Verse of the week

"For whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."- 1 Corinthians 10:31

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Chicken and Shrimp Biryani

Whenever i think about Chicken Biryani,i think of comfort food.The term 'comfort food' i learnt again for me watching too much of food network shows.It has different meaning for everyone.It is something which doesn't only warm up your belly,it warms up yours thoughts,just simple feel good.The food which makes you warm and happy.
          I must admit,i did not grew up eating Chicken Biryani.I have list of comfort food which reminds me of my mom's cooking and which i LOVE.Though as i moved around in India for study and work,i had close encounter with Biryani and fell in love with it.
          However for a very long time,this remain to be a distant desire because traditionally Biryani is a long time intensive process,cooked in deep dutch oven,layered with rice and long marinated chicken,sprinkled with saffron water and sealed with dough,cooked over flame slowly.Oh i can smell the aroma and just writing the description makes me drool !!!Ever since,i have always been in search of making it easy and this is what i settled at.I know the list of ingredients are daunting but trust me it makes it all good.
  • 3 Chicken Leg Quarters(You can use other cuts)
  • 10-12 deveined Frozen shrimp(Optional)
  • 2 Tbl Yogurt
  • 1/4 Tsp Turmeric(For color)
  • 1/4 Tsp Paprika(Optional)
  • 2 cups of rice
  • Couple strands of Saffron(Optional)
Marinade the chicken in all the spices above.Make sure you cut the slit in Chicken.You can marinade in overnight if you want to.I did for 20 mins.Dissolve the Saffron in 1/2 cup of water.
  • 3 cloves 
  • 3-4 Green Cardamom 
  • 2 Black Cardamom
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1-2 small pieces Cinnamon Bark
  • Red chili flakes
Add all the above to 1-1.5 Tbl oil.It will season the oil and add that quintessential fragrance to the dish.
Saute ingredients
  • 3 Medium size onions
  • 3 big clove of garlic
  • 1 tsp of ginger
  • Handful of cilantro
  • 2-3 medium size Tomato
Saute the onion.When its translucent.Take half of it out and put in blender along with rest if saute ingredients.Add marinaded chicken in rest of the translucent onions and when its getting brown color.Add the blended ingredients.Cook it until  chicken is done and take it out.
           Add shrimp and cook it for 5 mins and take it out.Add the rice to it.It will have some water to it,from cooking chicken to it.Add Saffron water and some more water to it and cook it until its done around 20 mins.Meanwhile if you have boned-in chicken,debone it.Add it to the rice while its in last stage of cooking.
Stir it all well,when its done.There you have it the easy way to make this delicious dish.It is traditionally serve along with Raita.I didn't take a trouble of making it,since its good as it is and my husband is not a big fan of yogurt,though My kids love it with plain yogurt.

Side notes:
-If you don't have all the spices.Use 1.5 tsp of Garam Masala while cooking chicken.It will give you the similar taste and aroma.
-If you don't have Garam Masala,you can use whatever seasoning blend you have in hand.It won't be authentic smelling chicken Biryani but you will still like the result.I have done it with Adobo,Taco,Fajita,Fiesta Lime,Southwest Chipotle,any Latin/Mexican blend seasoning.
-I don't prefer chicken breast meat to it because it tends to dry .I would prefer chicken drumsticks or thighs,Leg quarters and debone it once cooked.If using boneless thighs,take it out as soon as its cooked and add later.It doesn't take long to cook.
-To know the amount of water you need to add in rice.Put a back of spatula,marked 1" from the bottom, touching the rice.Keep adding water until the water reaches to 1" .I use my finger at times.Mostly i eyeball it.
-I would use chopful of Mint,if i have it.It gives that minty aroma to it,which i like.

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