Chicken Biryani Recipe

This chicken biryani recipe has been one of the most requested reader recipes and I’m so excited to share it with you today. Succulent, juicy pieces of chicken are cooked in a yogurt marinade and then layered with crispy onions, coriander, mint, and basmati rice to give you a dish that the entire family will enjoy. I’ve broken the process step by step and made a recipe video for this chicken biryani so that you can make this restaurant-style biryani at home!

I have to be a 100% honest with you. I had never made chicken biryani before I decided to share this recipe. And I got convinced because so so many of you have requested for a legit/authentic biryani recipe.

And we are biryani lovers. Mostly mutton though but this chicken biryani really changed our mind.

The first time I attempted it, I was nervous, because it seemed so difficult and daunting and it looked like there were a gazillion steps. So I took a deep breath and decided to break them down for you.


marination for chicken biryani

This Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani gets a lot of its flavor from the marinade. We are using yogurt as a tenderiser, and fried onions (birista), tomato puree, chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala and salt to flavor the chicken. It’s important to marinate the chicken for at least two hours or overnight for the maximum flavor. I prefer using only chicken thighs and legs for chicken biryani because these are the juiciest and do not become dry while the biryani cooks.

fried onions and basmati rice

Fried onions are a key ingredient here, and its important to get this right. Onions are cut into slices and then browned on medium flame in oil. They don’t need to be extra crispy, but onions should be a deep golden brown without getting burnt. You can also use store bought fried onions which are easily available in supermarkets these days. While choosing rice for the biryani, make sure to buy ‘basmati rice’ and not long grain rice. While they may look similar at first, good quality basmati rice is fragrant, and has grains that are thin and long as opposed to long grain rice which has fatter grains and almost no fragrance. The basmati rice is cooked for exactly 5 minutes in boiling water with whole spices and salt to get it to the right doneness – which is 70%. The rice continues to steam when we finally cook it along with the chicken.

steps in making chicken biryani

Once you have your chicken marinated, rice and fried onions ready, start by cooking the marinated chicken. Once the chicken is partially cooked, it’s important to layer it with the fried onions, mint and coriander. The onions add sweetness and richness while the herbs add a ton of flavor. This is then layered with rice and then topped finally with soaked saffron and ghee.
And there you go! The whole thing takes approximately an hour so I call this a weekend project, but after you’ve done it once, you’ll realize how easy and simple making biryani at home is! The results of your labour will look like this, and trust me, there is nothing like the smell of chicken biryani wafting through the house to get everyone to the table!