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 months...you 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)?
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