions to the mix and continue cooking for 3 minutes.

5 Spread the rice over the chicken. Scatter the remaining onions (but not the 1/3 reserved for the garnish) over the rice. Cover with lid and cook over low heat for 15 minutes.

6 Stir lightly. Leave in skillet or transfer to serving dish. Garnish with reserved fried onions and chopped cilantro. The cilantro is not just a garnish, it is an important part of the dish, so don't skip it or substitute parsley (unless you're one of those people who really don't like cilantro).

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean

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50 comments:

Sister in the Mid-west said...

I was so excited to see your recipe for chicken biryani. I have been wanting to make this dish for the past year and I still haven't settled on a version to try. Your recipe (as all your recipes are) is very approachable.
In the past year I have tried some new to me Indian foods. We really liked a Tikka Masala that I made. That is a new recipe I have learned within the past year.

ellen b. said...

Now I'm wanting to find a good Indian restaurant but I'd have to travel 70 miles to find one. Our little country town has slim pickins! We enjoy Indian food. I'd enjoy this dish.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

SITMW, thank you so much! I am glad that you find my recipes "approachable" (and I like that word!). When I was researching, I found many recipes for chicken biryani that were needlessly complicated, with a great deal of repetition that served no purpose and with things out of their logical order, a lot of problems. So I tried to make mine as streamlined as possible. I have developed two Chicken Tikka Masala recipes for the blog, one "regular" and one slow cooker.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Ellen. That's even farther than I have to travel for a good Indian restaurant! All the more reason for you to just make this yourself!

Vee said...

What a pretty dish!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Vee! It was always important to my mother to make food pretty and present it well.

Dee | Grammy's Grid said...

YUM, chicken, rice, and onions! Thanks so much for linking up at the Unlimited Link Party 72. Pinned.

Creations By Cindy said...

Not only does that look amazing but oh what a pretty dish of food. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Dee. Much appreciated. And I like how you broke it down to the basics: chicken, rice, and onions!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Cindy! I love using my mother's dishes.

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

Even without the exotic flair of an origin in “Ind-ja,” this one is totally within my diet and peculiar tastes. What I like about pairing chicken (or shrimp) with rice, and maybe some nuts are flavor stalwarts like onions, leeks or even mushrooms, are the SPICES. Lots of room for unique flavors or potent accents there. Alas, a garlic allergy has deprived you of a fundamental building block. But, as you note, there are plenty of other alternatives. And turmeric is a must…

Kitchen Riffs said...

I love this dish! But full confession: I've made it maybe half dozen times, tops. And not at all in at least a decade. There's a really good Indian restaurant about a 20 minute walk from my house (or 5 minute auto drive) that also delivers - and their chicken biryani is superb. So I usually just order that when I'm craving this dish. :-) Your recipe looks great, though. Really nice spicing. Thanks!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sully, I'm happy I made something you could eat! I make lots of rice with nuts and mushrooms, too. Rice is a wonderful thing. And leeks. I love leeks. Since the problem with garlic arose, I've learned all sorts of ways to make up for it!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

John, thank you. How fortunate you are to have a really good restaurant so close! But I know you do lots of wonderful home cooking as well.

Jeanie said...

This sounds delish! A little fussy but not difficult (just not one of those "set it and forget it" dishes. I'm making a chicken curry for dinner this weekend. I'll add this to the list soon!

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

Boy does this look delicious, Jean. The last Indian food I had was in London a few years ago. This lovely dish needs to be made soon!

gfe--gluten free easily said...

Jean, I will admit that I've never heard of this dish before but it looks and sounds amazing! Of course, I also love that it's naturally gluten free. :-) I happen to have some chicken thighs in the freezer. ;-)

Shirley

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Jeanie, thank you! Let me know how you liked it.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Martha. I hope you'll try it soon. It's really quite fun to make and really fun to eat!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Shirley, thank you. Yes, naturally gluten free! Since you already have the chicken, go for it!

