Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Thai Chicken Pizza.

It seems like any dinner-type recipe I post is of the pasta/pizza variety.

Not necessarily a bad thing, but since I've found my go-to recipe for tomato sauce and pesto, I'm looking beyond classic Italian flavours to incorporate into my pasta/pizza. Variety being the spice of Life and all.

Think Taco-style Mac-and-Cheese, Thai Chicken Pizza, Nutella Pizza and their tasty kind.

Making pizza dough seems like a daunting, Herculean task as a newbie but I humbly ask you to try it. Homemade pizza crust CANNOT be beat, not even by the likes of French Loaf. With some yeast and flour, you'll create something that belongs in the hallowed wood-fired ovens of gourmet pizzerias.

You can get Dry Yeast at any semi-decent supermarket. When you do, check the previous chatty post I've done on the perfect pizza crust. One recipe makes four LARGE thin crust pizzas, so I make pizzas out of half the dough and freeze the other bit for a rainy (really, any) day.

 Thai food was an obsession of sort with me four to five years back. This petered out due to frequent unavailability of kaffir lime/lemon grass/curry pastes... and the prohibitive prices of Benjarong/Lotus/HipAsia. I still love my Satays with peanut sauce, phad thai and this amazing Tom Yum soup that Masterchef Machi makes.

However, my parents took us to Bangkok at an age when we were too young to appreciate local food/culture (wasn't precocious like Today's ten-year-olds). At Pattaya, I was allowed precious little. No Parasailing for Rabia! I could draw on the sands, roasting away in thick jeans (no butterfly applique on my jeans! Mum shopped at the same Ruff'N'Tuff counter for the brother and I... girls' wear largely consisted of butt-ugly frothy frocks back in the nineties).

As for the food, I could slurp down oysters, wasn't-that-fun?! There was also the added pressure of not looking at the other beach-revellers strip down to their bikinis and sip on their Heinekins (my mum warned us that our eyes would rot like oozing spoilt grapes if we looked at Alcohol or scantily dressed women. I believed her for the longest time).

So I survived the trip on Kinder Eggs (nothing like the piece of plastic crap that's sold for 30 bucks at India), prawn crackers and coconut cake.

The coconut cake and the floating markets of Bangkok are what I still vividly remember. Both were insane and incredible. A dense-moist-yet-spongy cake sold by a lovely Thai lady on the Bangkok version of a "platform" (Challenge to self: replicate cake or better yet, go back and try it again before I hit *gasp* thirty).

The floating markets were loud, bustling, chaotic and beautiful rolled into one.

Which brings me to the Dish of the Day (That meant something else before the blog was born!)

Thai Chicken Pizza. A copycat version of California Pizza Kitchen's Thai pizza with a little help from Ms Rachel Ray. A mish-mash of flavours and textures, all loud-bustling-chaotic and most importantly, beautiful.

(Note: You can use any Asian Sweet Chilli sauce, including Maggi's Hot'N'Sweet sauce, but if you can't track some down, make your own. Have added the recipe for a not terribly authentic, but a easy and tasty Sweet Chili sauce!)

Thai Chicken Pizza:
(Makes two large pizzas)

1 batch pizza dough
or 6-8 small premade pizza bases

For the chicken:

For the marinade:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 rounded tablespoonful peanut butter
2 teaspoons red chilli sauce
2 teaspoons grill seasoning (which has salt)
300 grams boneless chicken, cut into 2" cubes 

For the sweet chilli sauce

1/4 cup tomato ketchup
2 tbsps honey or brown sugar
2 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp red chilli sauce
2 tbsp water
1 or 2 dried bird's-eye chilli, whole


1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 orange or yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
a bunch of coriander/cilantro leaves, chopped
a few Thai basil leaves, chopped
3/4 cup roasted peanuts, chopped.
1 cup bean sprouts
1/2 cup of scallions/green onion, chopped (can use sliced red onion)
2/3 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
dried chilli flakes


Preheat the oven to 250 C or 500 F for not less than 30 minutes. Make sure you preheat the baking tray in which you plan to bake the pizza, as well.

For the chicken:
If you have only crunchy peanut butter, you might have to pick out the big bits and throw them on along with the roasted peanuts at the end.

Marinate the chicken in the all of the ingredients mentioned for about 15 minutes. Grill the chicken until done, and slice it after it's been rested. You can also cook in a saucepan with all of the juices on medium heat. Do not overcook. Break up the chicken as it cooks.

For the sauce:

Use deep dark sugar or honey for a more caramel-ly taste.

Combine all over the ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat.

De-seed the chilli if you don't like very spicy food. Stir, as the sauce thickens, for about 7 minutes. Taste to see if it needs more chilli sauce or sugar, as per your liking. Add more water if you're using very pungent vinegar.

For the pizza:

Roll out the thawed pizza dough on a well-floured surface. Transfer it to a baking sheet/aluminium foil sheet that has been greased with oiled and sprinkled on with cornmeal or semolina/rawa/sooji. This prevents the pizza from sticking.

Kindly excuse my ugly-ass baking sheet. I tell myself that it's the mark of a true baker to have a burnt, overused sheet.

Keep all your toppings in one place so you won't forget to add one or the other.

On top of the rolled out dough, spread some of that sweet chilli sauce. Strew on the onions, peppers, bean sprouts and mozzarella cheese. I tend to not add the chicken, as it dries out and becomes stringy/rubbery in the oven.

Brush the edges with some Olive oil, some extra sauce on top and pop it in.

Bake for 10 minutes, until the edges are golden and the cheese has melted/is bubbly.

Take it out. Strew on cooked, shredded chicken, crushed dried chilli flakes, coriander, basil and peanuts. Add a few random drizzles of the sweet chilli sauce and you're done!

Absolutely delicious, was the unanimous verdict. Each bite was a revelation: you get the cheese, then the hit of the chilli flakes, the nuttiness of the roasted peanuts, the herbiness of the cilantro, the crunch of the onion. Even the pickiest of eaters wolfed it down with no complaint.

My brother did not notice that I had thrown regular sprouts instead of their traditional, infinitely tastier, crunchier white bean sprout counterparts. That, in my book, is a flaunt-worthy success.


  1. Why couldn't you wait till this weekend?? This is not fair.

    1. "Ah," said the Engine Driver. "I don't care!"

      Even though I'm clearly Piggy (at this rate) in this scenario.