I originally tagged this post as “Indian” but when I searched for “biryani” on Wikipedia I realized that calling it Indian is about as accurate as calling rice Chinese. Biryani has been adapted by many countries and all the variations sound delicious (although I’d rather not think too much about Kacchi Biryani, made from castrated goat. Or as the people eating it like to call it, “mutton”).
If we are to believe Wikipedia (and if we’re not than the entire American education and reference systems are pretty much down the tubes), biryani originated in Iran and then took an extended gap year and traveled all over Southeast Asia. Given the many many adaptations of rice and some kind of meat and spices cooked together I don’t think we have to call this one “American Style.” It’s as authentic as biryani from Persia (or Singapore, Malaysia, Hyderabad, Sri Lanka or Tamil Nadu).
We all loved this and both my husband and daughter commented on how wonderful it smelled cooking. It’s not a terribly complicated or time-consuming dish but in order to make it for a weeknight dinner you’ll need to take advantage of Pam’s advice and cook the first part ahead. She also says it improves with time so I’m anxious to have this tomorrow for lunch.
I served it with frozen peas and you could toss these in for the last few minutes of cooking to make things a little easier and save one pot to clean. I also used homemade chicken stock so I needed to add about 1 teaspoon more salt. If you’re using canned broth you probably won’t need to do this.
Chicken Biryani American-Style if from Perfect One-Dish Dinners, by Pam Anderson.