Thai Chicken Pizza

This is one of our all-time favorite meals.  Thai Chicken Pizza.  It's inspired by California Pizza Kitchen's pizza of the same name.  Years ago a friend introduced me to it.  I introduced Bryn to it years after that and the two of us have been hooked ever since.  

For a while, it was a treat we got only when we were visiting my family in the states, since there definitely isn't a CPK in Japan.  That was when we did some research and found a copy cat recipe online.  Now, I have searched and searched, and not been able to find that original recipe we based ours off of.  So, even though we have tweaked this one a little, it definitely isn't my recipe to claim!

We used to make our pizzas on naan bread that we could buy at most supermarkets in Japan.  It was just the right size for each of us to have two pizzas (remember, no cheese for me so pizza is another thing we always make his and her versions of!) and the naan made a perfectly chewy base.  Here in Al Ain we have started using arabic flat bread, mostly because it is so cheap and readily available.  This makes for a thin crust pizza with a much more crispy texture.  Of course you can also use whatever your favorite pizza base is - store bought or homemade.  If you want my recommendation, go for naan bread!

For me, the secret is in the sauce.  Don't be fooled - if you're a Thai food connoisseur the peanut sauce is not a traditional satay sauce, but it's yummy.  Also, don't skip on the cilantro/coriander (I guess unless you absolutely hate it).  In my opinion the pizza doesn't work without it.

For two 12ish inch pizzas you'll need:

2 chicken breasts cut into small pieces
2-3 green onions, chopped (white and green parts)
1/2 a carrot, julienned
1 cup bean sprouts (we couldn't find any this time)
A handful of cilantro/coriander
chopped peanuts to sprinkle (optional)
cheese (if you're so inclined)
1 batch of peanut sauce
2 (or more) pizza bases

For the peanut sauce:

1/2 cup peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp. honey
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
2 tsp. chopped ginger (we use a jar version)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. sesame oil
2 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. sweet chili sauce (if you like spicy, you can add a dash of red chili flakes or chili oil)
1 Tbsp. oyster sauce
1-2 Tbsp. water

Start with the sauce. Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a small sauce pan and heat it over a medium flame just until it starts to bubble.  You're aiming for an easily spreadable darkish brown sauce.  If it doesn't combine well to start, don't worry, just keep stirring it over the heat and it will come together pretty quickly.  You can always add a bit more water if you think it's too thick. Once it starts to bubble, remove from heat and set aside.

Chop the chicken into small cubes.  Heat some olive oil in a frying pan and cook the chicken til it's just cooked through.  Drain off any fat or liquid and add a couple of scoops of your sauce to the hot chicken.  Stir it up a bit til it's all coated.

Prepare the other toppings.  For the carrots, we use a vegetable peeler to create long thin strips, then use a knife to cut the strips into tiny little strings.  

Now, preheat your oven to 200C or 400F.

Pizza making time!  Lay your pizza base on a baking sheet and spread a generous layer of peanut sauce on top.  

Next, I like to sprinkle on some carrots...

Then my green onion (and sprouts if you have them)...

Add a generous sprinkling of cilantro...

Then top with your chicken, and a sprinkling of chopped peanuts if you want.

If you're a cheese-eater like my husband and practically everyone else in the world, put that on too.  I know some people put it on first, but Bryn likes to put it on last to hold all the other toppings on.

Pop it into a hot oven for 15-20 minutes.  Once the crust looks golden (and you're cheese is browned and bubbly, I suppose) it's ready!

My advice...let it cool for a few minutes before diving in!  We've had many a burnt mouth in our house.

It's soooooo good.

If you manage to have any leftovers, I think the pizza is just as good cold for tomorrow's lunch (or breakfast...)

The leftover sauce will keep for a week or so in the fridge.  Sometimes I use it to make Thai chicken spring rolls...take away the crust and wrap all your toppings in rice paper wrappers...yummmm!

P.S. There are indeed CPKs in the UAE.  We've gotten our beloved Thai Chicken Pizza there a couple of times and you know what?  We like our homemade version better!


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