Makes 6 servings
Put the rice in a large bowl and fill the bowl with cold water from the tap. Swish the grains around gently with your hand then pour off the water. Wash the rice about 7 more times in this way, or until the washing water loses its murkiness and remains clear.
Cover the rice in the bowl with lukewarm water from the tap and let soak for 20 minutes. Drain the rice in a sieve.
Heat the stock and coconut milk in a small pot over moderately high heat until boiling. Heat the oil in a 8-quart stew pot over moderate heat until warmed through and add the cumin, cinnamon and cloves. Cook for about 1 minute, or until the spices are fragrant. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened (don’t let it color), about 3 minutes. Add ginger, garlic, coriander, turmeric and the bay leaves and drained rice, stirring to coat the rice with the oil. Add the seasoned chicken and cook on high heat for 3 minutes Add the hot stock mixture and bring back up to a boil. Season with salt.
Cover and cook over moderate heat until all the water is absorbed and the chicken cooked about 15 minutes.
Add the cilantro and fold in. cover and rest for 30 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.
Another interesting point about this dish, is that the whole spices get added to the oil first at the top of the recipe to extract their flavor. They’re denser and take longer to cook. The dried, powdery spices come later because they would burn quickly if toasted in the oil. Remember to remove the whole cinnamon and cloves before serving.
When you’re cooking rice – make sure your liquid is hot first before you add it, so it will cook more evenly.
Floyd stirs his rice very gently, and likes to use a rubber spatula vs. a metal spoon so that the grains don’t break and stay whole.
June 8th, 2012 at 12:25 am
I made this dish tonight and WOW! It was very, very delicious. My husband and I absolutely loved this. It involved a lot of cutting, chopping and washing (the rice), but it was all worth it! After all the the prep work the dish itself went together quite easily. All those spices blended together amazingly well. We love good Indian food, and I would say that this is close to a chicken biryani. I made it exactly as directed. I also made the tomato-cucumber salad with Greek yogurt for a simple raita and I had a couple of pieces of Trader Joe’s garlic naan in the freezer — even though the extra starch was unnecessary it still tasted great.I think this would be great with the addition of some other vegetables, but really it was perfect, just as it was. Thanks for a great recipe!
July 17th, 2012 at 3:45 am
I made this tonight for a house full of people who are a bit apprehensive about indian food, and everyone loved it! It has a very delicate, accessible flavor. I’ve never made anything indian before and was nervous about using “christmas cookie spices” in a savory dinner, but it tasted absolutely amazing. I’ll definitely be making this again!
Sara Moulton Says:
July 19th, 2012 at 3:35 pm
Hooray, I am so glad you stepped out and tried something new (and I understand the hesitation about sweet spices). I love Indian food, especially when it is carefully seasoned.
July 27th, 2012 at 1:11 am
I will make this recipe tomorrow! This is the first time I watch your program. I am so happy I did! My husband worked in India many years ago and I know how to cook Italian and Brazilian. Never tried Indian. Can’t wait! Thanks. Rosa
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