Chicken Pulao | Easy Chicken Pilaf
I’m not sure about you, but I’m Very happy if I can achieve the flavors of Chicken Biryani in a Simple Chicken Pilaf!
This recipe flowered from my mother in law’s – Mutton Pilaf Recipe which is a crowd-pleaser and can be found at all family gatherings/ dinners. I have been waiting to share this recipe for a while now, but the pictures wouldn’t turn out as I would like them to be… This time around- with or without pictures… I found myself itching to share this great tasting pilaf with my buddies at Angie’s Fiesta Friday! This week’s bash is being co-hosted by Caroline@Caroline’s Cooking and Jess@ Cooking is my sport!
This recipe is a no brainer… The original Mutton Pilaf recipe requires you to par boil mutton with spices to get the flavors going, as it takes longer to cook. I decided to marinate the Chicken for the same reason. Yes, the original recipe shall follow, but for now enjoy this!
1.3 lb/ 600gms – Boneless skinless Chicken Breast/ Thigh or in-bone Chicken, cut into small pcs.
1 Large Onion or 2 Medium Onions, Sliced (Roughly 2 cups)
5 no. Green Cardamom
5 no. Cloves
2 no. Cinnamon Sticks (1″ each)
2 Bay Leaves
1 tbs Oil
1 1/2 cups Rice
2 1/2 cups Water (or as required) ** Check Notes
1 tbs. Ginger-Garlic paste OR 1/2 tbs each finely grated/minced
1.5 tsp Yellow Chili Powder ** Check Notes
5 oz/ 150 gms Yogurt (Use Greek Yogurt/ Hung Curd, if available)
1/2 tsp Cardamom Powder
1/2 tsp Mace, Powdered ( use a mortar-pestle to coarsely grind)
1/3 cup Mint leaves, chopped
2 Green chilies, chopped or slit
Salt to taste
Garnish- Crispy Fried Onions (optional)
1. Mix all the ingredients mentioned under the marinade list and set aside. Add chicken pieces to the prepared marinade and set aside for 1-2 hours. Marinating the chicken is completely optional.
2. Heat 1 tbs oil in a pan/stockpot. Once hot, add bay leaves, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon sticks. Give it a quick stir. Once the oil is fragrant, add onions and stir fry until translucent and slightly golden.
3. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the marinated chicken pieces along with the marinade and cook until the Chicken pieces are about 80-90% cooked**. The chicken pieces will give out water.
4. To this, add rice and give it a quick stir. Add water as required**. I added 2.5 cups hot water**. Bring this mixture to a rolling boil and season with salt. Check for seasoning and add more yellow chili powder**, if required.
5. Cover the vessel and lower the heat. Simmer until the rice is cooked. Let the rice sit covered for about 10 minutes and viola! you are good to go! Garnish with fried onions and serve this finger-licking Pilaf with some Onion-tomato-cucumber raita or Mint Raita.
Oh don’t be stressed about these! These will help you achieve the perfect pulao!
1. Marination is optional. If you choose not to marinate, add the marinade ingredients to onions in this order – ginger garlic paste -> green chilies-> salt -> yellow chili powder -> chicken -> mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes -> followed by yogurt -> cardamom powder -> mace powder -> mint leaves -> ginger juliennes and cook until 80-90% done.
2. Yellow Chili powder is yellow in color, similar to turmeric and has a distinct taste. If you are unsure about the heat level- add 1 tsp at the time of marination and adjust the same once you season the water (step 4). If it’s not available, you may use 1/2 tsp turmeric and red chili powder(to taste) as a substitute.
3. The amount of water required to cook the rice varies from region to region and depends on the quality of rice used. The amount of water required to cook the Pilaf, will depend on the amount of juices left after the chicken is more than 80% cooked. This is an approximation you will need to make at the time of cooking. I always add hot water to cook the rice – it speeds up the process.
4. If using chicken with bones, cook chicken till the point, where you know the rest will be cooked, while the rice is being cooked. We definitely don’t want raw chicken 😀
Enough “Gyaan“(knowledge) for the day! Time to indulge!
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