Friday, May 9, 2014

Chicken Biryani

Happy Friday!  I ate this chicken biryani for lunch everyday this week, and I still have some left.  It makes a lot.  

It takes some effort to make.  I marinated the chicken, made the curry, cooked the rice, and then baked everything together in the oven.  Don't make this expected a quick and easy meal.

I would have guessed that this dish originated in India, but it was created in Persia or Turkey and spread throughout Southeast Asia by Muslim traders.  The name comes from the Persian word beryā which means roasted or fried.

It was a very popular dish among the Mughal emperors.  It is traditionally made in an earthenware pot.  One of the characteristics of biryani is to cook the rice and curry separately.  The rice should still dry if it is made correctly.  My biryani was not made properly because it was quite wet. 

The recipe came from a blog called Rasa Malaysia.  The ingredients for the marinade are 8 chicken drumsticks, small of bunch cilantro, 1/4 cup fresh mint, 1 tablespoon ginger, 1 tablespoon garlic paste, 2 teaspoons cumin, 1 tablespoon cream, and salt.  The ingredients for the curry are 1 1/2 medium onions, 2 inches ginger, 1 large bunch of cilantro, 1/2 cup mint, 1 cup coconut milk, 2 cups chicken broth, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 teaspoon turmeric, 2 tablespoons garam masala, 6 whole cloves, 2 cinnamon sticks, pepper, 1 star anise, 3 dry bay leaves, and salt.  The ingredients for the rice are 3 cups basmati rice, 1/2 an onion, 3 whole cloves, 2 cardamom pods, 1 dry bay leaf, 5 1/2 cups water, and 2 tablespoons ghee.  I also garnished with cashews.  What a list!  

I began by chopping of the herbs.

I added the herbs, garlic, ginger, cream, cumin, and salt into a bowl.

I used chicken drumsticks with skin.  I wouldn't advise this.  I had to pry the skin off before cooking the   chicken in the curry.  I rubbed the marinated all over the chicken.  I rubbed it under the skin and let it marinade overnight. 

For the curry I sauteed the onions, garlic, and ginger until the onions were translucent.  

While the onion mixture cooked I combined the herbs.  The herbs in the curry are cumin, turmeric, garam masala, whole cloves, cinnamon sticks, pepper, star anise, and bay leaves.  I think there was too much garam masala.  I would use one tablespoon instead of two.

Once the onions were translucent, I added dry spice mixture into the pan.  I cooked this for a few minutes.  

I added the coconut milk and broth and brought the curry to a slow boil.  I chopped the fresh herbs and added them into the pot.

I added the chicken.  I removed the skin, which was a total pain.  I cooked this until the chicken was fully cooked.

While this cooked, I prepared the rice.  I cooked the spices an onion in the ghee.

When the onions were soft, I added the rice and cooked for a few more minutes.  I added the water and cooked it until the rice was soft and the water had absorbed into the rice.

Once the rice and curry were cooked, I was supposed to let everything cool.  I was in a hurry so I skipped that step. 

 I layered some of the rice into the pan and nestled in the drumsticks.  I then poured some of the curry on top.

I added more rice and then poured on the rest of the curry.  After making the dish, I realized the recipe didn't want you to use all of the curry.  I did, and the biryani was too wet.

I covered the pan with foil and baked for 40 minutes at 350 degrees.

I garnished the dish with cashews, which added a nice little crunch.

This was a fragrant, savory dish that tasted great.  It didn't match what I have had in restaurants, but it was delicious.  It was work.  This is the kind of meal you make on the weekends when you have time.

I think it had too much garam masala, but outside of that the spice blend was fantastic.  I adore Indian food, and this is one of my favorite Indian dishes.  I guess I should call it one of my favorite Persian dishes.  For my first effort, I'm pretty proud of myself.


Jenn said...

This looks really good. The star anise and cardamom sound like interesting ingredients.

laura said...

Jenn, I'm pretty sure this was the first time I have ever boughten star anise!