David's Recipe for Murghi Biyani

A version of murghi biyani made without ghee or other dairy products for religious reasons, without layers because I don't feel like it, and with chicken breasts instead of a whole chicken for health reasons.

Main Course, Indian

  • 50 pods cardamom
  • 5" stick cinnamon
  • 1/4 coffee spoon ground nutmeg
  • 2" fresh ginger
  • 1 chili pepper
  • 8 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup boiling water for saffron
  • 3/4 gram saffron
  • 200 grams white raisins
  • 150 grams peeled pistachios
  • 100 grams blanched sliced almonds
  • 1.8 liters boiling water for the rice
  • 1 kg rice
  1. Cut the chicken breasts along their length to produce 16 more or less equal pieces. Remove any objectionable cartilage and tendons.
  2. Remove hard seed cases from the cardamom. Mince fine the ginger and the chili.
  3. Grind the cardamom and the cinnamon.
  4. Mix together the cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and chili.
  5. Rub the chicken breasts with the sauteed spice mixture, then allow to stand for at least 1/2 hour.
  6. Separate the saffron threads with your fingers, then pour the boiling water over them.
  7. Slice the onions.
  8. Brown the chicken breasts in the large stew pot in which the whole dish will be cooked.
  9. Add the raisins, stir, and saute for a few minutes.
  10. Add the onions, stir, and saute until they just begin to become golden.
  11. Mix in the rice and saute for a few minutes, until the grains are coated and some of them are opaque.
  12. Mix in the almonds and the pistachios.
  13. Pour in the saffron and its water and mix well.
  14. Pour in the boiling water. Cover, place a heat diffuser under the pot (if you have one), and reduce to low heat.
  15. Allow to simmer 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to continue cooking in its own heat another 5 minutes before serving.

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