Between magazines, recipe books, newspapers, and blogs, I see a lot of recipes. Culinary inspiration is everywhere. In fact, it’s hard to escape. We mark pages and jot down ingredients, and sometimes it turns into dinner. But most of the time, all of those exciting new recipes languish in the recipe box while we eat meatloaf.
Which is why I’m amazed when a recipe goes viral. Without a blog post or a blurb in a magazine, or a mention by a celebrity chef, a dish can take off. A happy accident at a dinner party turns into a shared recipe served at a dozen more dinner parties, and that dozen begets a hundred. You get the idea.
My step dad’s peanut sauce is one of those recipes, famous with family and friends – and friends of friends of friends. I told you all about Chuck’s peanut sauce a few months ago (check out the recipe here). It’s awesome as a dip, fantastic tossed with soba noodles, and great on grilled shrimp. And it makes an amazing Spicy Thai Chicken Pizza.
This pizza is really all about the sauce – and the grill. Crisp, slightly charred crust and rich, spicy sauce make for a serious crowd pleaser. The idea here is to use just enough cheese for texture, and just enough onions to cut through the richness of the cheese and sauce. The chicken adds to the heartiness of the pizza, but you could leave it off, or better yet, replace it with some grilled shrimp if you like. I love the delicate sweetness of purple basil for the garnish, but any variety of fresh basil will do here. Or go for cilantro instead, if you have that in the fridge.
This is one of Jeff’s favorite football-watching snacks. And if you were ambitious, you could even turn this pizza into tailgate fare. I’d probably make the peanut sauce in advance and just grill the chicken and the pizza on the spot.
Spicy Thai Chicken Pizza
2 cups Peanut Sauce (see recipe here)
1 pound fresh pizza dough
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 boneless skinless chicken breast
1/4 pound thinly sliced provolone cheese
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
Divide the dough in half. Roll out each half to between 1/4 and 1/8 inch thickness. (You can make one big pizza, but it will be harder to flip the dough)
Preheat and grease the grill. Grill the chicken, basting twice with 1/4 cup peanut sauce, until no longer pink inside. Slice the chicken.
Brush a bit of oil on one side of each crust and transfer, oil side down, to the grill. Cook 5 minutes, brush remaining oil on other side of each one, and flip. Quickly spread the remaining sauce on the cooked side of the crust, top with chicken, onions and cheese, close the grill and cook until the cheese melts, about 5 minutes more. Remove from heat, sprinkle with basil, slice and serve.
A version of this pizza landed me a spot in the Cavit Wine’s Gourmet Pizza Classic Finals. Chick here to check it out.