Chicken pulao

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This chicken pulao is something that I save for special occasions. It is dressed up with an assortment of spices which turn this dish into an indulgent and delightful one pot meal. There are probably a zillion methods of preparing a pot of chicken pulao; and yes, this is my way of making it.

Hope you all had a great start week so far. Ours have been a grey one, and it does feel more and more autumnal now. The wind and rain has been lashing away quite frequently recently and there is the unmistakable chill in the air.

Now, those of you who are familiar with my humble world, know all too well, my love for the oven. I love to bake, and simply adore the lovely aromas that emanate from the oven. Whether it is a cake or a bread, or cookies or other savouries, baking gives me a high. But wait, I don’t bake for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I also love the stove top as well. Standing over a pot of food, stirring and sniffing the wonderful flavours give me a high too.

Love of spices-

There is also something about cooking with spices…something about all those whole spices touching the oil, spluttering and sizzling, and releasing their aromas…something about all those colourful powders , which when added, turn an ordinary dish into a ‘spicilicious’ one. I felt the same gratification while making the following chicken pulao ( a one pot rice and chicken dish). It is not something that I make regularly, but when I do, I do like jazzing it up! This is quite an old recipe and one that comes in handy on special occasions. Dressed up with an assortment of spices, this dish turns into a delightful one pot meal. Of course, this is my way of making it…there are probably a zillion methods of preparing a pot of chicken pulao. Do not be intimidated by the list of ingredients…it is quite easy to make the dish and the end product is very satisfactory.

This is an indulgent pulao. One is meant to take the time to make it. I make pulao in various other ways, and most of them have a less extensive recipe. But this is an exception; fit for special occasions and is an absolute treat!

Chicken-

I have used about 10 pieces from whole chicken. You can use just thighs or legs too. Just keep an eye on the cooking time.

Water-

While cooking the chicken, if you feel that it has dried out too much and there is still a long way to go before it gets cooked 3/4 of the way, you can always add a little water; just remember to let it evaporate later.

Variations-

I sometimes add some vegetables to the dish as well ; we love the addition of cubed carrots and peas.

Serving suggestion-

This pulao can be served with just some yogurt on the side to balance the spices and give a little moisture. Or you can make some raita. We had ours with some boondi raita (mix together yougurt, boondi, cumin powder, chilli powder and salt) on the side. Boondis are tiny balls of deep fried gram flour batter, which can be easily found in Indian grocery stores ( if you live outside India.) Or you can make your own too; but this calls for another post!

Continue reading for the full recipe for this delicious chicken pulao.


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Recipe card-

Chicken pulao

Chicken pulao

Sunita Bhuyan
This chicken pulao is dressed up with an assortment of spices which turn this dish into an indulgent and delightful one pot meal.
Course main meal
Cuisine Indian

Ingredients
  

  • 10 pieces of chicken, with incisions on them(I used mixed pieces from a whole chicken)
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • a large pinch of saffron
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • chilli powder (as per taste)
  • 2 tbsp desiccated coconut (optional)
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 3 cups basmati rice, washed in several changes of water and drained completely (leave it on a sieve to drain further and till needed)
  • 2 tbsp ghee/butter (preferably ghee)
  • salt to taste
  • cups water (approximately)

To be ground together-

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, chopped
  •  4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, chopped

For tempering-

  • 1 whole red chilli, split
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp bay leaf
  • 3 cloves
  • 3 pods of cardamom, split at one end
  • 2 inch stick of cinnamon

Instructions
 

  • Marinate the chicken with the yogurt, saffron and lemon juice for at least ½ an hour.
  • Heat the ghee/butter in a big and thick bottomed pan, and add the ingredients for tempering. When the spices release their aroma, add the sugar and let it caramelise.
  • Add the chopped onions and cook, stirring continuously till translucent. Add the ground paste, along with the coconut, turmeric, cumin and chilli powders. Cook, stirring constantly, till all the moisture evaporates and the mixture gets lumpy.
  • Add the chicken pieces, along with the marinade. Season with salt, stir and cook for 5-6 minutes over medium – high heat.
  • Reduce the heat to medium low, cover and cook till the chicken is cooked ¾ths of the way.
  • While the chicken cooks, in another pan, dry roast the rice for a few minutes till the grains are crispy. Make sure not to burn the grains. Remove from heat and save aside for later.
  • Increase the heat for the chicken, and stir till most of the moisture has evaporated.
  • Add the rice, water and garam masala powder , stir well and bring to a boil .
  • Reduce the heat, cover and cook till the water has evaporated. But do check… if you see the rice grains have cooked and there is still quite some liquid left, then raise the heat and stir constantly but gently, till all the moisture evaporates. We do not want the rice to overcook and become mushy.
  • Serve immediately with raita or yogurt.
  • If serving later, let it cool completely ( stir it a bit to quicken the cooling process) and then cover. If the cover is put on immediately after removing from heat, it will make the rice cook a bit more.

Notes

Chicken-
I have used about 10 pieces from whole chicken. You can use just thighs or legs too. Just keep an eye on the cooking time.
Water-
While cooking the chicken, if you feel that it has dried out too much and there is still a long way to go before it gets cooked 3/4 of the way, you can always add a little water…just remember to let it evaporate later.
Variations-
I sometimes add some vegetables to the dish as well ; we love the addition of cubed carrots and peas.
Serving suggestion-
This pulao can be served with just some yogurt on the side to balance the spices and give a little moisture. Or you can make some raita. We had ours with some boondi raita (mix together yougurt, boondi, cumin powder, chilli powder and salt) on the side. Boondis are tiny balls of deep fried gram flour batter, which can be easily found in Indian grocery stores ( if you live outside India.) Or you can make your own too; but this calls for another post!
Keyword chicken pulao, chicken recipe, indian cuisine, indian recipe, one pot meal, pulao, rice dish

All the recipes on this website which are inspired from Indian cuisine can be found here.

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Until next time,

Sunita

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