This Indian Chicken Biryani is a fusion of aromatic chicken curry and fragrant basmati rice. Boneless chicken cubes are marinated in tenderizing yogurt and spices. All the cooking happens in one pan. This dish is packed with deep and exciting flavors and a good amount of heat.
Biryani is a beautiful mix of rice, meat and fragrant spices, a beloved dish throughout India and beyond. There are many wonderful varieties of Biryani, each with its own special panache. Ingredients and cooking styles vary by region. Many well-known Biryanis are named after the region where the recipe originated and the type of meat used or the cooking vessel. If you're interested you can get an overview of Biryanis in Saveur's Beginner's Guide to Biryani.
I'm somewhat obsessed with Biryani and I I also have a thing for chicken and rice combos. For a long time I've been wanting to develop a biryani recipe with chicken. I already have one with lamb. In fact, my Indian Lamb Biryani recipe is one of the most popular recipes on this blog (and in my house). After much research and recipe testing I'm excited to share this delicious chicken biryani recipe with you.
I developed this recipe after lots of research, scouring my cookbooks and the internet to get a grasp of the best way to cook chicken biryani. My recipe is adapted from the inspiration of so many wonderful recipes but mostly from this recipe by Swasthi's Recipes and this one by Maunika Gowardhan.
One of my goals was to make the recipe simple and accessible because I want everyone to experience the deliciousness of Indian Biryani. Hopefully this one-pan chicken biryani recipe will help make this happen. There's a fair bit of prep but once you have the chicken marinating and the rice pre-cooked and the herbs chopped, you can cook the biryani in about 30 minutes.
HOW TO MAKE INDIAN CHICKEN BIRYANI
Ginger Garlic Paste:
You'll need two tablespoons of ginger-garlic paste for this recipe so I'll start out by sharing with you my favorite way to make a quick ginger-garlic paste.
Ginger garlic paste is basically a 50/50 blend of pureed ginger and pureed garlic. Sometimes other ingredients are added for texture or as a preservative.
Many Asian recipes call for ginger-garlic paste and they often recommend using a blender or food processor for the task. This can work well for large amounts but it's a big production and when you're done you have an appliance to clean. Also, you may not want to make a large amount because there are dangers to storing ginger-garlic paste in the fridge.
Here's what I do to make just enough ginger-garlic for a recipe, using gadgets that I can throw in the dishwasher. I like to crush the garlic in a garlic press and grate the ginger root on a microplane zester/grater. It's easy and I can keep crushing and grating until I get the exact amount I need for the recipe.
Once you have the ginger garlic-paste you can make the marinade for the chicken. Combine ginger-garlic paste, yogurt, sliced green chilies, turmeric, garam masala, chili powder and salt.
Many Biryani recipes use yogurt (sometimes called “curd”) as the base of the marinade. Yogurt has magical tenderizing powers and combined with the spices you get a marinade that infuses the chicken with the first layer of aromatic flavors.
While the chicken is marinating, rinse and precook the rice. The rice should be slightly undercooked. It will finish cooking after it's layered with the chicken curry.
Chicken Curry Sauce:
While the chicken is marinating and the rice is simmering, you can start the curry sauce. This begins with a sauté of spices and onions. Add the marinated chicken pieces and sear them for a few minutes to seal in the juices. Then add chopped tomatoes and tomato paste. Cover and simmer for ten minutes.
Layer It Up:
Now comes the fun part: layering on the rice, herbs and spices. Have all of your ingredients ready and accessible: the partially-cooked rice, chopped mint, chopped cilantro, salt, garam masala and saffron threads soaked in hot milk.
Spread half the rice out evenly over the chicken. Sprinkle on half the herbs, salt and garam masala. Drizzle on half the saffron milk. Repeat with the rest of the rice, herbs, spices and saffron milk.
Cover tightly and simmer gently for 10 minutes and your delicious Chicken Biryani is ready.
When you uncover your biryani it's a site to behold, with herbs and saffron milk dotting the rice with color.
Pile the luscious chicken and rice onto plates and don't forget the cucumber raita, an essential side dish with biryani.
You may also enjoy serving a store-bought chutney on the side - always tasty with biryani.
I suspect there will be more Biryani recipes on this site sometime in the near future because there are just so many tempting variations. But for now, here's the recipe for Indian Chicken Biryani. If you try this recipe I hope you'll come back to leave a star rating and comment. I'd love to know what you think!
Can I use chicken breast i this, Lisa? I know thighs are better but I have a lot of boneless breasts to use up. I also have to make it non-dairy for one guest and bought cashew yogurt. Should I add anything to the marinade as this yogurt might not have the tenderizing properties of dairy yogurt? Many thanks for your help in customizing the recipe.
Hi Marlene, yes you can use chicken breasts in this dish. They're a bit leaner than thighs so easier to overcook. Make sure you cut them into large chunks and sear them to flavor them but don't sauté them for long - maybe 2 minutes per side instead of 3. Ginger is a natural enzymatic tenderizer so you don't have to worry about the lack of dairy. I hope you enjoy! Keep me posted.
yummy chicken briyani, i tried at my home , 1sttime i prepared it came out well.
Put too much coriander in it for me. Otherwise lovely thanks
Do you have a curried chicken salad recipe?
yes. Here it is: https://www.panningtheglobe.com/curried-chicken-salad/
Thank you for these amazing article I really like these and I never tried these kind of recipe but i will be serving my guest in upcoming Weekend, Before that
Can you please tell me that this iranian saffron is fair for using in recipe or not ?
I'm going to purchase it from there florida store so that is why i wanted to be sure before buying
I read your article which is really made me think before buying from any where that is why i'm asking i hope you can reply me quickly
Please also mention quantity of using so i will follow you
Can you tell me what is difference between this persian saffron and kashmiri saffron is there any natural benefit is high in any one of these and what makes the winner as high saffron of all time kashmiri or persian can you please reply and make me clear ?
Looks amazing! What a beautiful dish!!
Thank you Jen!!
It looks so delicious! I will have this dish next week! Trying to impress my sister who is visiting me! Thank you!
Thanks Hattie! I hope you and your sister enjoy the Chicken Biryani. Let me know!!