Thai-Style Chicken Biriyani


This recipe comes from the July 2007 Saveur magazine. It had really good flavor, but if we make it again then we’ll use boneless chicken instead of bone in chicken. It was kid friendly, so that’s a super big plus, and because of that we will likely make it again. The marinade is pretty strong and smells quite spicy, but by the time the dish is complete, it is very mild and not spicy at all. In fact it might be even better if it had more of a kick. I also thought about trying red curry paste in the marinade, because I love most things with red curry paste, but then it wouldn’t be too kid friendly.


  • 1.5 TBSP ground coriander
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • .5 tsp pepper
  • 6 shallots, roughly chopped
  • 1 5 inch fresh peeled ginger, roughly chopped
  • salt
  • 6 skinless chicken thighs, halved crosswise through the bone
  • 6 skinless chicken drumsticks
  • 2 TBSP oil
  • 1 cup jasmine rice (recipe actually calls for 2.5, but the water added below doesn’t mesh with that amount, so I adjusted the amount of rice accordingly)
  • 2 kirby cucumbers, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • Thai-style chile sauce, such as Sriracha


  1. In a blender, combine coriander, cumin turmeric, pepper, shallots, garlic, ginger, 1 tsp. slat, and 1/3 cup water; puree 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 1/4 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.

Thai-Style Chicken Biriyani


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