This delicious Chicken Biryani recipe is a super flavorful Indian dish made with grilled marinated chicken and fragrant Indian spiced rice. It’s super easy to make it at home and is so much better than takeout!
What Is Chicken Biryani?
This easy Chicken Biryani recipe is a staple in my household. This dish is so flavorful and a lot easier to make at home than you think. In this recipe, marinated grilled chicken is served on top of spiced, fluffy, veggie-packed basmati rice.
But what is Chicken Biryani, exactly? Traditionally, this Indian dish with Persian roots features long-grain rice that’s seasoned with fragrant spices like saffron and layered with grilled meat such as lamb, fish, or chicken, as well as vegetables and a thick gravy. Then, the biryani is covered and cooked low and slow for several hours.
My version, however, is a much quicker and more convenient take on this classic Eastern dish that’s way better than takeout. Here, I cook the chicken and rice separately, then serve them together. This is an impressive dish any home chef can make with a little time and patience (and a big appetite)!
This recipe is twofold — the biryani rice and the chicken biryani.
For the biryani rice, you’ll need: basmati rice, olive oil, an onion, carrots, a tomato, fresh ginger, garlic, a bay leaf, cloves, green cardamoms, a strand of mace, cinnamon, turmeric, red chili powder, biryani masala powder, chicken stock, salt, pepper, and frozen peas.
For the chicken biryani, you’ll need: a pound of boneless and skinless chicken thighs, Greek yogurt, fresh-squeezed lemon juice, turmeric, ginger, cumin, garlic, onion powder, black pepper, and fresh cilantro (for garnish).
While this recipe may require a special trip to the Asian grocery store, it’s well worth the effort! Trust me!
How To Make Biryani Rice
- Rinse and soak rice for 30 minutes to remove excess starch. Drain and set aside.
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Sauté carrots, onions, ginger, and garlic until softened and aromatic, then add the spices. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant (keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn).
- Once the spices are toasted and fragrant, stir in diced tomatoes, chicken stock, and the rinsed rice. Bring to a simmer, and cook for 20-30 minutes, or until the rice is tender and all of the liquid is absorbed.
- Add in the peas, and stir to warm through.
- Keep on low heat until ready to serve with the chicken.
How To Make Chicken Biryani
- Marinate the chicken thighs in the Greek yogurt, lemon juice, and spices. The Greek yogurt and lemon juice help to tenderize the meat and keep it juicy. You can marinate the night before or the day of for at least 30 minutes.
- When you are ready to serve, preheat the grill to 400 degrees. Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard.
- Grill for 5-6 minutes on each side, or until fully cooked. Allow it to rest for a couple of minutes to keep the chicken juicy.
- Then, slice it up and serve it on top of the biryani rice with fresh chopped cilantro. Enjoy!
Storage, Freezing, and Reheating Tips
- Store the cooked and cooled Chicken Biryani and Biryani Rice together in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Freeze the cooked and cooled complete Chicken Biryani dish in an airtight, freezer-safe container for up to 1 month.
- Allow the Chicken Biryani dish to thaw before reheating, maybe with some chicken stock to prevent the rice from being dry.
- When making biryani rice, I recommend using basmati rice. It’s longer and fluffier than regular rice.
- You can find most of the spices at the farmers market or in the international isle in your grocery store., or at a specialty Asian grocery store
- The chicken can be marinaded a day ahead or even overnight to let the flavors develop and help the meat tenderize.
- Soak the basmati rice for 30 minutes before cooking, and rinse. This helps the rise from becoming gummy and sticky.
More Delicious Chicken Recipes To Try
- Easy Chicken Marsala
- The BEST Chicken Parmesan
- Easy Chicken Shawarma
- Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken
- Easy One Pan Bourbon Chicken
- Easy Thai Chicken Satay
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- 2 cups basmati rice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 medium carrots diced
- 1 tablespoon ginger minced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cloves
- 4 green cardamoms
- 1 strand mace
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon biryani masala powder
- 1/2 cup medium tomato chopped
- 3 1/2 cups chicken stock
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 1 pound boneless and skinless chicken thighs
- 1 cup greek yogurt
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- 2 teaspoons turmeric
- 2 teaspoons ginger
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- chopped fresh cilantro for garnish if desired
*Note: Prep time does not include marinating time*
- Rinse and soak rice for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat.
- Add in onions and carrots and sauté until tender 3-4 minutes.
- Add in ginger and garlic and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Add in all the spices and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant (keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn)
- Stir in the tomato, stock and rice. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20-30 minutes or until the rice is tender and all of the liquid is absorbed.
- Add in the peas and stir to warm through.
- Keep on low until ready to serve with the chicken.
- Add all of the ingredients to a large ziplock bag. Marinade overnight or for at least 30 minutes.
- When you are ready to eat preheat the grill to 400 degrees.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard.
- Grill for 5-6 minutes on each side until fully cooked.
- Allow the chicken to rest for a couple minutes then slice.
- Serve immediately over the biryani rice with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro for garnish, if desired.
Biryani Rice adapted from Indian Healthy Recipes