Failure-ish: Chicken Tikka Masala Pizza

It’s hard to call something as delicious as this a failure, but really we were unable to do what we set out to do so in my mind I mark it with an F. The goal was to make chicken tikka masala and put it on a raw naan dough. Cook that dough in the pizza oven and basically have an Indian pizza. The main problem here was that naan dough does not have the stretching capabilities that the pizza dough we make has. It is unable to hold all of those toppings and was falling apart in the oven. We should have done the trick of grilled pizza where you cook it on one side, flip and add the toppings, but we did not think of it at the time.

As my really O.G. fans would know, I made chicken tikka once before, but it wasn’t that good. The naan was crap and the flavor was bland. Now that I am a little more experienced in Indian cooking, I found this to be easy and much more delicious. I suggest this dish to anyone (just not the pizza part).

MMM. I’m hungry already. This is for the garlic ginger chile paste that I am going to call GGC paste from now on.

The spices for garam masala. Take these and heat them in a dry hot frying pan for 5 to 10 minutes. Watch them so they don’t burn! Then as they cool, take the seeds out of the cardamom pods. It is a fun job at first but gets tedious.

Garam masala getting blended.

I blurred out the price, because I am kind of embarrassed by how much I spent on this chicken, however it was the best chicken I have eaten in a long time. Thanks Tom

It was even enjoyable butchering the chicken. Not gross like most cheaper chickens.

Chicken marinade. Yogurt, Garam Masala, and GGC paste.

Let this sit OVERNIGHT!  Also make deep cuts in the chicken to help the marinade get in there good.

The next afternoon we started prepping toppings

Jasmine rice simply prepared with a small amount of the garam masala.

This is for the red sauce. Some GGC paste and lime zest in ghee. You remember how to make ghee right?  Just cook butter on med-low and skim out the white stuff.

Added some chunky peppers and onions and garam masala.

Ya know how we blend the whole tomatoes with basil when we make pasta sauce? Well today we blended them with cilantro! Awesome idea Mandi.

You can read all about naan making here.

While Mandi was doing all that stuff in the kitchen, I was busy doing man things in the yard.

A tip about brick ovens is that when the ceiling turns from black to brick colored, it is almost time to cook.

The idea here was to use our oven like a tandor. In Indian cooking, chefs use a clay vertical oven. This is where they cook naan and also chicken tandoori which is the base for chicken tikka masala. They put it on skewers, but I just racked it up because I didn’t have metal skewers. You could easily grill this and get the same effect.

I had wanted to try sticking a naan to the wall of the oven like they do. It needed to be closer to the fire though and in a location where the ceiling had turned brick colored. PS. I did not stick this one.

The chicken was sooo good.

A second naan on the ceiling failure.

Visitors! The 2 fingers he is holding up stands for the number of hours late he was. Where is your half finger?

We added some flavorless ricotta to act like paneer on the pizza, cause what is a pizza without cheese?

As you can see, the pizzas sort of fell apart and didn’t cook right in the oven.

I was feeling stabby.

Mandi’s backup plan was to cook the rest of the naan in the oven and let people get plates of naan chicken and rice.

It was pretty tasty after all, but a disappointment.

Garam Masala
Cumin seed
Coriander seed
1 TSP Clove
1 3 inch piece cinnamon
1 bay leaf

Dry fry 5 to 10 minutes until fragrant being careful not to burn. Remove shells from cardamom. Grind in blender / food processor / coffee grinder.

Chicken Tandoori
Mix some of the garam masala with yogert and a paste made from equal parts chiles, ginger, and garlic. Salt and pepper the chicken pieces. Then cover with marinade. Marinade overnight stirring occasionally. Grill.

Tikka Masala Sauce
Heat ghee or clarified butter in saucepan. Add GGC paste and zest of one lime. Meanwhile, in a blender combine a can of whole plum tomatoes with a few sprigs of cilantro stem and all. Add chunkey chopped peppers and onions to the pan. Cook 5 minutes. Add garam masala. Stir and cook 3 minutes. Add tomato mixture and simmer for 15 minutes.