We have been in Robert Sinskey Vineyards wine club for years, and it’s one of the first wineries we recommend to friends visiting Napa Valley. They do an amazing job of bringing together food and wine. Maria Sinskey creates wonderful dishes that pair beautifully with the wines, and we always look forward to the recipe that accompanies the wine each month. This month, their Pinot Blanc was paired with Chicken Biryani. We had to try making it for ourselves!
Biryani is a dish that originated in India and is usually served at special occasions. We made this for a fun weekend dinner. It was the best biryani we’ve ever had, and we had plenty of left-overs for the week! There are a lot of ingredients, but it’s mostly spices and herbs. Don’t be intimidated by the long list! The best thing to do is buy your spices in bulk and only get the amount you need. We keep any extra in these small jars.
This Biryani was the first thing we’ve made in our new Mauviel sauté pan (c/o). It’s extra-deep (5 quarts), which makes it perfect for one-pot dishes like this. Ours has stainless steel handles. We got it directly from Mauviel, but you can also find very similar Mauviel pans here and here. We’ve been huge fans of Mauviel ever since we got this small skillet as a Christmas gift a few years ago. They do a beautiful job of crafting copper pieces that will last a lifetime, and they’re a joy to cook with.
We used to think that high-quality pots and pans only mattered if you had an amazing cooktop, but we’ve actually found the opposite to be true. High-quality cookware distributes heat more evenly and is much more responsive to temperature changes, so if you are like us and have a sad electric cooktop when you really want an 8-burner Miele gas range, good pans are your best bet.
The recipe specifically calls for Maldon Sea Salt, something we use so much that we buy it in a small bucket. It’s more economical than buying a bunch of small boxes. Maria Sinskey makes her own Masala spice mixture, but we used a pre-made Masala spice mix from Rainbow Grocery. You can also order it here or here. Depending on where you live, you may find it difficult to find the following items, but you can easily order online– cardamom pods, saffron, organic white basmati rice, and golden raisins.
We thought these gorgeous Vietri plates were the perfect backdrop for our amazing Biryani. We love the stamped pattern, and the vibrant color of the Biryani really pops against the white plate. Of course we served our Biryani with a chilled glass of the 2014 RSV Pinot Blanc.
Get Recipe: Chicken Biryani