In a mixing bowl, stir together the garlic,
ginger, cinnamon, turmeric and yogurt with
some pepper and ¼ tsp salt. Tip in the
chicken pieces and stir to coat (see step 1, above). Cover
and marinate in the fridge for about 1 hr
or longer if you have time. Warm the milk
to tepid, stir in the saffron and set aside.
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Slice
each onion in half lengthways, reserve half
and cut the other half into thin slices. Pour
1½ tbsp of the oil onto a baking tray, scatter
over the sliced onion, toss to coat, then
spread out in a thin, even layer (step 2). Roast
for 40-45 mins, stirring halfway, until golden.
When the chicken has marinated, thinly
slice the reserved onion. Heat 1 tbsp
oil in a large sauté or frying pan. Fry the
onion for 4-5 mins until golden. Stir in the
chicken, a spoonful at a time, frying until
it is no longer opaque, before adding the
next spoonful (this helps to prevent the
yogurt from curdling). Once the last of
the chicken has been added, stir-fry for a
further 5 mins until everything looks juicy.
Scrape any sticky bits off the bottom of the
pan, stir in the chilli powder, then pour in
100ml water, cover and simmer on a low
heat for 15 mins. Remove and set aside.
Cook the rice while the chicken
simmers. Heat another 1 tbsp oil in a large
sauté pan, then drop in the cinnamon
stick, cardamom, cloves and cumin seeds.
Fry briefly until their aroma is released.
Tip in the rice (step 3) and fry for 1 min, stirring
constantly. Stir in the stock and bring to the
boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered,
for about 8 mins or until all the stock has
been absorbed. Remove from the heat
and leave with the lid on for a few mins, so
the rice can fluff up. Stir the garam masala
into the remaining 1½ tsp oil and set aside.
When the onions are roasted, remove and
reduce oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
Spoon half the chicken and its juices into
an ovenproof dish, about 25 x 18 x 6cm,
then scatter over a third of the roasted
onions. Remove the whole spices from
the rice, then layer half of the rice over the
chicken and onions. Drizzle over the spiced
oil. Spoon over the rest of the chicken and
a third more onions. Top with the remaining
rice (step 4) and drizzle over the saffron-infused
milk. Scatter over the rest of the onions,
cover tightly with foil and heat through
in the oven for about 25 mins. Serve
scattered with the mint and coriander.