Instant Pot Chicken Biryani

Chicken Biryani

Chicken with rice is a beautiful thing that is celebrated across much of the world’s cuisines. Latin America has Arroz con Pollo, Spain has Paella and India and the Middle East have Chicken Biryani, which is what I will bring you today. This version is perhaps one of the easiest, quickest and most accessible versions because it will be made with ingredients found at most markets (or easily online) and, thanks to the Instant Pot, done all in one pot at the same time in record time. In under 30 minutes, Chicken Biryani will be on your table and it will be one of the most glorious and hearty rice dishes you’ll savor.

Watch The Video!

Instant Pot Chicken Biryani

Sautéing

Adding butter to Instant Pot
Begin by adding some butter (or olive oil to keep it dairy-free) to the Instant Pot and give it some heat.
Butter heated and melted
Once the butter’s melted (or the oil’s shimmering)…
Sautéing onion in butter
…add some onion and sauté until translucent.
Adding diced boneless, skinless chicken thighs and/or breasts to the pot.
It wouldn’t be a chicken biryani without chicken! Add some boneless, skinless bite-size dark and/or white meat to the pot.
Adding crushed ginger and garlic to the pot
Add some minced or crushed garlic and ginger to the pot…
Sautéing the chicken in everything until pinkish-white in color.
…and sauté along with the chicken until it’s pinkish-white in color (NOTE: the chicken shouldn’t be fully cooked yet. That will happen when we pressure cook).

Adding the Broth

Adding broth to pot
Add a broth of your choice to the pot…

Seasonings Greetings

Adding Garam masala, seasoned salt, paprika to pot
…along with the spices that will make this dish come to flavorful life! Garam masala, seasoned salt, paprika…
Adding cumin seed, coriander, turmeric, and optional curry powder to pot
…cumin seed, coriander, turmeric, optional curry powder…
Adding black pepper, ground cumin, cinnamon and optional cayenne pepper to pot
….black pepper, ground cumin, cinnamon and optional cayenne pepper.
Stirring the spices into the broth
Give everything a good stir so the spices blend into the broth. (NOTE: The reason we add the spices after the broth rather than sautéing them with the chicken and onion is because due to the amount of spices used, it may cake onto the bottom of the pot which can cause potential for a “BURN” notice. Doing it this will will ensure that won’t happen).

Adding The Rice & Pressure Cooking

Adding rinsed basmati rice to pot
It’s time to add the rice! Add some basmati rice that’s been rinsed with cold water through a fine-mesh strainer so the water goes from cloudy to clear (about 90 seconds).
Smoothing rice down into seasoned broth
Once the rice is in the pot, DO NOT STIR it. Just smooth it out with a spatula. The reason being that there’s a lot going on in the pot and we want it to pressure cook without any issues. Just smoothing the rice out will make sure of this.
Adding bay leaves on top of broth
Top it with some bay leaves (and yes, they do make a difference in the seasoning of a dish – especially when pressure cooked). Secure the lid and pressure cook.

The Biryani Is Done!

Chicken Biryani after pressure cooking
When done, not only are you going to have a big smile at what you’ll find in your pot, but the aroma will make you drool.
Scooping Chicken Biryani with a serving spopn
Stir up the rice and scoop some out…
Plated Chicken Biryani topped with cilantro
…plating it up to your liking. Feel free to top it with some fresh cilantro, cashews, golden raisins…

The Taste Test

Man holding bowl of Chicken Biryani topped with cilantro and dill pickle dip
…and/or some tzatziki or, my personal unconventional favorite, dill pickle dip!
Man trying Chicken Biryani
Once you give it a try…
Man looking very happy and dramatic
…you’re gonna let out a dramatic sigh! SO easy, quick, and deeeelish!
Yield: 6

Instant Pot Chicken Biryani

Instant Pot Chicken Biryani

Chicken with rice is a beautiful thing that is celebrated across much of the world's cuisines. Latin America has Arroz con Pollo, Spain has Paella and India and the Middle East have Chicken Biryani, which is what I will bring you today. This version is perhaps one of the easiest, quickest and most accessible versions because it will be made with ingredients found at most markets (or easily online) and, thanks to the Instant Pot, done all in one pot at the same time in record time. In under 30 minutes, Chicken Biryani will be on your table and it will be one of the most glorious and hearty rice dishes you'll savor.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Additional Time 15 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) salted butter or ghee (see Jeff's Tips)
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs and/or breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 6 cloves (2 tablespoons) garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 tablespoon crushed or minced ginger
  • 3 cups chicken or garlic broth
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon paprika (regular or smoked is fine)
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned salt
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 cups basmati rice, rinsed under cold water for 90 seconds
  • 2 bay leaves

Optional Finishing Touches:

Instructions

  1. Add the butter to the Instant Pot. Hit Sauté and Adjust to the More or High setting. Once the butter's melted, add the onion and sauté for 3 minutes, until softened and the color begins to fade.
  2. Add the chicken, garlic and ginger. Sauté until the chicken is pinkish-white in color, about 3 minutes more.
  3. Add the broth, garam masala, paprika, seasoned salt, cumin seeds, coriander, turmeric, curry powder (if using), cumin, black pepper, cinnamon and cayenne pepper (if using). Stir until well combined and the bottom of the pot is clear of any browned bits (see Jeff's Tips).
  4. Add the rice and do not stir, but rather just smooth it out. Top with the bay leaves. Secure the lid, move the valve to the sealing position, and hit Keep Warm/Cancel followed Manual or Pressure Cook on High Pressure for 3 minutes. When done cooking, allow a 10-minute natural release (meaning you do nothing for 10 minutes) followed by a quick release.
  5. Stir the rice to mix it up, transfer to a serving dish and enjoy topped with tzatziki or dill pickle dip, if desired.

Jeffrey's Tips

Using 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil in place of the butter or ghee will keep Biryani this dairy-free.

The reason we add the spices after the broth rather than sautéing them with the chicken and onion is because due to the amount of spices used, it may cake onto the bottom of the pot which can cause potential for a "BURN" notice. Doing it this will will ensure that won't happen.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Michele

    Hey, thank you for this recipe! Once the ingredients are assembled, it’s really simple, and turns out to be quite tasty!
    I love your massaman curry recipe, and have seen BURN enough on that, so I understood you tossing the ground spices in with the broth. I started by sauteing those cumin seeds in the butter, though, and that worked out. Instead of the paprika, I used some Kashmiri chili powder, but otherwise I thought your spices/amounts are on point. I added a diced carrot, because why not, sauteeing it with the onion. Very nice, and a nice big batch. I will look for the pickle dip recipe!

  2. Daniel Waylonis

    Wonderful recipe! I added some cashews and frozen peas after the natural release. The flavor and spice was amazing. And chicken thighs just fell apart. Definitely will make again!

  3. Brian Cooper

    Great recipe. Delicious. I cooked for 4 minutes on HP instead of 3– as most recipes I’ve tried involving rice end up with crunchy, under cooked rice.

    Rice was a little mushy and chicken was overdone. I’ll follow your 3 minutes next time— maybe reduce liquid by 1/4 to 1/2 cup.

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