Marinate the chicken
In a large bowl combine chicken thighs, yogurt, olive oil, salt, pepper, ground ginger, and turmeric. Smash garlic and fresh ginger in a mortar and add it to the chicken. Stir to combine and set aside for at least 15 - 20 minutes or even better, overnight.TipIt's definitely better to leave the chicken to marinate overnight. That results in a tender and rich meat.
Saffron water and Rice
In a small bowl stir to combine saffron and lukewarm water. Set aside until needed. Wash the basmati rice under running water. Drain and place in a large bowl. Cover the rice with cold water.
Cook the chicken
Dice the onion. Place a pot over medium-high heat. Add the butter, olive oil and spices (1 tsp garam masala, 1/2 tsp coriander seeds, 1/2 tsp cumin, 3 cloves, 1/4 cinnamon stick). Cook until the spices are nice and aromatic. Add the diced onion, raisins and figs. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the onion is tender and soft. Transfer the chicken thighs from the marinade to the pot. Keep the marinade mixture. Cook the chicken thighs for about 5 minutes on all sides, turning the chicken occasionally. Add the marinade, chopped tomatoes and 300 ml (10.5 oz) water. Stir to combine, cover with a lid and cook for about 30 - 35 minutes (low simmer), stirring occasionally.TipIf you notice that there isn't much liquid left in the pot, add a ladle of water. After about 30 minutes of cooking the sauce needs to be thick, but still liquidy.
Cook the rice
Place a pot with 1 liter (4 cups) of water over medium-low heat. 1 tsp of salt, butter, and spices (1 cardamom, 1/4 cinnamon stick, 4 cloves, 1/4 star anise, 1/2 tsp coriander seeds). Bring to boil, then add rice and cook for 7 - 8 minutes or until rice is almost cooked, still a bit firm in the middle. Drain and set aside.TipDon't wash the cooked rice under running water.
Cook the biryani
Spread rice on top of the chicken thighs, so that it covers the chicken completely. Drizzle saffron water over the rice and cover with a lid. Cook for another 8 - 10 minutes on low heat, for the rice to cook completely.TipThe heat should really be set on low, or the dish might get burnt.
Divide the Chicken Biryani between six plates and serve with a generous dollop of plain yogurt, freshly chopped cilantro/coriander and crispy onions (optional). Enjoy