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  • Writer's pictureJill

Granddaughter Gardening!

Pepper Harvest

{Guest post by Jennifer Bickett Hubbell}

In March, my husband Biff planted peppers and tomatoes in our backyard container garden. Our daughter was born shortly thereafter, so we were grateful that my mother Jill watered the plants while we were in the hospital! Now Coraline is 2 months old and flourishing, and so is the garden.

We have lots of green tomatoes that are starting to ripen in the sun, but the pepper plants already have veggies ready to go for us. Especially productive have been the Anaheim Peppers and the Padron peppers.

Today we harvested several Anaheim Peppers, as they reached about 6 inches in length. If you scoop out most of the seeds, these peppers are not spicy at all. Leave in half of the seeds for mild heat, and all the seeds for hotter!

I used these in one of Biff’s favorite dishes: Instant Pot Chicken Biryani. It’s far from an authentic Indian food recipe, but it’s very flavorful, and benefits from the heat of a pepper like the Anaheim (though the original recipe calls for Jalapeno). So far, it’s turned out perfectly every time in the Instant pot – in no time at all!

Below are some pictures of the peppers as I was cooking, and the recipe follows.

Sauté thinly sliced onion in ghee until caramelized and edges are getting burnt and crispy.

Two Anaheim peppers, fresh from the garden. I wish I had left more pepper seeds in the Biryani instead of scooping so many out, as the dish turned out rather mild. Next time!

Grated ginger, minced garlic, and Anaheim peppers prepped and ready to go.

After all veggies have been added to the pot, add chicken, rice, and water, and cook on High pressure for 5 mins, with 10 minute natural release.

The finished product! It’s not that photogenic, but this dish eats warm & hearty. Serve with a side salad or roasted vegetables, dressed with a bright vinaigrette to counterbalance the richness of this dish.

This recipe makes a lot of food, so I freeze it into dinner portions for myself and Biff to be enjoyed in the future.

2 T ghee

2 T garam masala

1 Onion, thinly sliced

2 inches ginger, thinly sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 jalapeño peppers, diced

Cilantro, Mint {optional}

1 lb. chicken thighs, cut into bite size pieces

2 c. basmati rice, rinsed and drained

2 c. water

kosher salt, to taste

1. Heat 2 T ghee in your Instant Pot and when it's hot, put in the thinly sliced onion and a few pinches of salt. Cook until it's well-browned and crisp at the edges.

2. Add in the ginger, garlic, jalapenos and cook for 2-3 minutes.

3. Put in the bite size chicken pieces and several more pinches of salt.

4. Add 2 T garam masala and mix well.

5. Spread out the chicken and veggie mixture to cover the bottom of your Instant Pot.

6. Sprinkle the chopped cilantro and mint on top it. {Optional}

7. Spread the rinsed, drained rice across everything. And sprinkle more salt! Do not stir.

8. Pour in the water, and gently push the rice down so it is covered by the water.

9. Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes, and let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes. Then, release all remaining pressure.

10. Open and inhale deeply! Enjoy the true-to-tradition aroma of this dish and then either mix it gently from the bottom, or serve by scooping up a layer from top to bottom so you've served chicken, herbs, and rice in every serving. Adjust seasoning by adding more salt & stirring at the end – I find that sometimes I undersalt this dish and have to add more at the end to bring out the flavors fully.

This recipe is adapted from Urvashi Pitre’s blog post. I doubled the rice and used garam masala instead of whole spices. Pitre’s blog about Chicken Biryani is very informative, however, and worth a read!


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