Thai Chicken Pizza

Thai chicken pizza

Remember when Thai pizza was everywhere in the 90's? I had a few bad ones, then went retro and decided to only eat pepperoni pizza for several years. There were too many pizzerias going nuts with the flair, piling up lots of wet toppings on soggy crust and calling it fusion.

But last night I was scrounging in the fridge for pizza toppings. I know you won't believe me, but I had everything for this lying around. We've been eating truckloads of vegetables lately (countless stir-fries with my BFF wok), and this was the perfect way to use up the last handful of bean sprouts and make another dent in the drawer-full of cilantro and green onions.

This was so good. Yancey and I scarfed it like a couple of backpackers. It occurred to me that it tastes a lot more like bahn mi flatbread than Thai chicken pizza. Bahn mi are the delicious Vietnamese sandwiches so ubiquitous in Seattle. And whenever I eat them, I always wish there was a bit less bread. And I order mine with extra vegetables. Presto! This pizza! Fits the bill perfectly.

Warning, though: lots of chopping. With all my stir-frying and Asian noodles lately, I feel like I haven't budged from in front of the cutting board all week. I always joke that if I tallied up the time I spent planning, shopping, cooking, cleaning up, eating, (and now blogging!) I'd want to crawl into a hole. Let's not do the numbers on that one.

Thai Chicken Pizza
I think this is the first Rachel Ray recipe I've made. That little minx. You can't help but like her. This is changed just a bit from her recipe. And of course, I used my never-fail, gets-more-amazing-every-time crust.

1 recipe this crust (you'll have 1/3 the dough leftover)
1/2 c. hoisin sauce
2 c. shredded mozarella or Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 red jalapeno, sliced into thin rings
1 Tb. vegetable oil
2 Tb. soy sauce
1 Tb. peanut butter
2 tsp. Asian hot sauce (I used Sriracha)
4 chicken cutlets (1/2 lb.)
2 Tb. honey
2 Tb. rice wine vinegar
1/4 seedless cucumber, cut into matchsticks
4 scallions, julienned
1 medium carrot, peeled and julienned
couple handfuls beansprouts
handful chopped cilantro

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Combine vegetable oil, soy sauce and peanut butter with hot sauce. Use the microwave to loosen up peanut butter if it is too cold to blend into sauce, 10 seconds ought to do it. Add chicken and coat evenly with mixture. Let stand 10 minutes then grill chicken cutlets 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until firm. Slice chicken into very thin strips.

While chicken cooks, mix honey and vinegar and add the cucumber and carrots. Turn to coat evenly.

Form pizza crust on pizza pan or cookie sheet. Top with hoisin sauce - spread it around like you would pizza sauce. Top crust with cheese, peppers, and chicken. Bake until golden and bubbly, about 15 minutes.

Top the hot, cooked pizza with scallions, sprouts and cilantro. Drain cucumber mixture and scatter over the pizza. Serve with crushed red pepper flakes on the side.