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Coconut Chicken Biryani: A new twist on traditional holiday flavors

9:59 AM

I tried this out for the first time a couple weeks ago and HOLY COW! This is basically a recipe for chicken fried rice with the best flavor and texture combination I've ever had. End of story.   And, I'm finding that a lot of the spices that are used in traditional Indian cuisine are very similar to the spice palate we associate with the holiday season here in the U.S.A.  So, basically, this was nothing short of perfect.  AND my kids enjoyed it too!

Coconut Chicken Biryani
2 cups basmati rice
2 chicken leg joints (drum and thigh) OR 2 chicken breasts
1 onion (chopped)
3  roma tomatoes (chopped)
1 tbsp green chili paste (or more if you like it spicy)
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp fennel 
1 handful raw cashewnuts
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 bay leaves
1/4cup unsweetened soymilk
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 cloved garlic, peeled and minced
1 can regular unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 tsp curry powder
1 tbsp parsley leaf (dried) OR 2 tbsp fresh Cilantro chopped
Salt to taste
Olive oil

First, marinade the chicken.  It's very important to have your chicken nice and evenly flavored.  I marinated mine overnight. 

For the Marinade: 
In a small bowl whisk together, chilli powder, 1 inch chopped ginger, 1 clove chopped garlic, soymilk, lemon juice and salt. Pour over the chicken and allow to marinate for several hours in the refridgerator. 


Once the chicken is done marinading, cut the meat off of the bones in bite-sized pieces and set aside. 

Soak rice in enough salted water to submerge for 30 minutes. 

 Heat about 2 tbsp of olive oil on medium in a large pot.  Add cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, cashew nuts,  and fennel.  Saute until the nuts turn light brown/toasted and the spices become fragrant.

Add chopped onion, green chilli paste, and curry powder.  Continue cooking until the onions become translucent.

Add chopped tomatoes, remaining minced garlic and minced ginger, garam masala, turmeric powder, and parsley.   Salt to taste and continue cooking until the tomato has permeated the rest of the mixture.
Add the chicken and brown it on all sides.
Add rice (undrained!) and coconut milk. Bring to a boil and then cook on low for about 25 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed.  

Serve and enjoy!!

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