Chicken yakhni Pulao is one of Punjabi people's favorite dishes and a must serve on all occasions in Pakistan's Punjab province. It is called as “Yakhni pulao” as the rice is cooked in yakhni (chicken stock) infused with a blend of aromatic spices.
50o gm chicken pieces
5-6 cups Water
2 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp cumin seed
2 inch slice of ginger
2 medium onions (peeled)
6-7 garlic cloves
1 large bay leaf
1& 1/2 tsp salt
750 gm rice (soaked for 30 minutes)
2 large onions (finely sliced)
1/2 cup oil (or you can use ghee for more flavor)
1 tsp cumin seeds
2-3 cinnamon sticks
7-8 black pepper corns
4-5 green cardamoms
2 black cardamoms
1 tsp red chili powder/or crushed red chilies
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste (mixed in ¼ cups of water)
1 & ½ tsp salt
2 medium tomatoes (chopped finely, tomatoes are optional)
2-3 green chilies chopped
1) For the yakhni/stock make a spice bag of fennel seeds, cumin seeds & coriander seeds, Put water 2 whole onions, garlic cloves and ginger, bayleaf and salt in a large pot along with chicken and let it cook till meat gets tender. Strain the chicken and the spices. Reserve the stock. Discard the spices by taking out the chicken pieces from it.
2) Take another large pan and heat oil, (keeping in mind that the rice will double after cooking so you will need to have enough space in the pan), add onion and fry till they get golden brown.
3) Add in the ginger garlic paste (be careful as the water we added in ginger garlic paste tend to splutter), fry it for a minute or two and add, cumin seeds, cardamom, black peppercorn, cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, salt chili powder and tomatoes, fry it nicely till the tomatoes are dissolved (keep adding a few spalsehes of water every now and then) add the chicken pieces in, fry for 5-8 minutes.
4) Now add 4& ½ cups of stock and let the water come to boil. Taste the salt. You should be able to feel the saltiness. If it feels just right, it means you have too little. Remember that the rice will need some salt too, so let the salt be enough that you can taste it to be a bit more than you would want, but don’t add too much. (for every 2 cups of rice I usually add 2 & 1/2 tsp of salt)
5) Once the water starts to boil add the rice (remember to drain the rice first). Let this cook on high heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring every now and then, and then reduce the heat to medium and keep cooking covered until the water is almost dried, giving it a stir every now and then to make sure all the rice is cooked evenly and perfectly.
6) Once there is very little water left in the rice, reduce the heat to as low as possible, sprinkle the chopped green chilies and cover the pan by using a tight lid, or take a kitchen towel and place it over the pan then place the lid on top of it. Cook on low heat till the water gets absorbed and rice done, for about 10-15 minutes. Switch off the flame and Serve hot with raita and salad of your choice.