1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in 1 1/2 in. pieces
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut in 1 1/2 in. pieces (or all white meat, just adjust the cooking time)
1/4 cup plain whole yogurt
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. ground turmeric, divided
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin, divided
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
1 1/2 cups uncooked basmati rice
3 cardamom pods
4 tsp. garam masala, divided
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
1 1/2 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced (about 2 tsp.)
1 serrano chile, seeded and chopped
4 plum tomatoes, chopped (about 2 cups)
1/4 cup warm whole milk
1/4 tsp. saffron threads
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint, divided (optional)
1 red Fresno chile or jalapeño, sliced (optional)
Step 1: Combine chicken breasts and thighs, yogurt, paprika, and 1/2 teaspoon each of turmeric,cumin, and salt in a shallow dish or plastic bag to marinate. Chill while rice is prepared.
Step 2: Preheat oven to 375°F. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil over high. Stir in rice,cardamom, 2 teaspoons of the garam masala, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Boil 6 minutes; drain,and discard cardamom pods. Set aside.
Step 3: Heat oil in a shallow Dutch oven over medium. Add onion, and cook, stirring occasionally,until softened and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in ginger, garlic, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt,1/2 teaspoon turmeric, 1 teaspoon cumin, and 2 teaspoons garam masala; cook, stirring oftenuntil fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in serrano chile. Add tomatoes; cook stirring occasionally,until tomatoes have softened and released their juices, 3 to 4 minutes.
Step 4: Increase heat to medium-high, and add chicken mixture; cook, stirring often for 3 minutes.Remove from heat. Stir together warm milk and saffron in a small bowl; let stand 2 minutes.
Step 5: Sprinkle half of the parsley and mint, if using over tomato-chicken mixture; top evenly with rice, anddrizzle with saffron milk. Cover, and bake in preheated oven until rice and chicken are cooked through, about 15 minutes. Remove lid, and sprinkle with remaining half of cilantro and mint.Top with Fresno chile, if desired.