Chicken Tikka Masala Pizza

Chicken Tikka Masala Pizza | windykitchen

For my money, Friday night is still the very best part of the week. It was true in 1994 when my parents would pick up Gambino’s pizza and I’d watch TGIF on ABC, and it’s true now, when I typically…make a pizza and watch…whatever’s in my Netflix queue? Sigh.

Is that the lamest admission ever? Maybe. I’ve just never been someone who gets fired up and ready to go out on a Friday night. Saturday? Sure. Maybe even a wild Wednesday once in awhile! But Friday is just that sacred, special night when all I want to do is unwind. Basically – if I hang out with you on a Friday night, it’s a pretty good sign that I love you forever.

This pizza was the last thing to come out of my kitchen on a Friday night, and it was a grand slam of awesomeness. Is it super quick and easy? Well, not really. I decided to adapt my favorite chicken tikka masala recipe and throw it on a pizza, and I was a little nervous about how it would turn out (given that cheese is pretty much a non-ingredient in all Asian-umbrella cuisines). But  luckily it rocked exactly as oppositely hard as my Friday night rocked.

Did that make sense? The pizza rocked. My Friday night was calm and peaceful. And all was well in the world.

Happy Friday!

Chicken Tikka Masala Pizza | windykitchen

CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA PIZZA (windykitchen original; chicken tikka recipe from America’s Test Kitchen: Cooking for Two)

Ingredients for the chicken:
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp grated or minced fresh ginger

Ingredients for the sauce:
1 (14.5 oz) can no-salt-added tomato sauce
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 small onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp grated or minced fresh ginger
1 small serrano chile, minced (seeds removed if you’re sensitive to heat)
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp garam masala
1-2 tsp sugar
Salt (if needed)
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

Ingredients for the pizza:
pizza dough
2 cups monterey jack cheese
Handful chopped fresh cilantro

1. For the chicken: combine the garam masala, cayenne, and salt in a bowl. Pat the chicken dry with the paper towels, then coat the chicken thoroughly with the spices, pressing to help them adhere. Place the chicken on a plate, cover, and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes. Whisk the yogurt, oil, garlic, and ginger together in a medium bowl, cover, and refrigerate until needed.
2. For the sauce: heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook until softened and lightly browned, 5-7 minutes. Stir in the garlic, ginger, chile, tomato paste and garam masala and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomato sauce and sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the yogurt and cover to keep warm. Taste and add salt if needed.
3. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to be 6 inches from the broiler element, and heat the broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and top with a wire rack. Coat chicken in yogurt mixture so that it is thickly coated and arrange on the prepared wire rack; discard any extra yogurt mixture. Broil chicken until the exterior is lightly charred in spots and the thickest part of the breasts registers 160-165 degrees on an instant read thermometer, 10-18 minutes, flipping the chicken halfway through cooking.
4. Let chicken rest for 5 minutes, then cut into 1-inch chunks. Stir the chicken pieces into the warm sauce (do not simmer the chicken in the sauce). Stir in the cilantro, season with salt to taste, and serve.
5. Turn off broiler and heat oven to 425. Spread pizza dough out onto pizza pan that has been lightly coated with oil. Top pizza with chicken and sauce, then sprinkle cheese on top. Bake in 425-degree oven 15-18 minutes, or until cheese is warm and bubbly and crust is brown. Top with cilantro and serve.

Was this more work than your average pizza? Well, yeah. Do I wish I was eating it right now? Also yes. This is some good pizza.

Chicken Tikka Masala Pizza | windykitchen

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