Chicken Biryani is a famous Indian dish filled with Indian spices and fresh herbs. There are various types of Chicken Biryani, and if you ask around, you will get a different recipe each time. Each family likes to put their own spin on it, making each Chicken Biryani recipe unique. However, the one thing in common that all these recipes have is saffron, ginger, and chicken (of course).
I'm sharing the Chicken Biryani recipe with you today that I have learned after getting married ( I didn't know how to cook before that). I'm sharing it with you today because it is easy, delicious, and quick to make compared to other Chicken Biryani recipes that tend to be time-consuming.
Before we dive into the recipe, my advice is to keep an open mind and experiment with flavors. If you feel like adding extra spices, go ahead. If you feel like adding in potatoes, carrots, or nuts, feel free to do so. What I'm sharing with you is only the foundation so let your imagination soar. Remember each Chicken Biryani dish is unique, so make yours special.
Let's Talk Flavor
Chicken Biryani's flavor comes from the fresh ingredients we will be using, such as onion, garlic, ginger, and coriander. We will be chopping our fresh ingredients and cooking them on the stove at low heat with olive oil. You can use butter or ghee instead of olive oil, but I use olive oil as I prefer the flavor and because it's healthier.
Once the onion and garlic have turned golden, it means that the flavors are infused. At this stage, we will add in the bay leaves, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon stick, dried lemon, the chopped tomato can, and yogurt. The tomato sauce and yogurt will slow down the cooking, providing you with time to include the following spices:
- Ginger Powder
- Black Pepper
- Dried Coriander
- Cinnamon Powder
- Nutmeg Powder
- Cloves Powder
Make sure your spices are labeled as gluten-free if you are gluten intolerant or have celiac disease. I know most of you already know that some spices can contain gluten traces, but I keep reminding you in each recipe because when I first started my gluten-free diet, I did not know and ended up having a flare-up.
After adding in the spices, we can finally add in the chicken. You can use chicken thighs and breasts or only breasts; it's up to you. I use chicken breasts as a personal preference. Then we will add boiling water to the chicken. Close the cooking pan lid to allow the chicken to slowly cook at medium to low heat for about 45 minutes.
While the chicken is marinated in our sauce and cooking, it will absorb all the flavors. Yum...
Chicken Biryani Rice
While the chicken is cooking, we can start cooking our rice. The kind of rice we will be using is called Basmati Rice. It originated from India and Pakistan. Basmati Rice is long-grained rice and is used a lot in Indian dishes. It is the perfect rice for this recipe because it doesn't absorb much water and hence, does not turn mushy like short-grained rice.
Before cooking the rice, we will first rinse it with water. Let it sit in the water for half an hour before cooking. This will clean our rice and ensure that our rice will cook correctly. Then we will add the rice to a cooking pan filled with water, oil, and salt. We will allow the rice to cook in the closed lid pan at low heat for 15 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed. Once the rice has absorbed all the water, it means it's done cooking.
How much water should you add to the rice? Use a 1 to 1 ratio. So if you are using two and a half cups of rice, use two and a half cups of water.
The Final Touches
When the chicken and rice are done cooking, it's time to combine everything. We will start off with an empty cooking pan. We will put half of the cooked rice at the bottom layer, then we will top it with the chicken and the chicken broth we made. Then for the final layer, we will add the remaining rice to cover the chicken.
So where's the saffron, you ask? We will dilute the saffron in milk and pour it on top of our last layer of rice. Then we will put the lid on the pan and cook the chicken biryani for another 15 minutes at low heat. This will help all the flavors mingle.
Once the chicken biryani is cooked. Open the lid and mix all your layers together. You will notice that some of the rice will turn orange, taking the color of the broth, while some will remain white, and this is the beauty of biryani.
Chicken Biryani Recipe Video
- 1 kg Chicken Breasts
- 4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Medium Minced Onion
- 4 Cloves of Minced Garlic
- ½ cup of Chopped Fresh Coriander
- 1 ½ tbsp of Grated Ginger
- 1 Stick of Cinnamon
- 2 pieces of Dried Lemon
- 3 Bay Leaves
- 3 pieces of Cloves
- 3 pieces of Cardamom
- 400 grams of Chopped Tomato ( 1 Can)
- 1 cup of Full Fat Yogurt
- 1 tbsp of Tomato Paste
- 1 cup of Boiling Water
- 1 tsp of Cumin Powder
- 1 tsp of Turmeric Powder
- ½ tsp of Cinnamon Powder
- ½ tsp of Paprika
- 1 tbsp of Salt
- ¼ tsp of Black Pepper
- ¼ tsp of Cloves Powder
- ¼ tsp of Nutmeg Powder
- ¼ tsp of Ginger Powder
- 2 ½ cup of Basmati Rice
- 2 ½ cup of Water
- 4 tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tsp of Salt
- a Pinch of Saffron
- ¼ cup of Full Fat Milk
- In a cooking pan, add oil and let it sit on the stove at low heat for a few seconds until it gets hot. Then add in the chopped onions and garlic and cook until golden for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Now, add fresh ginger, chopped fresh coriander, cinnamon stick, dried lemon, bay leaves, cloves, cardamom, and stir until all ingredients are combined.
- Next, add the chopped tomato can, tomato paste, yogurt, salt, pepper and all the spices, followed by the raw chicken.
- Add boiling water to the cooking pan and stir until all ingredients are combined.
- Cook the chicken at medium-low heat, with the lid on for 42 - 45 minutes.
- In a cooking pan, add oil, rice and salt.
- Cover the rice with water and mix all the ingredients together.
- Cook the rice at low-heat with the lid on for 12-15 minutes. Once all the water is absorbed, the rice is cooked.
Finalizing the Dish
- Dilute the saffron in milk and let it sit for a few seconds. The milk will become yellow.
- In a cooking pan at low heat, add a tablespoon of oil, pour half of your cooked rice at the bottom, and level it. Creating your first layer.
- Then for the second layer, add in your chicken and chicken broth.
- Pour the remaining rice on top of the chicken.
- Then pour your saffron and milk mixture on top of the rice.
- Cook the chicken biryani at low heat for 15 minutes with the lid on.
- Once the chicken biryani is cooked, mix all your layers with a wooden spatula before serving.