Thursday, December 27, 2012
Thai Chicken Pizza
I have been in a food coma for 7 days.
It started when my family arrived in town last Friday for Christmas Part One. I ate ribs, brisket, and macaroni and cheese like I had never seen food before in my life. My food coma worsened when when I traveled up to New Jersey for Christmas Part Two, where I proceeded to make beef tenderloin and creamed spinach my bitch.
Yesterday, I made the bright decision to eat a burrito for lunch and General Tso's chicken for dinner. I can only get my favorite burritos when I'm in New Jersey - food coma or not, it had to happen. I cannot justify the General Tso's.
Right now, food seems as appealing as walking down 14th Street butt-ass naked at rush hour, but I'm going to attempt to talk to you about this pizza that I made a couple weeks ago anyway.
A friend of mine started a book club last month, and served a super tasty Thai chicken pizza at our inaugural meeting. I craved peanut sauce on a daily basis for about 3 weeks after, and finally gave in to my craving and made this for dinner. You can definitely use a ball of pre-made pizza dough if you're in a time crunch, however, I think that making the homemade kind is fun (and bonus, incredibly cheap!) I used to be afraid of cooking with yeast because it seems so temperamental. This is a good recipe to start with if you are yeast-phobic. It's basically impossible to mess up if you follow the directions and don't make your water too hot!
Here's what you'll need:
1 ball of homemade pizza dough (see below)
1 tablespoon chili paste (this is what the jar looks like for those unfamiliar with the ingredient. I found this at a regular old Giant grocery store, so no need for a special trip! In case you're wondering what to do with the rest of the jar, mix it with mayonnaise and use it as a dip for sweet potato fries. You're welcome in advance.)
1/4 cup peanut sauce
1 - 1 1/2 cup cooked, shredded chicken
1 cup mozzarella cheese
Sliced green onions
Coarsely chopped cilantro
Homemade Pizza Dough:
1 scant teaspoon active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
Combine the yeast and water in a small bowl, and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Stir together flour and salt in a medium bowl. Drizzle in olive oil, and pour in water/yeast mixture. Stir until dough comes together. Lightly oil a separate bowl, and transfer dough to that bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and place in an area free of drafts to rise for 1 hour. I actually like to heat the oven to around 200-250 degrees (depending how hot your oven surface gets) and place the bowl right on top of the stove.
To make the pizza, preheat oven to 500 degrees. Adjust oven rack to the lowest position. If your pizza dough is too sticky to work with, lightly sprinkle in more flour until you can easily handle it. Lightly oil a baking sheet, and stretch dough across it until it's fairly thin, but not quite see-through. As you can see from the photo, I lack the ability to make a round pizza. At the widest point of my oval pizza it was probably about 13 inches, if that helps.
Spread the chili paste, followed by the peanut sauce evenly on the dough, leaving a 1-inch edge. Sprinkle the shredded chicken, followed by the mozzarella, and a small sprinkling of green onions. Bake for 12-16 minutes until cheese is melted, and crust is golden brown. Top with additional green onions, cilantro, and chopped peanuts. Serve extra peanut sauce on the side for dipping, if desired!
Source: Crust adapted from The Pioneer Woman: Food From My Frontier (PW actually has a Thai Chicken Pizza recipe in this cookbook too, but it was way more involved than I felt like getting for pizza. I'm all about jarred peanut sauce!)