Thai Chicken Pizza and Stuffed-Crust Pizza

Thai Chicken Pizza and Stuffed-Crust Pizza

Ingredients for the Crust:

1/3 cup plus 1 Tablespoon warm water, 105 to 115 degrees F
3/4 teaspoon yeast
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 cup bread flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
Commercial pizza dough or dough mix – or – one 10-inch unbaked commercial crust

Preparation for the crust:

If making a homemade crust, prepare the dough one day before serving the pizza. In a small bowl or measuring cup, dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water. Let it set for 5 minutes until the surface of the mixture turns foamy.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Make a depression in the flour, and pour in the olive oil and yeast mixture. Use a fork to stir the liquid, gradually drawing in more flour as you stir, until all ingredients are combined. When you can no longer stir with a fork, use your hands to form the dough into a ball. Knead the dough with the heels of your hands on a lightly floured surface for 10 minutes, until the texture of the dough is smooth.

Form the dough back into a ball, coat lightly with oil, and then place it into a clean bowl covered with plastic wrap. Keep the bowl in a warm place for approximately 2 hours to allow the dough to double in size. Punch down the dough, and put it back into the covered bowl and into the refrigerator overnight.

Take the dough from the refrigerator one to 2 hours before making the pizza so that the dough can warm up to room temperature. If you are using commercial dough or dough mix, follow the instructions on the package to prepare it. You may have to set some of the dough aside to make a smaller, 10-inch crust.

Ingredients for the Peanut Sauce:

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 Tablespoons teriyaki sauce or marinade
2 Tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon. brown sugar
2 tablespoon. water
2 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. soy sauce
1-1/2 tsp. minced onion
1 minced garlic clove
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp. minced gingerroot

Preparation for the Peanut Sauce:

Combine the ingredients for the peanut sauce in a small bowl. Pour this mixture into a food processor or blender, and blend for approximately 15 seconds or until the onion, garlic and ginger are reduced to small particles. Pour this mixture into a small pan over medium heat, and bring it to a boil. Cook for 1 minute. Don’t cook too long, or the sauce will become lumpy. (You may instead use a microwave for this step. Pour the mixture into a small microwaveable bowl, then heat for one to 2 minutes.) The peanut sauce should be darker now.

Ingredients for the Toppings:

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast half
1-1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1-1/4 cups grated mozzarella cheese
2 green onions
1/2 cup bean sprouts
1/2 carrot, julienned or grated (1/4 cup)
2 teaspoons minced cilantro
1 tablespoon chopped peanuts

Preparation for the Toppings:

Slice the chicken into bite-size chunks. Pour 1/3 of the peanut sauce over the chicken in a sealed container in the refrigerator, and marinate for at least 2 hours. You might want to use a small, resealable bag, as the chicken gets very well coated this way. Heat 1 teaspoon. oil in a small pan over medium/high heat. Cook the marinated chicken for 3 to 4 minutes in the pan.

To Complete the Dish:

After having taken the dough out of the refrigerator to warm up to room temperature an hour or so before making the pizza, preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Roll out the dough on a floured surface until it is 18 inches across. Put the dough on a pizza pan that has either been greased or has a sprinkling of cornmeal on it. This will prevent the pizza from sticking. Score the pizza dough several times with a fork so that it doesn’t bubble when baked.

Spread a thin coating of the remaining peanut sauce (which you did not use to marinate the chicken) on the pizza crust. You may have sauce left afterward.

Sprinkle 1 cup of the grated mozzarella cheese over the peanut sauce. Slice the green onion lengthwise into thin strips (julienne), then cut across the strips, slicing the onion into 2-inch matchstick strips. Spread the onions over the cheese. Arrange the chicken on the pizza, followed by sprouts, then the julienned carrots.

Top with the remaining mozzarella cheese (1/4 cup) just over the center area of the pizza. Sprinkle the cilantro over the mozzarella, then the chopped nuts on top. Bake the pizza for 10 to 12 minutes or until the crust turns light brown. After removing the pizza from the oven, cut across it four times to make 8 slices.

To save time, you can make this pizza with a store-bought packaged dough or dough mix, but it is recommended that you make the crust yourself. If you decide to make the crust, do it one day ahead of time so that it can rise slowly in the refrigerator.

Yield: 2 servings