My Family is OBSESSED with This Chicken Biryani Recipe

This Chicken Biryani Recipe has marinated chicken cooked with layers of rice, crispy onions, and herbs for an extremely flavorful Indian dish.

Ingredients for this recipe:

For the Chicken

• 1 seeded finely minced hot finger pepper
• 8 cloves finely mined garlic
• 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
• 1 cup full-fat yogurt
• 1 tablespoon Kashmiri chili powder
• 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
• 1 ½ tablespoons garam masala
• 1 tablespoon coarse salt
• juice of 1 lemon, about 2-3 tablespoons
• 4 1/2 pound chicken broken down into individual breasts, thighs, and drums. Leave the bones in the thighs and drums
• ½ cup avocado oil
• 2 peeled and thinly julienne sliced red onions
• 1 ½ cups medium-diced fresh tomatoes
• 2 peeled potatoes cut in half and thickly sliced
• 3 tablespoons minced fresh mint
• 3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

For the Rice

• 3 cups basmati rice
• 6 tablespoons ghee
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 star anise
• 5 cloves
• 5 green cardamom pods
• 2 black cardamom pods
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
• ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
• ¼ cup minced fresh mint
• ¼ cup minced fresh cilantro
• 3 tablespoons heated whole milk
• 12-15 saffron threads
• coarse salt to taste

Serves 6 to 8

Prep time: 45 minutes

Cook time: 55 minutes


1. Start by whisking together the hot finger pepper, finely minced garlic, finely minced ginger, yogurt, chili powder, turmeric, salt, garam masala, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Taste it to see if it needs any more seasoning. Set it to the side.
2. Remove the chicken skin from the chicken breast, thighs, and drums, slice 2 to 3 ¼” to ½” deep incisions on each side.
3. Place the chicken into the bowl with the spice and yogurt mixture and mix thoroughly to combine. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for as little as 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
4. Add the ½ cup of oil to a large 10-quart Dutch oven pot and fry the onions over medium heat, occasionally stirring, until they are brown and crispy, which takes about 15-18 minutes. Set them to the side on a paper towel to drain off any excess. Turn the heat off under the pot.
5. Thoroughly rinse the basmati rice in a fine strainer for several minutes until the water is clear coming out of the bottom. Keep the rice in the strainer and place in a large bowl of fresh cold water. Set it to the side for a few minutes.
6. Add the ghee to a large 6-quart pot over medium-high heat and sauté the whole bay leaf, star anise, cloves, green and black cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, cumin seeds, and fennel seeds for 1 to 2 minutes or until fragrant.
7. Pour in 1 gallon of water to the spice pot and bring it to a boil over high heat. Season it with salt.
8. Add in the rinsed rice and cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until the rice is about 75% done and still has some bite to it. This is known as al dente.
9. Strain the rice and set it to the side by spreading it out on a sheet tray to cool quickly.
10. Return to the pot with the remaining oil where the onions were fried and turn the heat to medium-high.
11. Add in the marinated chicken along with the potatoes and cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Be sure the potatoes are mixed in with the chicken and not just sitting on top.
12. Flip the chicken over, making sure to keep the potatoes in with the chicken, and cook for a further 5 to 6 minutes.
13. Add in 2/3 of the fried onions, 3 tablespoons of diced fresh mint, 3 tablespoons of diced fresh cilantro, and tomatoes, and mix to combine all the flavors and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
14. Flatten out everything in the pot using a spoon and then layer on with half the cooked rice, 2 tablespoons of diced fresh mint, 2 tablespoons of diced fresh cilantro, half the remaining fried onions, and salt. Do not pack the rice when putting it on top. Simply spread it out.
15. Repeat the process one more time completely. Top off with the remaining 4 tablespoons of ghee.
16. In a small bowl, add some warm heated milk and mix it with the saffron until it becomes very yellow. This only takes 2 to 3 minutes.
17. Strain the saffron milk and pour it in circle motions over the rice.
18. Place foil over the Dutch oven pot and then the lid. Cook over low heat for 30 to 35 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes tender.
19. Plate the chicken biryani with the rice, potatoes, and chicken, and garnish with any leftover fried onions, diced cilantro, and mint.


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