Friday, January 27, 2012

Chicken Biryani

Chicken biryani for 8 people. 

4 cups of basmati rice
2.5 lbs chicken quarters, drumsticks, or thighs, skin removed and cut in 1-2" pieces
1/2 cup yogurt
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon fennel powder
1 tablespoon biryani masala (optional)
3 teaspoons salt
6-8 plump garlic cloves, peeled
1" piece of ginger, peeled
3 serrano chiles, sliced lengthwise (or 6-8 thai green chiles)
4 tablespoons of butter (1/2 stick)
1 tablespoon of oil
2 bay leaves
5 cardamom, crushed
5 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
2 medium onions, sliced lengthwise
1 tomato, rough chopped
2/3 cup mint leaves, rough chopped
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, rough chopped
5 cups of water

1. Blend together ginger and garlic in a blender/grinder.  You should have about 1/3 cup of ginger/garlic paste.   Mix with yogurt and turmeric, chili, and fennel powders as well as biryani masala and salt. Rub into chicken pieces and marinate.  (Minimum 30 minutes, up to 2 hours.)

2.  Heat oil in a large pot.  Add butter.  When butter is melted add bay leaves, cinnamon, clove, cardamom, star anise, fennel seed and black peppercorns.  Saute until fragrant.  Add onions and saute until browned.  Add rough chopped tomatoes and saute until softened. Add chicken pieces along with marinade, and simmer for 7-10 minutes.  Switch off heat and stir in mint and cilantro leaves.

     Place rice in the cooker along with chicken mixture and 5 cups of water and salt, to taste.  Stir well.  Close lid and cook on "white rice" setting until done.  When it is done cooking, immediately remove from rice cooker and spread gently in a rectangle, shallow dish (i.e. 9x13" tray)
     Combine rice and chicken mixture in a pressure cooker along with along with 4 (FOUR) cups of water and salt. Fit the lid onto the cooker, place weight on and reduce heat to low to medium low setting.  When the whistle sounds one time, immediately switch off heat and allow the cooker to sit until pressure naturally releases.  When it is completely released, open lid and gently spread the biryani into a rectangle, shallow dish. 

Serve with: raita, boiled egg and apalam
                   meat curry
                   eggplant gravy 

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