Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Chicken Tikka Masala Pizza

Woohoo!!! I'm an aunt!! My sister-in-law had her twins last Wednesday! Before driving down to Delaware to meet them, KK and I celebrated his high school friend's wedding.  Congrats to Phil and Jillian! The rehearsal on Friday was followed by a family-style Italian dinner at Mario's Tutto Bene.  The wedding was at the groom's family church, and the reception was at the gorgeous Wilshire Grand Hotel; the bride looked simply stunning.  My favorite part of the evening was the Viennese dessert room with every treat one could possibly imagine - Funfetti wedding cake, chocolate cake, Sundae bar, tiramisu, pudding parfaits, s'mores pie, cheesecake, Mississippi Mud pie, a chocolate fountain with fresh fruit and marshmallows for dipping, cannolis, and I'm sure the list goes on and on.

Back to the newest additions to the family... A&A! They were born on Wednesday and, with the twins and my sister-in-law all healthy, they were discharged from the hospital on Saturday.  KK and I arrived Sunday, and I was instantaneously wooed by them.  A&A are both happy, sweet babies and they're even letting their mom and dad sleep for decent stretches throughout the night.  Their tiny yawns, sneezes and hiccups are the most adorable things I've ever seen! We probably won't see them for another month or two, so I can only imagine how much bigger they'll be by then.  All I can say is - thank goodness for FaceTime!

In my opinion, there's no sense in making traditional margarita pizza at home because there are so many incredible pizzerias in Hoboken.  I'm not sure which I prefer - this Indian twist on pizza or KK's tried-and-true favorite - Corn, Pesto, and Tomato Pizza.  Try them both and let me know which is your favorite!

Reflected in the directions below, I decided to cook the onions with the garlic and jalapeno because I was worried about them tasting raw.  KK doesn't like raw onions and I didn’t want the pizza to be ruined (for him) because of the onion slices.  I mistakenly (a.k.a. didn’t read the directions thoroughly or wait for KK’s help) diced ¼ of the jalapeno and threw it into the sauce.  I think that took the pizza spiciness to the next level, so I don’t recommend doing that unless you can really handle the heat! The pizza crust KK picked up was on the thin-side and we have a pizza pan with holes on the bottom, so it crisped in 8 minutes.  If you have a thicker crust or a pan without holes, your pizza will probably cook for 10-12 minutes.  You can also quickly turn this into a vegetarian dish by using tofu instead of chicken.  As always, when dealing with jalapenos – be careful! Don’t touch anything after handling one, especially your face/eyes, before thoroughly washing your hands and under your fingernails! Served with a side salad, we still devoured this pizza and there are sadly no leftovers.

Chicken Tikka Masala Pizza
Adapted from Rasa Malaysia
Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes (includes marination time)
Serves: 2-3

Marinade Ingredients
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp garam masala
½ tsp minced fresh ginger
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper

2 Tbsp plain yogurt
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Pinch of cinnamon

Other Ingredients
10 oz chicken breast, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 Tbsp olive oil + brushing
1 Tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ jalapeno, seeds removed
¼ onion, thinly sliced
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp garam masala

4 oz tomato sauce
2 Tbsp plain yogurt
2 Tbsp evaporated milk

Salt and pepper, to taste
12-inch pizza crust
1 cup mozzarella cheese

1. Combine marinate ingredients in a medium bowl.  Add chicken and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour. 

2. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 450.

3.  Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  When oil is hot, cook chicken until no longer pink inside, about 5-10 minutes.  Remove chicken from skillet, plate, and tent with tin foil.

4. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat.  Add garlic, jalapeno, and onions; stirring frequently, saute until aromatic, about 3 minutes.  Stir in cumin, paprika, and garam masala, and continue to saute for 2 minutes.  Remove jalapeno and discard.

5. Stir in tomato sauce, yogurt, and evaporated milk; season with salt and pepper.  Simmer until sauce thickens, about 2-3 minutes.  Turn off heat, add chicken, and stir to coat.

6.  Place pizza crust on pizza pan, and brush lightly with olive oil.  Spread sauce/chicken mixture on the pizza, leaving ½-inch around the edge as crust.  Sprinkle top of pizza with cheese.  Bake pizza for 8-10 minutes, or according to pizza crust package directions.

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