Chicken Biryani with Saffron Rice


by Heather Harris Brady

I don’t pretend to be anything other than someone who loves all kinds of ethnic food that I can’t get very often. So, I fudge it, coming up with things that taste very much like purchased/restaurant versions but which may or may not be authentic. This is a great recipe to give the spice drawer a workout, and it would be a good place to tuck in some sauteed squash or zucchini in addition to the new baby potatoes.

Chicken Biryani, Serves Four

One pound of chicken breast, cut into cubes
1/2 pound of baby potatoes or two large Russet potatoes, cut into wedges
Two medium onions, thinly sliced
One 24-oz can tomato sauce or fresh stewed tomatoes
One small can green chili peppers
1 T. fresh ground ginger
1 T. minced garlic
1 t. tumeric powder
1 t. chili powder
1 t. ground coriander
1 t. garam marsala
1/2 t. ground cloves
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground cardamom
1 bay leaf
Salt/pepper to taste

Saffron Rice

2 c. rice, cooked according to your favorite method
1 t. saffron

Add three T. olive oil to the skillet and fry the potatoes until browned. Set them aside.


Add the garlic, ginger and onions to the skillet and cook until golden.


Add the tomato sauce and spices.


Let the sauce cook down and thicken, then add the chicken. When the chicken has cooked through add the potatoes back in. If you are boiling or steaming your rice you’ll want to start it at about this point.


Simmer for another 10 minutes. Mix the saffron with 2 T. hot water and 2 T. melted butter.

Toss with the cooked rice. To serve, plate the rice and add several spoonfuls of biryani over the top.

Leftovers are great for your lunch the next day after the flavors have had time to blend.

One year ago: Sweet corn and green chili tamales



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