Chicken Biryani – a highly aromatic and well-seasoned one-pot dish originally from India that has a perfect balance of chicken meat, rice and veggies that’s going to excite and linger on your taste buds. A simpler version that is way too good that it’ll appear regularly in your weekly menu!
Chicken and rice is a classic combo that is widely popular around the world. Here on the blog, I’ve had quite a collection of this duo from across different cultures. From this Puerto Rican Chicken and Rice to this Jollof Rice and Chicken, one-pot chicken and rice meal never cease to amaze every foodie’s palette.
Although highly associated with the Indian cuisine, Chicken Biryani is said to have permeated across South Asia and even East Africa,which has resulted in a huge variety of cooking methods and ingredients.
Today, I’m saving you from heaps of trouble by making this biryani dish newbie-friendly. Yes, not traditional biriyani and less intimidating. I’ve simplified the steps without compromising the taste. Let’s get going, shall we?
Marinating the chicken allows numerous flavors to seep into every inch of the meat while also soaking the rice in it’s juice, too.
If you’ve been on the blog for quite some time, I always love to sear my chicken first so we’ll also have the brown bits sticking to the pan to add more flavor to the dish and let the oven do the magic.
This probably doesn’t sound like THE authentic Indian’s Biryani since I’ve switch things up, although the ingredients are more or less the same as the original one.
But oh boy, you can’t deny it, all the glory from the chicken juices are passed down to the rice, trickling its way into every grain of rice while it’s slowly cooked. An explosion of flavor is an understatement!
Now, once you’ve achieved perfectly seared chicken thighs, my go-to chicken cut, set it aside, and cook the veggies in the same pan to absorb the chicken flavor. You’d thank yourself later for doing this. This cooking technique guarantees you very flavorful dish. It’s proven and tested throughout the years!
And don’t you just love cleaning only ONE pan? Well, I do! 😉
We let all the spices and seasonings bloom along with the browned chicken bits as a base for this recipe. Don’t let the long list of ingredients scare you off. They all play a significant role to give you a one amazing one-pot meal.
You then add the rice so it’ll have flavor on its own, too. Some recipes call to simmer the chicken first before adding the rice, but in our case here we want our rice to also absorb first-hand not just the flavors and juices from the chicken but also the sauteed spices before we add the broth AND the chicken.
As you can see, it’s a pretty straight-forward version of Chicken Biryani, yet, the flavors are all in there. Making the rice as flavorful as the meat itself.
All you get to do then is wait for the rice to cook in the oven along with chicken and let all the flavors meld beautifully together. Imagine how your house will smell!
A hassle-free, aromatic and delicious dinner cooked and served in one pan. You’ll no longer need any other dish on the side. 😉
Tips and Notes:
- Add 1/2 cup raisin, if desired when adding rice for another layer of flavor.
- The type of rice used in cooking this dish matters most. Long and slender grains like Basmati rice is the perfect choice as it easily becomes fluffy when cooking and doesn’t get too mushy like the rest.
- A Biryani dish doesn’t have a sticky rice at the end of cooking. Some recipes suggest to soak the rice for 30 minutes. In our case here, we’re making it simpler. Instead, we bring the rice and chicken to a boil and let the oven do the finishing touch for 30-35 minutes UNCOVERED.
- Aside from chicken, you can also use mutton or beef chunks with bone-on in a biryani dish. The meat’s bones add flavor to the rice as it is slowly cooked compared to using boneless meat.
- Marinate the chicken overnight, preferably, or at least for half a day since the meat pieces are thicker and we want our chicken to be juicy and flavorful not just on the surface. If you don’t have yogurt, you can substitute it with either lime or lemon. But PLAIN yogurt is by far the best option when marinating the chicken.
- Remove and do not eat the bay leaves and other whole spices as they are used to add flavor.
Watch How to Make It
Chicken Biryani Recipe
Jerk Chicken Thighs
- 2 1/2 -3 pound chicken thighs (about 5-6)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- ½ teaspoon cumin spice
- For a more flavorful chicken add more spices like curry, paprika, coriander, chill, (about 1/2 teaspoon each)
- ¼ -⅓ cup yogurt
- 2-3 tablespoons cooking oil/butter/Ghee
- 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons minced ginger
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 small jalapenos pepper , deseeded and chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon cumin spice
- 3-4 cardamon pods , cracked teaspoon
- 1 teaspoon curry spice
- 1-2 cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon chilli spice (optional)
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½-1 teaspoon or more white/black pepper
- 1/3 -1/2 cup cashew (optional)
- 2 cups Basmati rice
- 1 red bell pepper , chopped
- 4 cups Liquid Broth or water, and/or coconut milk
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt or more adjust to taste
- 2 tablespoons or more cilantro (optional)
- Wash chicken thighs, for faster cooking make a ½ ” slit into chicken thigh meat on either side of the chicken, then wipe with a paper towel. Season with salt (about 1½ teaspoons).
- Add chicken to a bowl then add garlic, ginger, white pepper, cumin. Mix.
- Then add yogurt thoroughly mix. Refrigerate until ready to use .When ready to use discard excess marinade from chicken .
- Place chicken skin side up in a skillet / Dutch oven or oven safe pot/pan for about 3 minutes each, be very careful with the chicken, it shouldn’t burn. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Preheat Oven to 350 degrees F.
- If necessary, remove any burns from pan.
- Add about 2 tablespoons oil or more followed by onions, bell pepper , garlic , and bay leaf. Sauté until soft but not golden, about 2-3 minutes. Then add cumin , coriander , curry , cardamon pods , cinnamon sticks, chill pepper, red bell pepper and cashews. Stir for another minute.
- Next add all the remaining ingredients, rice , stock and salt to taste .Add chicken, bring to a boil.
- Place in the oven in pre-heated oven uncovered . Cook for about 30- 35 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked.
- Remove let it cool, garnish with cilantro, if desired and serve.
How to Make Chicken Biryani
Wash chicken thighs, for faster cooking make a ½ ” slit into chicken thigh meat on either side of the chicken, then wipe with a paper towel. Season with salt (about 1½ teaspoons).
Add chicken to a bowl then add garlic, ginger, white pepper, cumin. Mix. Then add yogurt thoroughly mix. Refrigerate until ready to use .When ready to use discard excess marinade from chicken.
Place chicken skin side up in a skillet / Dutch oven or oven safe pot/pan for about 3 minutes each, be very careful with the chicken, it shouldn’t burn. Remove from the pan and set aside. Preheat Oven to 350 degrees F. If necessary, remove any burns from pan.
Add about 2 tablespoons of oil or more followed by onions, bell pepper, garlic, and bay leaf. Sauté until soft , about 2-3 minutes. Then add cumin, coriander, curry, cardamon pods, cinnamon sticks, red bell pepper and cashews. Stir for another minute.
Next, add all the remaining ingredients – rice , stock and salt to taste.
Add chicken, bring to a boil.
Place in pre-heated oven uncovered. Cook for about 30- 35 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked. Remove let it cool, garnish with cilantro, if desired and serve.