Sunday, December 28, 2008

Thai Chicken Pizza

This is one of J's favorites. It's got healthy fats and is piled high with veggies but still falls into the comfort food category (without being loaded with tons of cheese). Here I use a store bought pizza crust and a premade peanut sauce (with some tweaking of course!) but you certainly can use raw pizza dough (just increase cooking time by 10-12 minutes) and can make your own peanut sauce with peanut butter, soy sauce, ginger and lime juice. I make enough stuff from scratch that on weeknights I'll swap out substitutions like this to get dinner on the table and into my belly faster.


1 whole wheat thin-style precooked pizza crust
2 tbsp olive oil
2 chicken breasts
1 1/2 to 2 cups rinsed pea pods, cut in half
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 2 inch strips
half of 1 small can bamboo shoots, drained
1-2 tbsp each
chopped garlic, ginger
1 - 2 tbsp tamari (wheat free soy sauce)
4 tbsp peanut sauce
2 - 3 tbsp sweet n' sour sauce
1/2 cup grated or 2 oz thin sliced smoked gouda cheese
red pepper flakes, basil, kosher salt and pepper to taste
optional: onion / mushrooms

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil (I am not spoiled enough to own a pizza stone). Preheat a stovetop grill pan to medium - high heat. Trim fat from chicken breasts and pound slightly. I pound them just enough to ensure they cook evenly but try to keep most of the thickness as we want decent sized slices of chicken when we're done. Season with salt and pepper. When the grill is hot, lighty brush with olive oil and place chicken in pan. The chicken is ready to be flipped when it easily lifts off the pan, usually 4-5 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking, place the crust on cookie sheet and spread sweet n' sour sauce and peanut sauce on crust. Sprinkle red pepper flakes and basil on top of sauce. Once you've flipped over the chicken, toss pea pods, bell peppers, garlic, ginger (and onions and mushrooms if using) into the grill pan and let cook with the chicken. Sprinkle the tamari and a little salt and pepper over the veggies as the cook. Give the veggies a stir once or twice while cooking. They should be done cooking after 4 or 5 minutes (along with the chicken). Remove veggies and chicken to a plate to rest.

While veggies and chicken are cooling down, lay bamboo shoots across the pizza crust (on top of the sauce) and slice or grate your cheese. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, thinly slice at an angle and layer all across the pizza. Pile the veggies on top of the chicken. And then top with the smoked gouda and more red pepper flakes.

Bake for 10 minutes or until gouda is lightly browned. Cool slightly and cut into 4 triangles.

Don't be alarmed if the pizza seems like one huge pile of veggies. That's the way it should be! You will need a fork, knife and probably several napkins.
Serves 2-4 (depending on the how big your appetite is!)

© 2008, 2009 Food is to Love / Andrea Quigley