Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Chicken Briyani

One of our favorite dishes is Chicken Briyani: a sweet and spicy masala, baked with chicken and basmati rice. It's made extra special when topped with fried onions and nuts. Here is the simple tasty recipe.

Chicken Briyani

6 pieces chicken, bone in
1 cup diced onion
1 tb minced garlic
1 tb grated ginger
1 1/2 tablespoons briyani spice
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup low fat yogurt
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper
1 cup basmati rice, cooked according to package directions
2 tb milk
pinch of saffron
2 tb pine nuts
2 tb slivered almonds
1 whole onion, thinly sliced
1 cup vegetable oil

1. Sear chicken in a frying pan on both sides. Set aside.
2. Saute diced onions in 1 tb oil until soft, in a large sauce pot. Stir in ginger and garlic.
3. Add spices, yogurt, lemon juice, and cilantro. Stir until a sauce comes together. Add chicken and salt and pepper. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
4. Place chicken and sauce into a deep baking dish and top with prepared rice.
5. Heat milk in the microwave until steamy, then add the pinch of saffron. Gently stir until milk turns a yellow colour. Sprinkle the milk over top of the rice.
6. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.

To prepare the fried onions and nuts:
1. Heat 1 cup of oil in a small sauce pan until shimmery.
2. Add all the pine nuts and fry for 1 mintue only. They should have a light brown colour. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain.
3. Repeat with almonds.
4. Add the sliced onions to the oil, half at a time, and stir often as they cook. The onions will take about 5 minutes to cook. Be careful, since they can burn easily once they start to brown. Remove from oil to paper towels ans allow to cool.

Serve this tasty dish with fried nuts, onions, and chopped fresh cilantro. In our house, Briyani is always eaten with a huge scoop of yogurt on top. Yum!

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