Down South Goat Biryani
From the author: "Biryani is a celebration dish. Weddings, birthdays, festivals, and other times of good cheer are the usual occasions when this iconic dish of rice with meat or vegetables graces our table, with almost the entire spice cabinet having been invited into the cooking vessel. Across India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Malaysia, countless renditions of this festive dinner abound, as do the many names by which it is known. I think the following recipe is my favorite version to make at home, though it is wonderful made with beef chuck roast or chicken thighs. I love the tender goat layered between saffron-spiced rice and baked, then dressed with roasted shallots, cashews, raisins, and a confetti of cilantro. As I fluff the flavored rice, I always remove the star anise, cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and bay leaves - counting the fifteen spice hulls as I go - and set them aside to use as a garnish. Alternatively, you can tie all the spices except the saffron and cumin seeds in a piece of muslin to make a bouquet garni, which makes a quick job of removing the spice hulls. Or, if no muslin is available, but them in a tea ball and hang the ball over the side of the pot."