Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Chicken Biryani

I love Indian food.  I love the spices, I love the all-you-can-eat buffets and I love that many of their dishes are vegetarian.  Give me an Indian lunch buffet and I will eat until I'm sick.

I decided to try this recipe based on it getting such high reviews.  And now I see why.  Abe LOVED it and declared it as good as something from a restaurant.  It was super easy to  make, so it will be added to the regular menu.

I know the recipe calls for boneless thighs, but I couldn't find those, so I substituted boneless breasts instead.  If you wanted to make this vegetarian, I'm sure cubed potatoes, chick peas or even fried extra-firm tofu would be lovely in this sauce.

Don't substitute ground cinnamon for the cinnamon stick- you'll regret it.  Buy some and then save the rest for holiday toddies.

I'm thinking you could omit the saffron, if you don't want to buy it.  It does add a nice flavor to the rice, however.

I got this from CookingLight.com.

Enjoy!

Chicken Biryani
Serves 6 (well, who are we kidding.... serves 3-4)

3  cups  water
2  teaspoons  salt, divided
1/4  teaspoon  saffron threads, crushed
1 1/2  cups  uncooked basmati rice
1  (3-inch) cinnamon stick
1  pound  skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
1  tablespoon  vegetable oil
1  cup  chopped onion
2  teaspoons  curry powder
1  teaspoon  minced peeled fresh ginger
1/2  teaspoon  ground cardamom
1/8  teaspoon  ground red pepper
2  garlic cloves, minced
2  serrano chiles, seeded and minced
1  cup  plain whole-milk yogurt
1/2  cup  golden raisins
1/2  cup  chopped dry-roasted cashews
1/4  cup  fresh cilantro

1. Bring water, 1 teaspoon salt, and saffron to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add rice and cinnamon stick to pan. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Discard cinnamon stick.

2. Sprinkle chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; sauté 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove chicken from pan; cover and keep warm.

3. Add onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt to pan. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook 10 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.

4. Add curry and the next 5 ingredients (curry through serrano chiles); cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add yogurt, stirring with a whisk; cook 3 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Add chicken and raisins; cook 4 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Add rice; stir well to combine. Sprinkle evenly with cashews and cilantro.

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