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Oven-cooked Chicken Biryani

Oven-cooked Chicken Biryani

Delicious, flavorful and aromatic Chicken Biryani, the hassle-free way!

Eid Al-Fitr is a few days away. And all I can think of is Biryani! I am not going into the history of Biryani and how many types of Biryani we find in India (because honestly, I have not tasted all kinds and am not an authority on it). 

The city of Kolkata has excellent Biryani restaurants in practically every nook and corner and Bengalis prefer their biryani with an egg and a potato, which is rarely seen in other parts of India. Therefore, I think, it’s unique. But whenever I think of delicious, flavorful, juicy (read, the meat) and aromatic biryani, I think of my friend, Salma. The Eids that I have spent in her house, the ‘iftaar’ that I have tasted during Ramzan month and even Salma’s general ‘everyday’ biryani is a class apart! When I moved to the US, I knew that never ever would I be able to have Salma’s biryani ever again.

However, this did not happen. (And am I ecstatic or what?!) Because when it comes to cooking Biryani, my husband is in charge. Yes, true. He is the designated ‘Executive Biryani Chef’ of the house and an excellent one, too! (while I am the helping hand)  This is his quick and easy, hassle-free version that can be conveniently made in a regular kitchen oven. No need for a biryani ‘handi’ or sealing of the edges etc. It is a perfect dish that can be made in a use-and-throw aluminium baking dish which you could make for a potluck to a friend’s place or for your own home party or for an outdoor picnic/party.

The authentic way to make this is, of course, in a ‘handi with slow ‘dum’ cooking on the gas stove and I will give the recipe and procedure to that at a later stage in my blog.

{Serves 4-6 adults}

Ingredients you will need:

For the chicken marinade:
3 lbs chicken (leg and thigh pieces)
1 cup yogurt
2 tbsp Biryani masala (try the brands Ahmed or Everest, or your favorite brand)
½ tbsp ginger paste
½ tbsp garlic paste
1 tbsp mustard oil
1-2 tsp red chilli powder (according to taste)
4-5 green chillies, chopped
¼ cup fresh coriander, chopped
¼ cup fresh mint leaves or pudina, chopped
Salt according to taste

For rice:
2 ½  cups basmati rice (soaked in water for 30 mins)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp whole cloves
1 tsp whole cardamom
3 cinnamon sticks
3-4 star anise
3-4 bay leaves
5 cups water
Salt according to taste

For final assembling:
2 tbsp ghee or clarified butter
1 tsp rose water
1 pinch of saffron (soaked in 2 tbsp of warm milk)
1 tsp kewra water
1 medium onion (thinly chopped and fried with salt and pinch of red chilli powder, to put on top of the rice)

Method for cooking:

1) Marinate the chicken with all the ingredients as mentioned above for chicken marinade, cover and keep in the refrigerator for 6 hours.

2) In a large deep saucepan, boil 5 cups water with all the ingredients (for rice) as mentioned above except the rice. Once water comes to a complete boil, add the rice which was already soaked in water for 30 mins.

3) While the rice is cooking, in an aluminium baking dish evenly spread out the marinated chicken. Keep an eye on the boiling rice in the meantime. Cook the rice till it is 60% done (press a couple of grains to check) and turn off the heat.

4) For the final assembling, start by spreading fried onion on the marinated chicken in the baking dish. With a sieve, strain out the rice from the boiling water and keep spreading onto the chicken layer.

5) Once the entire rice is layered, evenly sprinkle rose water, kewra water and saffron-milk mixture. Just before covering it with aluminium foil pour ghee or clarified butter.

6) Oven must be preheated to 390 F. Cover the dish air-tight with the aluminium foil for ‘dum’ cooking. Bake for 55 mins. Your oven-cooked dum biryani is ready. Keep it outside for 10 mins before removing the aluminium foil cover. Serve it with your choice of raita.

saffron milk mixture; Oven-cooked Chicken Biryani

The beautiful color of warm milk with saffron strands

Oven-cooked Chicken Biryani

The chicken in the marinade is spread evenly on the baking dish, topped with fried onions (left); the semi-cooked rice spread out on top of the chicken with saffron-milk mixture, rose water, ghee and kewra water drizzled on top (right)

Oven-cooked Chicken Biryani

The fully cooked Chicken Biryani, hot from the oven. Having cooked Biryani at home in the traditional way which is certainly delicious, we can guarantee that you will find this version at par, if not better! And with a lot less post-cooking cleanup 🙂

Oven-cooked Chicken Biryani

Fold in the chicken at the bottom with the rice before serving. The spices of the chicken marinade and saffron will give a beautiful golden yellow color to the rice

Raita; Oven-cooked Chicken Biryani

Raita made with cumin powder, mint leaves, pinch of red chili powder, salt and sugar is a perfect condiment with any kind of Biryani

So, this Eid try making this biryani at home and enjoy this royal dish with your family and friends.

Eid Mubarak!

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16 Comments

  1. This makes my mouth water! My dad is visiting me in a few weeks and I’ve been trying to figure out what all to cook for him (he is Bangladeshi) and I think I will add this to the menu. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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