Chicken Biryani Rice with Figs and Nuts

This chicken biryani rice is an aromatic, spice-filled, one pot rice and meat dish with a healthy-ish spin. It is light on the rice and heavy on the spices, nuts and Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs! Pair it with a raita or salad and enjoy it with family and friends on those special occasions.

When I make biryani, I like to decrease the amount of rice used – sometimes, I even use quinoa instead. I also increase the amount of chicken and veggies. And, in this recipe, I also added in a hefty dose of pecans and plump and juicy California Figs!

Chicken biryani rice is our kind of comfort food especially with plump mission figs.

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Chicken Biryani Rice with Figs and Nuts

Course Main Course
Servings 4
Calories 580 kcal

Ingredients

Spiced Chicken

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 pound chicken breast, cut into cubes
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed and diced
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Biryani Rice

  • 1 cup white rice
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 cups salted chicken broth
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup Sun-Maid or Blue RIbbon Orchard Choice California Figs
  • 1/4 cup pecans
  • Parsley, for garnish
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Add oil to a pan over medium heat and sauté the onion for 5 minutes.

  2. Then add in the chicken and sauté till chicken is lightly browned on one side. Flip chicken pieces over, add garlic and ginger and cook another 2 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, in another pan, over low heat, roast the coriander and cumin for about a couple of minutes stirring frequently as you don’t want the spices to burn. They will change color and become a tad bit darker during the roasting process. Set aside.

  4. To the chicken, add the rice, the roasted coriander and cumin, chili powder (if using), turmeric, cloves, cardamom, and chicken broth and stir. Cover and let cook about 15 minutes.

  5. Uncover and add in the carrots, frozen peas, California Figs and pecans (no need to mix at this point) and let cook about another 5-7 minutes, or till rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed.

  6. Using a fork, fluff and mix the veggies, nuts and California Figs with the lower layers of spiced rice and chicken.

  7. Sprinkle some parsley, season with salt and pepper (if needed) and enjoy with a cold salad or raita.

Recipe and photo by Shashi Charles

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and tag us @valleyfig —we’d love to see what you’re cooking on Instagram and Facebook!

Preserved Lemon Chicken with Almonds and Figs

Preserved Lemon Chicken with California Figs and Almonds is a perfectly delicious main dish for Passover.

This Sephardic-inspired dish is one of our favorite chicken recipes for Passover Seders. With preserved lemon, a hint of sweetness from Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs, and warm spices of cinnamon and allspice, this dish of chicken with almonds is great the rest of the year too. Serve with quinoa or mashed potatoes to soak up the fragrant sauce.

One of the first fruits to be cultivated by people, figs are as meaningful and symbolic as they are sweet and delicious. Jews consider figs to be particularly holy because they were one of the seven staple foods, known as the Seven Species, eaten by Jews in the land of Israel during Biblical times.

Preserved Lemon Chicken with Almonds & Figs

Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 whole cut-up chicken, about 4 pounds
  • 3 shallots, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon diced preserved lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 8 ounces Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Mission Figs
  • 5 sprigs thyme plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Pat dry the chicken pieces and season well with salt and pepper.

  2. Place the chicken pieces skin-side down in the skillet and cook until the skin is golden brown, about ten minutes. Turn and brown the other side.

  3. Remove chicken to a plate. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat in the pan.

  4. Add the shallots, garlic and preserved lemon to the pan and sauté over medium heat until softened, about five minutes.

  5. Add the cinnamon and allspice and sauté a few additional minutes until fragrant.

  6. Add the chicken broth to the pan and, using a wooden spoon, scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet.

  7. Return the chicken pieces to the pan, arranging them in a single layer. Add the figs and thyme and raise the heat to high.

  8. Bring the liquid to a boil, then cover the skillet and turn heat down to low. Simmer until chicken is cooked through and registers 165 degrees on a meat thermometer, about 20 minutes.

  9. While the chicken is cooking, toast the almonds in a dry skillet for a few minutes until golden and fragrant - watch carefully so that they don't burn.

  10. To serve, arrange the chicken and figs on a platter. Spoon sauce over chicken and top with toasted almonds. Garnish with a few additional sprigs of thyme if desired.

Recipe Notes

Note: A staple of Middle Eastern cooking, preserved lemons add a unique pickled tanginess to North African-inspired dishes such as this one. You can find jars of preserved lemons in good grocery stores or Middle Eastern markets or make your own. If you are not able to source preserved lemons, you can substitute cooked fresh lemon. Combine one thinly sliced lemon with a half cup of fresh lemon juice and two teaspoons of kosher salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt, then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until lemon slices are tender, about ten minutes. Cool and chop.

Recipe and photo by Emily Paster

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and tag us @valleyfig —we’d love to see what you’re cooking on Instagram and Facebook!