360 gms (2 cups) basmati rice
1 kg chicken breasts, cut into four
200 gms (1 cup) sugar
Rind of 2 oranges, thinly peeled and cut into fine shreds
¼ cup ghee
½ cup blanched almonds, thinly sliced
¼ cup pistachio nuts, thinly sliced
1 onion, sliced
A few strands of saffron, crushed and soaked in 2 tbsp hot water
1. Boil orange shreds in 2 cups of water for 5 minutes, drain and rinse.
2. Dissolve sugar in 1 cup water, add orange peel and boil gently until syrup is thick. Remove from fire, keep aside.
3. Fry almonds gently in a tablespoon of ghee and keep aside.
4. Heat remaining ghee in a pan and brown the chicken pieces on all sides. Remove chicken pieces in a plate and season with salt and pepper.
5. Add onion to the remaining ghee in the pan and lightly brown them.
6. Add one cup of water and stir. Return chicken to the pan and cover and cook for 15-20 minutes on low heat. In 8 cups of boiling water add the washed rice and 1 teaspoon of salt. Keep boiling until rice is just cooked.
7. Drain out water, put rice in a bowl and add strained orange peel syrup. Reserve the peel.
8. Mix the rice gently and spread half into a greased baking dish. Arrange chicken pieces on top with the onion and half the cooking liquid. Sprinkle ½ of the almonds and orange peel. Spread remaining rice on top, pour on chicken liquid and cook in slow oven for 40 minutes.
9. When Pulao is cooked, remove top layer of rice and arrange in the centre of a serving dish. Top with chicken pieces and garnish with reserved orange peel, almonds and pistachio nuts. Pour saffron liquid over the rice and serve.