Oven-Baked Chicken Biryani

Oven-Baked Chicken Biryani

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I love Biryani and now that I don’t eat lamb it’s often a Vegetable Pilaf  (similar to a biryani) or of course a Chicken Biryani. I always try to find easy ways to cook especially if I am short on time. My days have been super busy so I tried to prep this Oven-Baked Chicken Biryani the night before and just popped it into the oven the next day. It was sublime.


Biryanis can become a little complicated but this is a super easy way to cook any Biryani. I find that everything tastes better when cooked in the oven. Maybe it’s the slow cooking in the oven that does it. I also never open the oven during the cooking process. I think this helps get all those flavours right in.

How to make Oven-Baked Chicken Biryani

For this Oven-Baked Chicken Biryani I marinated the chicken overnight. I then popped the chicken, cooked potatoes and half-cooked rice in a pot and into the oven it went.

It took about an hour to cook and you cannot believe how aromatic and delicious this Biryani tasted. It was heavenly.

What Rice can I use?

I used Basmati Rice but you can also use any long grain rice if you prefer.


Oven-Baked Chicken Biryani on a white platter

The potatoes in the Biryani is optional. Here in South Africa we love adding potatoes to our curries and Biryanis. I think we must eat the most potatoes in the world…..haha!

Biryani also needs a salad or a Raita, that Indian flavoured yogurt just rounds it the meal beautifully. I hope you are going to give my Baked Chicken Biryani a try. Please feel free to drop me a comment if it was a success or not.

More Chicken Recipes:

Coconut Chicken Curry

One-Pot Spicy Rice and Chicken

Happy Weekend!

Baked Chicken Biryani

Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword Baked Biryani, baked chicken biryani, chicken biryani, Easy Biryani, south african biryani
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 4



  • 700 gram chicken thighs and drumsticks
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp ghee melted
  • 1&1/2 tbsp ginger/garlic paste
  • 1 tspn ground cumin
  • 2 tspn ground coriander
  • 1 tspn turmeric
  • 1 tspn ground soomph/fennel
  • 2 tspn garam masala
  • 1/4 tspn ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tspn ground elachie/cardamom
  • 1-2 tbsp masala
  • 1 sprig curry leaf
  • 2 tspn fresh thyme leaves
  • 50 gram tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp chopped mint leaves
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • fried onion
  • salt


  • 1&1/2 cup Basmati Rice
  • water
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 5 cloves
  • 3 bay leaf
  • 2 4cm cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star aniseed
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 2 tspn coarse salt

Crispy Onion

  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 large onion thinly sliced

Fried Potatoes

  • 2 potatoes cut into small cubes
  • salt
  • oil for frying


  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/2 tspn saffron threads

Final stages of cooking

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp butter ghee melted



  • Add all of the ingredients, except the chicken, coriander and mint, in a large pot. Mix it all together
  • Add the chicken. Refrigerate overnight

Parboiled Rice

  • Bring 2 litres of water to the boil
  • Add rice, salt and whole spices
  • Cook for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside

Crispy Onions

  • Heat oil in a large pan. Cook onion in 2 batches on medium heat until golden brown
  • Drain on a paper towel lined plate


  • Peel the potatoes and cut them into small cubes. Place in a microwavable plate or large bowl. Add 1/4 cup water and cook on high for 5 minutes
  • Season with salt
  • Fry in a little oil until slightly brown and crisp
  • Set aside


  • Mix the saffron threads in 1/4 cup of warm water and set aside

Cooking the Biryani

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius
  • Sprinkle half the crispy onion on top of marinated chicken
  • Add mint and coriander
  • Layer potatoes on top
  • Add the rice and pour a cup of water over the rice
  • Drizzle the saffron water over, then the melted ghee
  • Sprinkle the remaining crispy onion on top
  • Cover and bake in the oven for an hour or until chicken and rice is cooked



  1. You can use some egg yellow food colouring for the yellow colour if you do not have saffron
  2. Potatoes are optional
  3. The amount of masala can be reduced to 1 tablespoon for a milder Biryani
  4. This biryani tastes even better the next day so you can make it ahead and serve the following day
  5. Best served with Raita, made with yogurt
  6. You can replace the chicken with lamb or vegetable. However if using lamb I recommend you cook the lamb on the stovetop first so it is partly tender before further cooking in the oven

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