Chicken Biryani

Here’s a streamlined version of Amma’s Rice, a beautiful, golden-hued biryani recipe from Pat Tanumihardja’s heartfelt The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook (Sasquatch Books). Any type of chutney is a good condiment with this rice dish. I enjoy it with tamarind.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • 6 whole black peppercorns
  • 4 whole cloves
  • seeds from 5 cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 packed tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 pound organic skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt, divided
  • almonds, toasted (optional)
  • chutney (optional)

Instructions

  • Place the saffron in a small ramekin, and cover with the water. Set aside. Stir together salt, cumin, coriander, and garam masala in a small bowl. Gather peppercorns, cloves, cardamom pods, and cinnamon stick, and set aside.
  • Place rice in a strainer, and rinse well under cool running water. Repeat. Cook according to package directions or in a rice cooker. Keep warm.
  • Heat oil and butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and ginger, and cook 8 minutes, or until soft and very fragrant, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Add ground spice mixture and whole spices, and cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add chicken, and cook 8 minutes. Turn heat down as low as possible, and stir in 1/4 cup yogurt. Cover, and cook 5 to 10 minutes, or until chicken is done.
  • Pour remaining 1/4 cup yogurt on top, then layer on the cooked rice. Drizzle saffron and soaking liquid over the rice, cover, and cook over low heat 5 minutes. Give a good stir, turn out onto a large platter, and serve with toasted almonds and chutney, if desired.
Servings: 6
by Cheryl Sternman Rule
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Hey there ... I'm Lia Huber

Hey there ... I'm Lia Huber

My mission is to inspire and equip you to live a richer life through real food by becoming a more competent, confident home cook.


I’m the author of Nourished: A Memoir of Food, Faith, and Enduring Love, founder and CEO of Nourish Evolution, and the creator of Cook the Seasons, Home Cooking School, and the Real Food Reset, and I empower intentional women to cook in a way that brings them (and their families) joy, health, and ease.

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