I first took the bus to Old Town for one reason only: The Spice House. Garrett and I picked up a few pieces of packaged naan for a quick weeknight pizza, so I thought I'd go all out and do tandoori chicken seeing that I don't normally have six hours to let something marinate. Only, I was out of turmeric and cayenne, and figured I could splurge on some garam masala, since I don't usually keep that around. To the local spice merchant. Now that I'm fully stocked up, look forward to lots of future recipes that call for garam masala.
From Old Town I went back west to Wicker Park, and by then the snow was falling pretty heavily. My feet were cold/wet, and I considered that only yesterday I celebrated the coming of spring while presently sharp, tiny icicles fell like shrapnel on my face and collected in my hair like sands of the Sahara in a Saharan sandstorm. Sand that is cold and melts on contact and drips down your numb mug.
I went home, marinated the chicken in tandoori paste, and sat on the couch to watch Real Madrid pull of a dramatic win against Man U. Like Christiano after scoring at Old Trafford, I tried not to smile too much about the snow day. ¡Hala!
- 1 cup non-fat greek yogurt
- 2 tbsp. lime juice
- 1 tsp. garam masala
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. coriander
- 1 tsp. turmeric
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne
- 3 cloves of garlic, grated into a paste
- 1 tbsp. ginger, grated into a paste
- salt to taste
- 1/2 cup marinara (I used what I had left over from my eggplant rolls)
- 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 tsp. garam masala
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne
- 1/4 tsp. coriander
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 1/2 inch cubes
- 2 pieces of store-bought naan
- 1/2 red pepper, finely chopped
- 1/2 red onion, sliced thin
- 3 tbsp. fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- 3 oz. farmers cheese, crumbled (what else am I going to do with all those mini Queso Frescos?)
Prepare your chicken in the morning or night before. Mix all the ingredients into a paste and coat your chicken. Cover tightly or put in a plastic bag in the fridge for at least six hours.
When you're ready to make the pizza, heat a grill pan on high heat and grill your slices of red onion. Set aside. Add the chicken to the grill pan, turning until browned and fully cooked.
For the pizza sauce: In a sauce pan, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil and cook the diced yellow onion and garlic until softened. Add the tomato paste and chicken stock, and cook down until pasty. Add the turmeric, cumin, garam masala, cayenne, coriander, and salt to the paste to flavor. Stir in the marinara to finish.
When the sauce and chicken are fully cooked, place the naan on an aluminum-lined pan and layer all the ingredients on top. Bake for about 12 minutes, until cheese is browned.