Sherry's Pickings said...

yes chicken thighs are the best for most dishes! esp. ones like this. How sad to be allergic to garlic :-( I love it and add heaps to dishes. I'm sure you would say waaaay tooooo much... Tee hee.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

🤣 You got that right, Sherry! Tee hee!

Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch) said...

I had chicken biryani for the first time at a local Indian restaurant ... a couple of months ago. Crazy delicious and I love that you've posted a recipe. I'd love to make it at home and from a trusted source.

Jeanie said...

This looks fabulous. Chicken curry is on my menu for this weekend. Maybe this for next!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Lea Ann, thank you so much! That is just how I feel about *your* recipes.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Jeanie. I'll want to hear all about it after!

Dee | Grammy's Grid said...

Yes, just the basics, that's me :) Visiting again to say thanks so much for linking up at the 25 and Done Link Party 12! 25 entries in 25 hours!! Shared on Fb, Pn, and Tw.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Dee. Much appreciated! I can't believe this hasn't gotten more Pins already, in my mother's pretty plate and all.

Phil in the Kitchen said...

Lovely dish and just right as a comforting, warming meal at this time of year. I must admit that I usually make a more basic version, cooking the rice almost entirely in the oven on top of the chicken, lamb or veg - a bit like an Indian shepherd's pie.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Phil! Nothing wrong with your "shepherd's pie" version—as long as you've got the flavors and ingredients, oven cooking would suit me fine.

TONY said...

Very nice Jean.
Are you going to create some Ukrainian recipes in solidarity?

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Tony. I think the only specifically Ukrainian dish I've ever made is Chicken Kyiv, which I first head of and made when I was in high school. My golumpkis (stuffed cabbage rolls) would be called holubtsi in Ukraine.

Lorrie said...

This looks good. I'm not a huge fan of Indian food.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Lorrie.

Fran @ G'day Souffle said...

I like the addition of the toasted fennel seeds and I would be one to add more garlic. 'Phil in the Kitchen' says he bakes the erice entirely on top of the chicken- that sounds ineresting since the rice would turn a little crispy. Congratulations on blogging for more than 10 years. I know that (at least for me) it gets harder to think of new dishes to make!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Fran. Yes, I had my 12th blogiversary last month—wow! It does get harder, I think. Yes, I might use that oven option in cold weather and the stovetop option in warm weather.

David Scott Allen said...

Jean - Mark and I are huge fans of Indian food, and I’m fascinated to know that this originated in Persia. I can’t wait to give it a try, and have all ingredients (except the chicken) on hand right now. I know we will have this.

Thank you for mentioning that people use too much garlic. I completely understand the people like garlic, but I do think it’s overused and all dishes begin to taste the light.

I also see that you are getting some comments (as am I) about cooking something Ukrainian. I actually do plan to make my Chicken Kyiv for next weekend. I don’t think I’ve made it in 40 years!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

David, I hope you and Markipedia will like this as much as we do. Yes, like you, I understand that when people put garlic in everything they make, "all dishes begin to taste alike!" I'll look forward to your chicken kyiv, since you and I last made it around the same time! 😁

Pauline - Beautiful Voyager said...

One of my favourite food! Thanks for sharing!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Pauline.

Miz Helen said...

Thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with us at Full Plate Thursday, 578. Hope you have a great week and come back to see us real soon!
Miz Helen

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks so much, Miz Helen! Hope you're enjoying your beautiful porch.

The Lazy Gastronome said...

This looks delicious!! Thanks for sharing at the What's for Dinner party. Hope your week has been amazing!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Helen! Hope your week has been amazing too!

Lowcarb team member said...

A lovely looking recipe which I would serve with cauliflower rice :)

Hope you've had a good week, have a happy weekend.

All the best Jan

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Jan, thank you! Oh, yes, cauliflower rice would be soooooo perfect in this! Why didn't I think of that?!

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

I think Chicken Biryani is one of my favorite Indian dishes and yours sounds delicious with just the right amount of heat.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Karen, thank you so much! I'm glad to hear that.

Globetrotter Gary said...

Biryani is the best and this is so tasty: https://youtu.be/nQIv6XkpWIU

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Gary. I'll check out your video.

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