Monday, February 28, 2011

Simran's chicken biryani

As you may have noticed, I'm crazy for chicken.

I know plenty of people don't like chicken: they think it's boring, or they have an issue with eating it on the bone, something I never understand, since it's usually claimed by people who I've seen gnawing on a pork chop or getting down on a turkey drumstick at Thanksgiving. They say there is something specific to chicken on the bone that gives them the creeps.  Whatever. It is true that chicken is often poorly cooked (i.e. dry) or too often appears in boneless, skinless breast form, which greatly narrows the chances of it tasting good.

Anyway, I eat it pretty much any style. I like it roasted with honey and cherry tomatoes; simmered in coconut milk, soy, and vinegar, adobo-style; and encrusted with macadamia nuts in a Hawaiian plate lunch. I also like it fried, in a creamy salad for a weekday lunch, and of course I adore Marcella Hazan's  roasted chicken with two lemons, which is on the menu once a week at my house.

But even with all this variety, sometimes you still need a new recipe to spice things up...literally.

Enter chicken biryani, courtesy of my friend Simran, who writes this lovely blog with my other friend Stacie. Last summer, Simran's mother came to visit her here in San Francisco, and shared a recipe or two with her daughter, who then kindly shared them with her friends and readers. When I saw her recipe for chicken biryani,  I knew I wanted to make it immediately.

"Immediately" actually took about seven know how things go. But I finally got around to it earlier this month, and it has officially taken its place in my repertoire.

One thing I was very interested in was that the dish is supposed to be layered, chicken - rice - chicken - rice, sort of like an Asian lasagne, Simran notes. I loved this idea, although you can't actually see the layers in the bowls that I used to serve it. However, it was fun to eat, digging through the layers of spicy chickeny goodness.

Making this recipe was delicious and satisfying and reminded me of yet another great chicken recipe, one which also turned into one of my all-time favorite blog posts: Country Captain/Captain Chicken. The two recipes share some similar flavors, and both are easy enough to make, although I do like that Simran's requires fewer ingredients. I suggest you give them both a try. After all, who couldn't use  another chicken recipe (or two)?


  1. So true...the more chicken recipes the better! :)
    I loved Country Captain Chicken so no doubt I will love this one too!

  2. I like chicken too, oh my goodness, I now have a fried chicken craving! The kids aren't too fussed on the bird though, not sure why. Anyway, that's a great looking briyani, and thanks for asking, the mole was great, I might get my act together and post up a pic soon :)

  3. I prepare chicken a lot. I am always looking for a good recipe. Seems like another one has been put right in my lap :-)

    Hope all is well.

  4. Barbara: Glad you liked the captain chicken :)

    shaz: I'm the same way, someone just has to mention the words "fried chicken" and a craving sets in. Looking forward to our mole post...

    Velva: You can never have too many!

  5. Always room for more chicken :)

  6. ALY: :)

    tamilyn: That's my thinking as well...

  7. it's easy for chicken dishes to get tired--if i see chicken parmesan even one more time, i'll scream. this is definitely a new preparation for me, and it sounds delightful! bonus--no bone-gnawing required! :)

  8. I can't believe there are people who don't like chicken. They just must never have had it done well. Chicken is so versatile that's it's my go-to protein.

  9. grace: Mm, chicken parmesan...

    CJ: I know, it's a mystery to me too!

  10. I love chicken and eat it all the time. I think chicken gets a bad rap from people who think it might be bland or boring. Nice to have more chicken recipes in the arsenal!

  11. For some reason, my brain is now shouting, "I feel like chicken tonight!" Biryani is so good.

  12. Ben: Glad you agree!

    Camille: It's Indian comfort food!

  13. I'm definitely a chicken girl!! I eat it all the time, which also makes me in need of more recipes. Thanks for sharing this one!

  14. I am so glad you tried this and liked it! I will be posting another chicken recipe real soon that you will like. Kashmiri Chicken - made it for dinner tonight!

  15. Jessica: Hope you try it!

    ALY: Cannot wait.