RECIPES

Smoked Chicken Biryani


Yield: 4-6 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes + 2 to 24 hours marinating time

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Basic chicken and rice gets elevated to gourmet status with this tempting recipe! A custom spice blend provides big flavour to the aromatic basmati rice, and a mouth-watering marinade makes the chicken tender and tasty. Plus, through the clever use of charcoal in your frying pan, the whole meal takes on a enticing bit of smokiness without ever touching a grill. We think even the basics deserve the best – and so does your family!

 

Chef’s Tips:

*To increase flavour of the chicken, marinate for at least 6 hours.

*Recipe can be made without the smoking step.

 

INGREDIENTS

For the Spice Blend:

  • 1 tbsp (7 g) whole cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp (3 g) whole coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp (1 g) whole peppercorns
  • 10 green cardamom pods
  • 1 3-inch cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
  • 5 whole cloves

 

For the Marinated Chicken:

  • 2 lb (900 g) Sargent Farms Chicken Drumsticks (approximately 10 pieces)
  • ½ cup (125 ml) 3% plain yogurt
  • ¼ cup (4 g) finely chopped cilantro
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely minced
  • 1 inch (2.5 cm) piece ginger, peeled and finely minced
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp (5 g) prepared spice blend (recipe above)

 

For the Fried Onions:

  • canola oil, for frying
  • 1 onion, sliced ⅛ inch (⅓ cm) thick

 

For the Rice:

  • 1 tsp (2 g) cumin seeds
  • 1 3-inch cinnamon stick
  • 4 green cardamom pods, smashed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups (370 g) basmati rice, soaked in water for 30 minutes

 

To Assemble and Cook Biryani:

  • 1½  cups (375 ml) milk heated to 140°F (60°C)
  • 2 tsp (3 g) prepared spice blend
  • ½ tsp (1 g) saffron threads
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) ghee or vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 pcs lump charcoal
  • ¼ cup (5 g) chopped mint
  • ¼ cup (4 g) chopped cilantro

 

INSTRUCTIONS

For the Spice Blend:

  1. Place all spices in a dry (oil free) frying pan over medium heat. Toast, stirring often until fragrant; about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer spices to a plate, allow to cool for 10 minutes. Once cooled, grind spices in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle until they form a fine powder. Set aside until needed.  

For the Marinated Chicken:

  1. Pat dry the Sargent Farms Chicken Drumsticks and place in a resealable zipper bag, or an airtight container.
  2. Stir together remaining marinade ingredients and pour over the chicken. Seal bag or container  and gently shake back and forth to coat chicken in marinade. Place in refrigerator and allow chicken to marinate for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.

For the Fried Onions:

  1. Heat 1 inch (2.5 cm) of oil in a high-sided frying pan until it reaches 350°F (175°C). Line a baking sheet, or large plate, with paper towels.
  2. Working in small batches, add finely sliced onions to frying pan and cook for 4-5 minutes or until golden. Using a slotted spoon remove onions from pan and drain on the paper towel-lined baking sheet. Continue with remaining onions. Set aside until needed.

For the Rice:

  1. Fill a medium pot with 6 cups (1.5 L) water, stir in cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods and bay leaf; bring mixture to a boil.
  2. Add soaked and drained rice to pot, return to a boil and cook for 3 minutes. Strain rice and spread in a thin layer on a baking sheet to cool. Set aside until needed.

To Assemble and Cook Biryani:

  1. Whisk together warm milk, prepared spice blend, and saffron; steep for 10 minutes.
  2. Remove chicken from marinade and pat dry.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of ghee in a Dutch oven or a large heavy-bottom pot, over medium-high heat.
  4. Add chicken to Dutch oven in a single layer and cook for 4-5 minutes per side or until golden. Transfer drumsticks to a plate and reduce heat to medium.
  5. Spread half of the parboiled rice onto the bottom of the Dutch oven. Top with browned chicken, sprinkle with half of the fried onions and top with remaining rice.
  6. Drizzle milk mixture over the biryani (rice mixture) and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover Dutch oven and cook for 15 minutes.
  7. When the chicken has cooked for 10 minutes, place charcoal in a dry frying pan over high heat. Flip charcoal occasionally until they turn white and are smoking; about 5 minutes. Once biryani has cooked for the first 15 minutes, remove lid and place a small square of foil on rice. Place the smoking charcoal on foil, cover and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
  8. Remove from heat. Remove foil and charcoal and fluff biryani with a fork. Garnish with chopped mint and cilantro to serve.