There aren’t many joys that can match up to taking a sizzling, bubbly pizza out of a blazing hot oven. I’ve taken this particular pizza out of my oven on many occasions, mostly for guests, because such pleasures (and the results of such efforts) must be shared.
Pizza naturally induces happiness, and this homemade Tandoori Chicken Pizza is next-level blissful.
What is it about pizza that evokes such feelings?
Well first: there’s bread – the backbone of many a satisfying meal. Two: cheese. Need I say more? Three: the sauce. Fresh, bursting with flavor. It’s the last and essential element that elevates bread and cheese, giving pizza its well-deserved stature. Add tandoori chicken to all this, and it’s nothing short of magic, really.
Making pizza from scratch may seem daunting, but there are only a few steps to each component, and the result is more than worth it. That said, I’m all for shortcuts. And this recipe is good enough to withstand changes while still maintaining it’s spicy, savory, smoky goodness.
So make it your own. You can use leftover bone-in chicken if you have some. Just shred it and add a bit of tandoori masala. Give it an extra broil at the end if you’d like. Throw in whatever herbs or spices you have on hand for the sauce. For toppings, I usually stick to the trio of red & green bell peppers and red onions. But jalapeños would be nice, maybe pineapple or whatever neglected veggie you find lurking in your fridge. You can also vary the cheese according to your taste. This article shows how to use various cheeses for different results if you’re like me and take your pizza reallyyy seriously.
If you try this recipe, please let me know. I hope you do – I’m quite sure you’ll love it!
Tandoori Chicken Pizza From Scratch
For the Tandoori Chicken Topping
- 1 chicken breast around 300-400 grams cut into thin, small bite-sized pieces
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 tbsp crushed garlic or paste
- 1/2 tbsp crushed ginger or paste
- 1 tbsp neutral oil such as canola or grapeseed
- 1-2 tsp tomato paste
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp or less, depending on spice level tandoori masala powder
- 1 tsp paprika powder
- various spice powders such as cumin, coriander, red chili, turmeric, and black pepper powder, to taste
For the Crust
- 2 ½ cups bread flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 cup warm water 100-110°F
- 1 standard packet active dry yeast 2 ¼ tsp
For the Sauce
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2-3 garlic cloves about 1 tsp, crushed
- 4 medium fresh tomatoes 350-450 grams
- 1 small carrot 50-70 grams, peeled
- 1 small green chili pepper I use Serrano
- 1 small onion 140 - 170 grams
- 1 whole bay leaf
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt or to taste
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning or basil
- various spice powders such as cumin powder, black pepper powder, red chili flakes, or more tandoori masala powder, to taste
For the Pizza
- Prepared crust
- Prepared sauce
- Prepared tandoori chicken
- 2 cups 8 oz or 227 grams quality mozzarella cheese or a blend of mozzarella and preferred cheese
- Additional toppings such as red bell peppers green bell peppers and red onions, sliced
Tandoori Chicken Topping
Marinate the chicken in all of the ingredients for at least 30 minutes, up to overnight.
Preheat your oven broiler to high and set the oven rack to the top. Place the chicken pieces in an even layer in an oven-safe pan, and broil for about 5-7 minutes, turning the chicken pieces every couple of minutes to encourage even browning and a tandoor-like (but not burnt) finish. Cover and set aside.
Combine the warm water, yeast and sugar in a small bowl. Stir once and set aside for about 5-10 minutes or until foamy. It must be foamy! If not, something went wrong (i.e. water temperature, old yeast, etc.).
In a stand mixture with a dough attachment, add the flour, salt and olive oil. Start the mixer, and then slowly add in the water/yeast mixture. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, adding a bit of water, if necessary. (You may also knead the dough by hand for about 8-10 minutes instead of using a stand mixer.)
Tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draft-free place to rise for an hour or so or until dough doubles in size.
Once it has risen, punch it down, knead it a little and then place it on a lightly floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll it out about 15 inches. Push the dough at the ends so that it’s slightly thicker on the rim. Use a knife to make small slits on the base to help it bake evenly. Cover the crust with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap while you prepare the toppings.
Blend the tomatoes, carrot, onion, and green chili in a food processor until smooth.
Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté it for about 20-30 seconds, until the raw smell subsides and it begins to brown. Add the tomato mixture and the rest of the ingredients and sauté this mixture, stirring frequently, until well cooked, about 30 minutes. You may need to add water to make sure it’s well cooked and to make it the desired consistency. Remove bay leaf.
Steps and Assembly
Marinate the chicken as per instructions.
Prepare the pizza dough and set it aside to rise. Take the chicken out of the fridge to let it come to room temperature. While you wait, prepare the pizza sauce, then broil the chicken, cover and set aside.
Preheat your oven to 450°F (230°C). When the dough has risen, follow the instructions to roll it out. Cover it and chop up the vegetable toppings.
Place the pizza base on a greased baking tray. Spread the tomato sauce evenly over the pizza. Top with cheese, chicken, and toppings.
Bake for about 15-17 minutes, until the crust has baked and the cheese has melted. I like to broil it again for a couple of minutes to further amp up the “tandoor” factor. Serve hot. To maintain the texture of the crust, this pizza is best reheated in an oven instead of a microwave.