I do! I put peanuts on there too….But it’s not what you think (because I’m sure you think it’s disgusting). Thai Chicken Pizza is The Man’s favorite pizza. In lieu of the traditional red sauce, I use a slightly spicy peanut sauce. Then top it off with the veggies you may find in a stir fry dish – red bell peppers, scallions, cilantro….and of course a little chicken (tossed in Hoison sauce). Does that sound a little better? Maybe the pictures will help convince you….
We’ll start with something normal – traditional pizza dough. Nothing strange here – flour, water and yeast. A little salt for flavor and a little olive oil too. I use a stand mixer, but this can easily be done by hand. I measure out the flour first – using 1 Cup for each pizza. This will make about a 10-12 inch pizza. Then I add in the other dry ingredients (yeast and salt). Warm up a cup of water to around 115F. Slowly pour the water in until you have the right consistency. The dough should form into a ball (no crumbly bits) and should be slightly sticky. About 1/3 to 1/2 Cup of water per 1 Cup of flour. If you are using a mixer, turn it to “stir” and knead the dough for about 10 minutes. If making by hand, dump the dough onto a floured surface, and knead with your hands. You want the dough to be smooth and elastic – it should no longer be sticky. Oil up a clean glass bowl, dump the ball of dough in, and cover tightly with plastic wrap.
I like to make my dough in the morning, and let it rise in the fridge. This acheives two equally important goals. First, it gives me more time in the evening for prepping toppings, tending to the child, and relaxing with (i.e. sipping a glass of vino with) The Man. Secondly, the cold fridge causes a slower rise. The longer the dough rises, the more time it has to develop flavor. And obviously, more flavor is good! I check the dough about an hour before we want to eat. If it’s already doubled in size, just leave it in for another half hour. If it hasn’t done a whole lot, pull it out and let it warm up. Within an hour, it should be up to size.
Alternatively, you can make the dough 1 – 2 hours before dinner time. Leave the bowl in a warm dry place, and allow it to double in size. On a perfect day, I let the dough rise outside. On a not-so-perfect day (too cold, too hot, windy, rainy, etc.) I use the “proof” setting on my oven. Within an hour, the dough is ready to use. Punch down the dough, and divide it into balls (1 per pizza…). Cover loosely with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rest while you prep your toppings. That’s right, back to the peanut butter….
We love peanut butter in this house (my 3 year old “needs” a spoonfull at least once a day). We also love peanut sauce! And it’s exactly what it sounds like – peanut butter that is thinned down (using water or stock) and kicked up with garlic, ginger, and soy sauce. It makes a great dipping sauce (chicken satay), or is great over stir fry. But my favorite usage is on pizza.
Now that we have sauce, we need toppings – we’ll start with the meat. I have some leftover chicken from making stock on Sunday – but any cooked chicken will work. Cut or shred it into bitesized pieces, coat it in a few Tablespoons of hoison sauce. Next for the veggies. I like red bell pepper, onion, scallions and cilantro. But I think carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, bean sprouts, corn, or shredded cabbage would all be good additions. So use what you like and what you have (Pizza is an ideal way to clean out the fridge!)
When I make pizza, I use a stone, a peel and the gas grill. If you don’t have these things, make your pizza on a cookie sheet and bake it in a hot oven 450F +. Why do I use the grill? Because it reaches and maintains high heat and mimics a traditional brick oven in flavor. Put the pizza stone in the cold grill and let them heat up together on high – this will prevent the stone from cracking. In theory. Personally, my pizza stones always crack (some quicker than others). But as long as it’s a clean break you can still use it…see??
Start by working your dough on a floured surface. When it is about halfway stretched out, move it to the floured peel. Everyone says to use cornmeal – but I have had zero luck with cornmeal. A thin layer of flour works great (too much, and it can burn the bottom of your pizza). Stretch the dough out, then give the peel a shimmy – to make sure the dough isn’t sticking. Start your toppings with a thin layer of sauce, followed by a sprinkling of cheese around the outer edge. The Man worked at Pizza Hut in high school – he says you need to do the cheese around the edge before you place on the toppings. I’ve never worked in a pizza joint – so I trust his word on it. Next layer on your toppings, and top with the remaining cheese. Leave the cilantro off – that will go on after the pizza comes off the heat.
Slide the pizza onto the cracked up stone (oh, you have one that isn’t cracked? Well aren’t you fancy….) and turn the heat down to medium. Check the pizza after 5 minutes. Take it off once the cheese is melted and bubbly, and the crust is starting to color. Once the pizza is off the grill, give it 5 – 10 minutes to rest. Then chow down.
Pizza Dough (for one pizza)
- 1 C. flour
- 1/2 tsp. yeast
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 – 1/3 C. warm water
Combine flour, yeast and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Slowly add water until you reach desired consistency. Turn to “stir” and knead for 7 – 10 minutes. Dump into oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise for until doubled in volume. Punch down dough, and divide into balls (one for each pizza). Cover until ready to use.
- 1/4 C. peanut butter
- 1 tsp. oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 – 1/2 C. chicken stock (or water)
- 1 tsp. soy sauce
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp. ginger
- 1/2 tsp. curry powder
- 1/2 tsp. hot sauce
Heat up oil in a small sauce pan. Saute garlic for about 2 minutes. Add in peanut butter and remaining ingredients. Allow to simmer then remove from heat. You want the sauce to be slightly runny. Set aside until ready to use.
Thai Chicken Pizza
- pizza dough
- peanut sauce
- 1/4 C. chicken, cooked and tossed in hoison sauce
- 2 T. hoison sauce; extra for drizzling
- 1/4 – 1/2 C. montery jack cheese
- red bell pepper, sliced thin
- onion, thinly sliced
- scallion, sliced
- small handful peanuts, roughly chopped
- cilantro leaves
Preheat gas grill and pizza stone on high heat. Spread dough out on a floured pizza peel. Shimmy, to ensure it is not sticking. Spread on a thin layer of peanut sauce. Sprinkle 1/4 of cheese around the outer edge. Layer on all toppings (except for cilantro) and cheese. Transfer to the pizza stone, and lower heat to medium. Allow to cook for 10 -12 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and dough is cooked through. Transfer back to the peel, and sprinkle with cilantro. Allow to cool for 5 – 10 minutes before cutting.