Weeknight Chicken Biryani Recipe

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Gina Published: April 1, 2021 Modified: May 31, 2021

How To Make Weeknight Chicken Biryani

Chicken biryani is a popular Indian rice dish that you can now make at home and on the stovetop. Its flavor and color come mostly from turmeric & ginger.

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 40 minutes
Total: 1 hour



  • cupslong grain white rice,(like basmati)
  • lbschicken thighs,(4 pieces), bone in, skin on
  • 1tspsalt,or more to taste
  • ½tspblack pepper,or more to taste
  • 2tbspvegetable oil
  • 1largeyellow onion,coarsely chopped
  • 1piecefresh ginger,(2 inches), peeled and finely chopped
  • 1tspground turmeric
  • ½tspground cardamom,plus more to taste
  • 1stickcinnamon
  • 1bay leaf
  • ½cupgolden raisins
  • cupschicken stock,or water
  • ¼cupwhole almonds,(skinned or unskinned), or sliced almonds
  • 2tbspfresh cilantro,chopped


  1. In a bowl of water, swirl the rice with your hands several times. Tip the rice into a fine-mesh strainer. Refill the bowl with water, then add the rice back in and swirl again — the water should be clear now. If so, tip the rice back into the strainer and leave to drain until needed. If the water was not clear, repeat rinsing with fresh water until the water is clear.

  2. Cut each thigh in half along the bone; the pieces will be uneven in size with the bone in one half. Sprinkle the chicken all over with salt and pepper.

  3. In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium heat, heat the oil. When it is hot, add the chicken, skin side down. Cook for 5 minutes without disturbing.

  4. Turn the chicken and cook the other side for 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Discard all but 2 tablespoons fat from the pan.

  5. Add the onion and ginger to the pot and turn the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring often, for 8 minutes, or until they soften. Add the turmeric and cardamom. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute more.

  6. Add the rice to the pan and stir it into the onion and spices. Return the seared chicken to the pan, along with any juices that have accumulated in the bowl. Turn the chicken in the spices so the pieces are coated all over.

  7. Add the cinnamon, bay leaf, raisins, and water.

  8. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and cover the pan. Simmer for 18 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the chicken is cooked through. Remove the pan from the heat; set aside for 5 minutes.

  9. In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the almonds, shaking the pan often, for 5 minutes or until they are aromatic. Chop coarsely.

  10. Remove the bay leaf and cinnamon stick from the rice. Taste and add additional salt, pepper, or cardamom to suit taste. Sprinkle the dish with almonds and cilantro.


  • Calories: 415.18kcal
  • Fat: 27.83g
  • Saturated Fat: 6.03g
  • Trans Fat: 0.13g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 13.71g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 5.71g
  • Carbohydrates: 18.57g
  • Fiber: 2.19g
  • Sugar: 10.12g
  • Protein: 23.37g
  • Cholesterol: 114.13mg
  • Sodium: 617.26mg
  • Calcium: 47.71mg
  • Potassium: 536.75mg
  • Iron: 1.90mg
  • Vitamin A: 28.64µg
  • Vitamin C: 2.75mg
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