chicken biryani tagine
equipment: 4 3/4 quart tagine
for the chicken
6 large chicken drumsticks (with/without skin) (approximately 1 lb)
1/2 cup greek yogurt
4 tablespoons lime juice, freshly squeezed
1 teaspoon kosher sea salt
1 teaspoon red chili powder or cayenne powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder, freshly ground
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 tablespoon grated ginger root, fresh
1 tablespoon grated garlic, fresh
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
for the garnish
1 1/2 cups red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 green or red thai chili peppers, sliced in half
2 cups white potatoes, peeled and diced into 1 inch cubes
1/4 cup vegetable oil /ghee
for the rice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil/ghee
3 bay leaves
10 green cardamom pods, whole, gently crushed
2 black cardamom pods, whole, gently crushed
10 cloves, whole
1 1/2 cups basmati rice, rinsed and soaked for 20 minutes in cold tap water
2 cups water
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves, julienned or chopped
1. Pat the chicken dry with a clean paper towel. Make a couple of gashes in each drumstick and keep aside. Mix all the ingredients for the marinade from the yogurt to the turmeric in a large gallon ziploc bag. Add the chicken to this marinade and seal the bag. Mix to coat the chicken and then place it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours preferably overnight.
2. On the day of preparation: Take the cast iron base of the tagine and heat 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil/ghee on medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot add the onions and salt and stir to coat with the oil. Cover the tagine base with the lid and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook the onions for about 15 to 20 minutes until they have caramelized and turned completely brown. You will need to open the tagine and stir the onions occasionally to ensure they don't burn. Add a little more oil if necessary. Add the chilies in the last two minutes and cook. Remove the caramelized onions and chilies from the tagine and keep aside until ready to use.
3. In the same tagine, add the remaining oil and fry the potatoes until they are crispy and golden brown. This will take about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove and place them on a clean paper towel to drain the excess oil.
4. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator after marination. Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in the same tagine, on medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces with the marinade and cover the tagine with the lid and cook for about 12-15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked and tender. Remove the chicken and the gravy separately, and keep aside until ready to use.
5. Heat the one tablespoon of oil in the same tagine on medium-high heat. Add the green cardamom, black cardamom and cloves. Fry them in the oil for 30 seconds. Drain the soaked rice and add it to the tagine. Add the salt and water and mix. Cover the tagine with the lid and cook the rice on medium-high heat for about 10-12 minutes until all the water has almost just evaporated. Reduce the heat to a medium-low.
6. Arrange the chicken pieces over the rice, drizzle the remaining gravy over the chicken. Sprinkle the onions and potatoes over the rice and chicken. Cover the tagine back with its lid and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from stove and keep aside. Just before serving garnish the biryani with the cilantro. Serve with cold yogurt/raita and a chilled salad.
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Le Creuset and all opinions stated here are purely my own.