Thursday, February 22, 2007

Chicken Biryani

This recipe is from a book by Food & Wine magazine called 'quick from scratch one-dish meals cookbook' It's has a long list of ingredients - but you really just throw them all in the same pot and let it boil for 20 min. and it is soo good.

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes.
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp fresh-ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt.

1. In a medium bowl, combine the above ingredients. Let sit while you prepare the rest.
2. In a large saucepan, melt the 3 T butter over moderate heat. Add the 1 onion, thinly sliced and cook until starting to soften, about 3 minutes.
3. Stir in :
1/4 tsp ground cardamom or ground coriander
1/4 tsp tumeric
5 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups long-grain rice, preferably basmati
Cook, stirring for 1 minute.
4. Add the chicken mixture to the pan. Stir in 2 3/4 cups water and 1/3 cup raisins. Bring to a simmer.
Cover and simmer until rice and chicken are almost done, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat. Let stand, covered until rice and lamb are just done, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1/3 cup chopped cashews.

The original recipe called for lamb, but I like chicken better, but you could probably also do this with stewing beef. And I know the thought of eating boiled chicken isn't that great - and I have done it with frying the chicken on the side and just adding it in at the last minute - but then the rice mixture doesn't have all the flavours from the marinade and it is not as good. and if you cook the chicken with the rice and it is nice and moist.
Also there are some exotic spices in there - that I didn't have the first time I made this - but I just went to the bulk food store and bought a small about of those spices - since you use so little - and it was definitely worth it, I've made this recipe a number of times.
Oh and don't forget to fish out the whole cloves and cinnamon sticks before serving

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