Butter chicken layered and cooked with rice
For The Butter Chicken:
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed in 1 inch pieces
For the marinade:
2 cloves of garlic, finely grated or minced
1/2 inch piece of ginger, finely grated or minced
2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp saffron strands
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp each: ground coriander, ground cumin, garam masala, dried fenugreek leaves
Place chicken in a large mixing bowl. Add all marinade ingredients and toss well to coat. Cover and marinate for at least 2 hours or longer in the refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking tray with parchment and evenly spread marinated chicken in a single layer. Bake for about 8 – 10 minutes or until chicken is just tender. Do not overcook. Transfer chicken to a bowl, along with all of the juices.
For the sauce:
1 1/2 cups canned premium whole plum tomatoes, pureed
1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves
1/2 tsp each: ground cumin, ground coriander, garam masala
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
salt to taste
2 tbsp butter, chilled
1/4 cup whipping cream
Warm tomatoes in non-stick skillet set over medium heat and cook covered for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add all the spices and salt. Reduce heat to medium low and cook till the mixture thickens, another 8-10 minutes. Add butter, cream and reserved cooked chicken and mix well with the sauce. Cook for 5 minutes for flavours to blend.
For the biryani:
1 ¼ cups basmati rice, washed and drained
2 tbsp oil
½ tsp cumin seeds
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup cashews and almonds, optional
2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and quartered, optional
Bring 4 cups of water to boil in large saucepan. Add rice, bring to boil again. Reduce heat to medium and cook rice until almost done, about 8 minutes. Drain well.
Meanwhile, warm oil in deep, large non stick skillet set over medium high heat. Add cumin seeds and let them splutter for 30 seconds. Add onions and sauté for 5 minutes. Add nuts (if using) and sauté for another 5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl. Pour butter chicken mixture into skillet, bring to a boil. Add rice and mix in gently. Cover skillet, reduce heat and cook for 30 minutes until rice is fluffy and all the sauce has been absorbed. Fold in fried onions, nuts and boiled eggs and transfer to serving platter.