Over the years, I played with the ingredients, keeping careful record of what I’d done each time, what worked and what didn’t, until finally I got it perfected. Of course, it takes most of the day (I’m disabled, and have to do it in steps that are well-spaced out by periods of rest) and most of the pans in the house, LOL.
I have a terrific mess to clean up at the end. Now… keep in mind, this is how *I* do it. Any self-respecting Middle Eastern woman is going to toss together all the ingredients and whip up a fabulous biryani without thinking twice about it, right?
The last time I made biryani I took pictures, because, social media addict that I am, I decided to put pictures each step of the way and post them as I went, LOL. So here we go!
1 whole chicken
6-8 med potatoes
1½ C. rice
½ box orzo (1 C) (Barilla Pasta makes it)
½ stick butter
2 Tbsp. chicken bouillon granules or 1 Tbsp. chicken base
green peas or golden raisins (optional)
1 Tbsp. Bombay Biryani mix (see notes below)
Cardamom, ground or a few whole seeds
Ginger, fresh (you can get fresh grated ginger in a squeeze bottle in the produce section of the supermarket; ground will do though)
Step 1a: Boil chicken until cooked; remove but save liquid.
Step 1b: When cool, tear cooked meat into bite-sized pieces. In a large skillet, quickly stir fry the chicken in olive oil just to brown the outside and give it a little texture, adding in a good shake of cinnamon, nutmeg, mace & turmeric, ginger, some cumin and a little cardamom. Remove from skillet.
Step 2: In same large skillet, brown rice and orzo in ½ stick butter; add salt and chicken bouillon or base. Stir in 3-1/2 C. water, cover and simmer on low til the rice is done.
Step 2a: Add generous shakes of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove to taste. Add a few of the cardamom seeds; cardamom is quite strong and can be bitter, so add a few and taste before adding more. Add some of the Biryani mix; this will add hot spice to your biryani, so use just a little for mild, more for hot… a VERY little for mild! It gets hot fast! Keep tasting before adding more!. When done, remove from skillet.