Coconut Chicken biryani

January 14th 2016

Biryani is one of my favorite rice dishes ever, it can however, be quite labor intensive . It was only within the last 5 years or so that I was made aware of its delicious and elegant existence. Mine is based on a few different versions I have eaten and is relatively mild, and simplified so that you can do it all in one skillet and make it on the stove top, I cook the chicken in the oven for an extra level of flavor.You can add different fresh chilies to spice it up if you prefer or play it down to your own preferences. This recipe makes enough for 6 large portions, the chicken and onions are the flavor base and the coconut adds a mild sweetness, and creamy richness to the finished dish. Easy enough for a weeknight, this is one of those versatile dishes that can be changed and modified depending what you have on hand, and is impressive enough for company.
You will need:
Boneless, skinless, chicken thighs
Chicken seasoning: ½ tsp each: Garam masala, curry, allspice, black mustard seeds, salt, and chili powder.
Sprinkle seasoning on each side of thighs, on a sheet pan cook chicken in a 400 degree oven and cook 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
2 Cups Basmati rice, rinsed twice and soaked for 30 minutes, then drained in colander
1 can coconut milk
1.5 Cups water
1 star anise
3 whole cloves
1 medium onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch piece of ginger, grated
.25 Cup frozen petite peas, thawed
.5 of a carrot grated
1 Tbsp peanut oil
2 Tbsp butter
.25 Cup toasted coconut
.25 Cup toasted almonds
pinch of saffron
a few pinches of salt
Limes and cilantro for garnish if you like them.
Start by preparing your chicken, when it’s cool enough to handle, shred or chop into bite sized pieces. The outside of the chicken should be nice and crusty. Set aside.
Put your coconut milk in a small sauce pan, add, star anise, saffron, and cloves, once it comes to a simmer, remove from heat.
In a large skillet, place peanut oil over high heat, when shimmering, add onions, cook five minutes, turn heat to medium, add butter, garlic, and ginger. Cook down for 10-15 more minutes till onions are brown, and sweet.
Next, add rinsed and drained rice, turn heat to high and stir, add coconut milk mixture, water, a few pinches of salt and stir, bring to boil, reduce heat to low, add chicken, top with a lid and cook 20 minutes. Turn heat off, add peas, carrots, toasted coconut, and almonds. Serve with limes and cilantro. You can remove the cloves and anise before you serve, but I leave the anise in because it looks exotic and pretty.