Chicken Buriyani

SAVEUR - - Contents -

SERVES 8; Photo at left

To­tal: 2 hr. 35 min. Adapted from Ruweena Deen, mother-in-law of chef Nishad Jayawardena of Asy­lum res­tau­rant, this is a spe­cial-oc­ca­sion meal in Sri Lanka, made in large quan­tity and suit­able for a week­end fam­ily gath­er­ing or to break fast for Eid at the end of Ra­madan. The dish cooks rel­a­tively quickly, but the prep in­volved—carameliz­ing onions, grind­ing spices, and mar­i­nat­ing the chicken and pota­toes—is lengthy. Each step adds an es­sen­tial layer of fla­vor to the fi­nal dish, so give your­self enough time to do them all.

¾ cup plus 2 Tbsp. ghee, di­vided 1 lb. white onion (1½ medium onions), peeled and thinly sliced (3¾ cups) 2 tsp. salt, di­vided, plus more to taste 1 lb. bas­mati rice (2 cups 3 Tbsp.) Small pinch of saf­fron threads (about ⅛ tsp.) 20 car­damom pods, di­vided 20 whole cloves, di­vided 6 1-inch pieces flat cin­na­mon 2 tsp. co­rian­der seeds 1 tsp. black pep­per­corns 1 Tbsp. chili pow­der ½ tsp. ground turmeric 1 cup plain yo­gurt, di­vided 2 lb. chicken thighs on the bone (4 large thighs), halved 4 medium pota­toes (about 2 lb.), peeled and cut into 6 to 8 pieces each 6 eggs 4 bay leaves 4 plum toma­toes (1¼ lb.), quar­tered length­wise ½ cup roasted cashews, for gar­nish 1 loosely packed cup cilantro leaves, for gar­nish 1 In a large skil­let, melt 2 ta­ble­spoons ghee over medium heat. Add the onions and a pinch of salt; cook, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til soft­ened and start­ing to very lightly brown in places, about 25 min­utes. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til the onions have re­leased all of their juices and are deeply caramelized, 20–25 min­utes more. Turn off the heat.

2 Mean­while, in a fine-mesh colan­der, rinse the rice well, then trans­fer to a large bowl. Add enough cold wa­ter to cover by a few inches, then let soak for 30 min­utes.

3 In a sep­a­rate small bowl, add the saf­fron threads and a scant half cup of hot wa­ter; let soak.

4 Us­ing a spice grinder or mor­tar and pes­tle, grind 10 car­damom pods, 10 cloves, 3 pieces of the cin­na­mon, the co­rian­der, and the pep­per­corns into a pow­der. Trans­fer to a medium bowl and add 1½ tea­spoons salt, the chili pow­der, the turmeric, and ½ cup yo­gurt; stir well to com­bine.

5 To a large plat­ter or bak­ing dish, add the chicken and rub all over with the yo­gurt mix­ture. Let mar­i­nate for 20 min­utes, then add the potato pieces and let mar­i­nate an­other 20 min­utes.

6 Mean­while, boil the eggs: Bring a medium pot of wa­ter to a rapid boil. Care­fully lower in the eggs, then cook 8–9 min­utes. Drain, then trans­fer to a bowl of ice wa­ter to cool. Once cooled, peel, halve, and set aside.

7 In a large (8- to 10-quart), heavy-bot­tomed pot, heat ¼ cup ghee over medium-high heat un­til shim­mer­ing. Add 5 car­damom pods, 5 cloves, the bay leaves, and the re­main­ing cin­na­mon pieces and cook un­til fra­grant, 1–2 min­utes. Re­move the whole spices if de­sired. Add the mar­i­nated chicken pieces skin side down to the ghee and let cook 2 min­utes. Add the pota­toes, half of the caramelized onions, and the toma­toes. Cook, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til the mix­ture looks saucy and the pota­toes be­gin to soften, about 15 min­utes.

8 Drain the rice and mas­sage it with the re­main­ing yo­gurt. Add to the pot with the chicken. Add the saf­fron and its soaking liq­uid, ½ tea­spoon salt, and just enough wa­ter to barely cover the rice. Stir once, mak­ing sure the rice and pota­toes are sub­merged, then re­duce the heat to medium-low; cover and let cook, stir­ring once or twice to make sure that the rice isn’t scorch­ing at the bot­tom (it may get a lit­tle crunchy), 20–25 min­utes.

9 Mean­while, in a small sau­cepan over medium-low heat, melt the re­main­ing ½ cup ghee and add the re­main­ing 5 car­damom pods and cloves and a pinch of salt. Let sim­mer gently to in­fuse the ghee with the spices’ fla­vor.

10 When the rice is cooked and pota­toes are ten­der but not mushy, re­move the pot from the heat. Taste and ad­just the salt as needed. Stir some of the warm ghee mix­ture into the rice (dis­card the spices in the ghee). Trans­fer to a serv­ing plat­ter, ar­range the re­main­ing caramelized onions and the eggs on top, and driz­zle each egg with the warm ghee. Sprin­kle with the cashews and cilantro and serve.

Op­po­site: Ruweena Deen’s chicken buriyani (recipe below) with wat­ta­la­pan (pg. 74), Malay pickle (pg. 81), and mint sam­bol (pg. 80). Below: Seema Ahmed pre­pares mekunu, a mul­let dish of her na­tive Mal­dives (recipe below).

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.