Thai-Style Chicken Biriyani

Although this dish is traditionally made with a whole, cut-up chicken, we've found that thighs and drumsticks work just as well. This recipe is an adaptation of one in Nancie McDermott's seminal cookbook Real Thai (Chronicle Books, 1992).

Thai-Style Chicken Biriyani
Although this dish is traditionally made with a whole, cut-up chicken, we've found that thighs and drumsticks work just as well.
Yield: serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 12 tbsp. ground coriander
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 12 tsp. freshly ground white pepper
  • 6 shallots, roughly chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 (5") piece fresh peeled ginger, roughly chopped
  • Salt
  • 6 skinless chicken thighs, halved crosswise through the bone
  • 6 skinless chicken drumsticks
  • 2 tbsp. peanut oil
  • 2 12 cups jasmine rice
  • 2 kirby cucumbers, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • Thai-style chile sauce, such as Sriracha

Instructions

  1. In a blender, combine coriander, cumin, turmeric, pepper, shallots, garlic, ginger, 1 tsp. salt, and 13 cup water; purée to a paste. Toss chicken and spice paste together in a large bowl to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature to let marinate for 1 hour.
  2. Heat oil in a large wide pot over medium-high heat. Add chicken and all the spice paste and cook, stirring occasionally, until paste is deeply caramelized and chicken is just beginning to brown, 12–14 minutes.
  3. Add rice and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1–2 minutes. Add salt to taste and 2 14 cups water; bring to a boil while stirring occasionally. Cover pot, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until rice is just tender and chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes. Remove pot from heat and let sit undisturbed for 15 minutes. Uncover and, using a fork, gently toss together the chicken and rice. Serve immediately with cucumbers and chile sauce on the side.