There are some recipes that are so easy to make and then so tasty to eat that they become a regular part of your cooking repertoire. And this slow cooker chicken biryani is one of mine. Having made this over the years in a pan on the hob, it has always been a deliciously filling and comforting meal. But when I started using my slow cooker more, I tweaked this easy biryani recipe so it can be done without any fuss and cooked all in one pot.
What is in this easy chicken biryani recipe?
While I don’t claim this is an authentic chicken biryani, it certainly has all the flavour with tender pieces of chicken and fluffy basmati rice. To make this easy biryani recipe all you need are a few ingredients. The key here is to make sure to marinate the chicken thighs in the spiced yoghurt for as long as possible. This will impart the best flavour and ensure the biryani is super tasty and delicious. And to make this slow cooker chicken biryani even simpler, use basmati rice pouches from the supermarket. You don’t even have to cook rice! Here are the spices and ingredients that are needed:
boneless chicken thighs
chicken stock pot
cooked basmati rice
How to make this slow cooker biryani
This slow cooker recipe really is super easy. There’s no pre-cooking or browning of any ingredients. The hardest part is waiting for the chicken to marinate in the yoghurt, garlic, ginger, lemon juice, spices and salt. Once the chicken has marinated, add it, alongside the marinade to the onions, butter and stock pot. Cook on low for 4-5 hours, stirring part way through and when you are about to serve, add the basmati rice and combine it well so the rice is coated. Then sprinkle with fresh coriander before serving.
Can you make this easy chicken biryani recipe spicier?
Yes, my kids like to eat this biryani, which is why I hold back on the heat. But if you want it to be fiery, add some fresh chillies to the marinade, or even dried chillies or more cayenne pepper.
Can you use chicken breasts instead of thighs?
Absolutely. Chicken breasts will also work for this slow cooker biryani – and will cook for the same amount of time.
What if I don’t have time to marinate the chicken?
I know I’ve said that the longer you leave the chicken to marinate, the better. However, it’s not always possible to pre-plan meals or marinate ahead of time, so still make this biryani recipe without any marinating time. If you can leave the chicken to infuse even for around 15 minutes, the flavours will still impart in the cooking sauce, and still taste delicious. Go for it.
Can I freeze this chicken biryani?
Yes, leftovers always taste better in my opinion. You can put the biryani in a suitable container and refrigerate for up to two days making sure you reheat thoroughly. Or you can freeze for up to three months. Defrost fully before reheating in the microwave.
What to serve with this biryani
I love lots of fresh coriander sprinkled on top and another dollop of yoghurt. It also goes well with poppadoms or naan. You could even serve it alongside a vegetable curry or dhal.
Other slow cooker recipes you might like
Slow cooker bolognese
Slow cooker beef curry
Slow cooker Chinese chicken curry
Slow cooker beef and chorizo
Slow cooker Thai massaman curry
Slow cooker ham joint in coke
Here are some other Indian-inspired meals
Easy chicken biryani recipe [slow cooker]
- 650 g skinless chicken thighs
- 4 tablespoons plain yoghurt
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- ½-1 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 chicken stock pot
- 15 g butter
- 2 bay leaves
- 500 g cooked basmati rice I use 2 x basmati rice pouches from most supermarkets
- In a bowl, add the chicken thighs, yoghurt, garlic, ginger, turmeric, paprika, cayenne pepper, cumin, and garam masala. Then add the lemon juice and salt and combine all the ingredients. See note 1
- Make sure all the chicken thighs are covered in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least three hours. Or even overnight. The longer the chicken marinates for, the more depth of flavour the chicken will have.
- When you're ready to cook, add the chicken and yoghurt marinade to the slow cooker pot. Then add the onions, bay leaves, butter and chicken stock pot.
- Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours (or high for 2-3 hours), giving the chicken a stir half way through.
- When you're ready to serve, add the basmati rice and stir through, making sure all the rice is combined well with the chicken and the sauce. See note 2
- Sprinkle with fresh coriander and serve with extra yoghurt.