Butter chicken pizza

Butter chicken pizza

This was a first for me, but it turned out well. I am always in pursuit of easy supper-time recipes that won’t get the better of me after a long day at work, and this one didn’t.

It was easy to make, looked great, and, most importantly, tasted amazing. Flopping on the couch post-stove-time is also easy enough with pizza – even if this one is a bit of an upgrade from the usual.

For two people, plus a little extra for later:

Special ingredients: Chicken breasts (about 4), butter chicken curry sauce (or make your own), cashew nuts (I prefer raw and unsalted), pizza bases (as many as you need, up to you, or make your own), plain smooth (or chunky) cottage cheese (or cream cheese if you are feeling extra indulgent), mozzarella (or a lighter cheese), and coriander.

Staple ingredients: Olive oil, garlic, onion, herbs, salt, and pepper to taste.

The how: Heat up a pan, add a dash of olive oil, a finely chopped onion, garlic (about a level teaspoon) and fry until soft. In the meantime, cut chicken breasts into strips, or small blocks, and season lightly (with herbs, spices, salt, pepper, etc. to your taste). (I like to season chicken before it goes into the pan, so the seasoning sticks better). Once that’s done, add the chicken to the pan and fry until sealed. Add the cook-in sauce, plus cashews (whole or chopped), and follow the time guide on the packaging. (Keep in mind that your butter chicken topping will also have some time in the oven.) If the topping ends up too saucy for a pizza, thicken it up a little with a sprinkle of flour or corn flour (which I prefer). Give the butter chicken a taste, and if it doesn’t have enough of a kick, just add tiny bit of curry powder (about a teaspoon, depending on strength).

Grate some mozzarella while your chicken simmers, and get your oven preheated to about 220 degrees Celcius. If you have ready-made pizza bases, get them out for the chicken topping. I usually add my own extra tomato paste/sauce plus garlic to the base before I add the toppings, but in this case, your ingredients are quite rich, so you may want to hold off on any extras.

Once your butter chicken is ready, spoon it onto your pizza as liberally as you wish, sprinkle with mozzarella, and put it in the oven. I am not usually one for specific times when cooking and prefer to observe and poke as needed to determine if something is done properly – a principle which has not served me well with cake baking, but which should work just fine in this case. My pizza packaging says 220 degrees Celcius for 10-12 minutes – I am inclined to go for 8-10 minutes – or until cheese is nicely melted and pizza base is cooked through and just a little crispy.

Rinse and roughly chop some coriander and have the cottage cheese handy. Once the pizza is out of the oven, cut into slices, spoon on dollops of cottage cheese to your liking and, finally, garnish with coriander, and tuck in.

Pair one or two slices with a generous helping of  green salad, go piggy, and have as much as you like, or save some for tomorrow’s lunch. This should go well with a good red wine (a Pinotage or a Merlot would be my choice), or even a good Sauvignon Blanc. Vino tradition says no red wine with chicken. Tradition flouted. With a Rooiberg 2012 Pinotage. Teeth stained red. Butter chicken pizza not offended.

Compatible with: wraps, rice, cous cous, panini, pita

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