Lemon Chicken Biryani
The View From the Great Island
This Lemon Chicken Biryani recipe is a lush one pot chicken and rice dish from India that goes from weeknight meal to entertaining with ease.
- 1¾ cups basmati rice
- 27 ounces hot chicken stock (divided)
- olive oil ((divided))
- 8 chicken thighs, or a combination of legs and thighs
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large onion (thinly sliced)
- 1 large shallot (thinly sliced)
- 2 tsp Coriander seeds
- 1 tsp Cumin seeds
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 10 black peppercorns
- 2 black cardamom pods (seeds removed, husks discarded)
- 15 green cardamom pods (seeds removed, husks discarded)
- 1 thumb-sized knob fresh ginger (peeled and thinly sliced)
- 4 garlic cloves (peeled)
- ½ cup whole cashews (raw preferred )
- 1¼ cup ground almonds
- 8 tbsp Greek yogurt (whole milk)
- 1 tsp Turmeric
- ⅓ cup currants
- 1 lemon (zest and juice)
- ⅓ cup slivered almonds
- fresh coriander leaves
- pomegranate seeds
- lemon wedges
- Set the oven to 350F
- Put the rice and 1 3/4 cups of the stock (400ml) in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, turn down the heat and cook for 8 minutes, then take off the heat and set aside.
- Coat the bottom of a large skillet with olive oil and heat on medium high until hot. Season both sides of the chicken pieces with salt and pepper, and then brown, in batches, for 5 minutes on each side. Set the chicken aside on a plate and cover with foil.
- Add the onions and shallots to the pan, season with salt and pepper, and saute for about 15 minutes, stirring often, until softened.
- In another dry skillet toast the spices over medium heat for a couple of minutes, keeping them moving the whole time. Take off the stove and grind them in a small food processor. Add the ginger and garlic and process together into a rough paste.
- Add the paste to the pan with the onions, along with the cashews and saute for 3-4 minutes, stirring almost constantly so the garlic doesn't brown.
- Stir in the almond meal, yogurt, turmeric, currants, lemon juice and zest, along with the rice, and combine everything well. Add salt and pepper if necessary.
- Now you will layer the rice and chicken in a large casserole dish. Start with 1/2 of the rice, and nestle down 1/2 of the chicken. Add the rest of the rice and chicken, and arrange evenly.
- Add the rest of the hot stock (make sure it is hot) and pour over the casserole. Cover with a clean dishcloth and cover tightly.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. This will depend on the size of your chicken pieces. If you have a thermometer it should read 160-165F.
- Fluff the rice a bit, rearrange the chicken, and garnish with the almonds, coriander leaves, and pomegranate seeds. I like to serve with a few lemon wedges on the side, too.