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chicken biryani recipe

Written on Tuesday, November 8, 2016 | 9:26:00 AM



Serves : servings 

Ingredients : 
- 1kg chicken pieces, bone in, but skinned
- juice of 1⁄2 lemon
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 30g root ginger, grated
- 1 tsp cardamom pods, seeds only
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2cm cinnamon stick
- 1⁄2 tsp chilli powder or cayenne
- 1⁄2 tsp turmeric
- 200ml yoghurt
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

RICE
- 500g basmati rice
- 2 mace blades
- 1 tsp green cardamom pods
- 3cm cinnamon stick
- 4 cloves
- 1⁄2 tsp black peppercorns
- 3 bay leaves

FOR LAYERING THE BIRYANI
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 onions, finely sliced
- 2–4 green chillies, finely sliced
- small bunch of fresh coriander, chopped
- pinch of saffron
- pinch of salt
- pinch of sugar
- 50ml milk
- 500ml chicken stock
- 25g butter, melted, or ghee

GARNISH
- a few fresh coriander sprigs
- a few mint sprigs
- 3 eggs, hard-boiled and cut into quarters
- 2 tbsp flaked almonds, lightly toasted

Preparation Method :
1) First marinate the chicken. Put the chicken in a bowl and season it with salt and pepper. Mix the lemon juice, garlic and ginger together in a bowl. Toast the whole spices lightly in a frying pan until aromatic, then remove them from the heat. When the spices are cool, grind them to a powder, then mix with the chilli powder or cayenne and the turmeric. Add this to the lemon juice mixture, then stir in the yoghurt. Rub everything into the chicken, then cover the bowl and leave the chicken to marinate for several hours, or overnight.

2) When you want to start cooking, wash the rice until the water runs clean and is no longer cloudy, then soak it in fresh cold water for 15 minutes. Put the mace, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns and bay leaves in a bag and pop it in a saucepan. Pour in plenty of just-boiled water and bring it back to the boil. Pour in the rice and season with salt. Simmer for 5 minutes only, then drain immediately and rinse under cold water.

3) To layer the biryani, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large frying pan. Fry the onions over a low to medium heat until they have softened, then turn up the heat and fry quickly, stirring regularly, until they have browned and are slightly crisp. Put them on plenty of kitchen paper to drain, then mix half the onions with the rice. Set the rest aside. Add the green chillies and plenty of chopped coriander to the rice as well.

4) Grind the saffron with the salt and sugar, then put it in a small saucepan with the milk. Warm the milk through gently, then remove it from the heat and leave to infuse for half an hour.

5) Heat the remaining oil in a large flameproof casserole dish. Add the chicken and fry it on all sides until lightly browned. Add the stock and bring it to the boil. Simmer for 25 minutes until the chicken is almost cooked and most of the stock has been absorbed, then add the rice mixture, sprinkling it over evenly. Pour over the saffron and milk. Finally make holes with the handle of a wooden spoon and pour the melted butter into them.

6) Place a folded tea towel or several sheets of kitchen paper over the casserole dish and place the lid on top. Place the dish over a low heat to steam for about 20 minutes, until the rice is completely cooked and the grains are separate. Remove from the heat and leave, covered, for another 10 minutes.

7) Spoon the biryani on to a large serving platter and garnish with the herbs, hard-boiled eggs, reserved fried onions and flaked almonds.

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