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Pakistani-Style Chicken Biryani

8 to 10 Servings

2½ hours 1½ hours active

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In Lahore, Pakistan, we learned different ways to make biryani, a multi-layered dish of rice and meat, all boldly seasoned with spices and aromatics. Based on lessons we learned from street vendor Mohammed Muzmil and chefs Muneeze Khalid and Gulnaz Siddique, we developed a streamlined version that still delivers the depth and richness of a classic biryani. Tradition calls for parboiling the rice, but we found that simply soaking it in salted water for 30 minutes worked just as well to produce the fluffy, tender grains we wanted. Inspired by Muzmil’s matka-style biryani—which prepares the entire dish in a single clay pot—we created a dish that works wonderfully in a Dutch oven. It starts on the stovetop, then is finished in the oven, where steady heat ensures even, hands-off cooking. If you wish to add a fresh hit of chili heat, sprinkle on some thinly sliced serrano chilies just before serving.

8 to 10

Servings

Tip

Don’t forget to cover the pot while the chicken and potatoes cook. This retains moisture for a succulent, flavor-rich dish. As soon as you remove the pot from the oven, quickly uncover it and lay a towel across the top (do not replace the lid). While the rice finishes steaming off heat, the towel absorbs vapors that otherwise would drip back onto the biryani.

2½ hours

1½ hours active

Ingredients

  • 2

    cups basmati rice

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

Directions

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Reviews
Tammy H.
January 3, 2024
Pakastani Chicken Biryani
This recipe was a 5 star! I'm so glad it made enough to have leftovers and some to freezer bag. I really enjoyed the cooking method as well using the one pot and layering the rice at the end. I want to make this recipe over and over. I used cilantro, but next time I'm going to try mint and cilantro. Such a delicious meal and my first time making biryani. I would definitely recommend this recipe! MILK STREET RULES!!! Tammy
Julie G.
December 31, 2023
Lots of Flavor
Really enjoyed this recipe. I might add a bit more chicken than what's called for but the spices are perfect. Curious if it would be wrong to add additional veggies??
Michael M.
December 29, 2023
Delicious
Easy to prepare...I forgot to portion out the caramelized onions and layer them in on top of the rice. But the flavor is amazing. Highly recommend to use the saffron. It adds a complex of flavors!!! Somehow my rice was undercooked...next time I'll soak the rice for an hour and cook it a little over the recommended 30 minutes.
David H.
January 23, 2024
Not enough water
Big on flavor but... had to add 1 1/2 c more water to get the rice to cook and I took care to presoak the rice as called for. Also, I recommend that you have everything measure, cut and ready before you begin. It has a number of steps that come together quickly.
Jack B.
January 16, 2024
Flavor, A+; Texture B-
Maybe this was user error, but my version came out pasty, more like a jambalaya. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it, but fluffy it was not.