Marmalade Chicken Biryani with Mango

The sweet and sour tanginess of Seville orange marmalade adds an unconventional tang to this orange and saffron, cardamom-seasoned chicken biryani with chunks of golden mango. The dish smells wonderful as it cooks, sending exotic wafts of cardamom and orange mingling with chicken and rice around the kitchen. It’s a usefully good-natured dish and can be kept waiting, covered, for the best part of an hour without spoiling. Conversely, please resist lifting the lid once the cooking time is over. It needs to sit, covered, for a few minutes longer so that the rice can swell and soften and finish cooking in the steam, the chunks of mango glowing in the heat. A marmalade glaze is spooned over the dish just before serving.

Serves 4

Prep: 25 min

Cook: 40 min

4 large organic chicken thighs, approx 750g

5 tbsp Seville orange marmalade

2 juicing oranges

1 large onion, approx 200g

50g Marcona blanched almonds

2 tbsp vegetable oil

25g butter

1 tbsp runny honey

5 cardamom pods

1 bay leaf

generous pinch saffron strands

250g basmati rice

900ml chicken stock

1 ripe mango

Slice the chicken into bite-sized pieces, place in a mixing bowl and mix with 3 tbsp marmalade, microplaned zest of 1 orange and juice of both oranges. Peel, halve and finely slice the onion. Quickly stir-fry the almonds in a little oil in a spacious, lidded frying/saute pan until golden. Drain on kitchen paper. Turn up the heat, add  remaining oil and stir-fry the onions until shrivelled and dark brown, adjusting the heat to avoid burning. Allow at least 20 minutes for this. Scoop onto kitchen paper to drain. Melt the butter in the oily onion juices and gently brown the chicken with its marinade. Season with salt and pepper. Add honey, bay leaf, lightly crushed cardamom and saffron softened in 1 tbsp boiling water. Bubble up the juices, cooking for a few minutes until turning syrupy and the chicken glossy. Stir in the washed rice. Add half the onions, most of the almonds and 750ml stock.  Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to very low, cover the pan and cook for 15 minutes. Peel and dice the mango in sugar lump size pieces. When the 15 minutes is up, turn off the heat, fold in the dice mango and leave, covered, without removing the lid, for 15 minutes. Simmer the remaining 150ml stock with remaining 2 tbsp marmalade. Scoop out the peel and cook until syrupy and reduced to about 3 tablespoons. Swirl the pan as the sauce reduces, adjusting the heat so it doesn`t burn. Turn the biryani onto a warmed platter, fork in the reserved almonds and onions. Dribble over the sauce and serve.