Malaysian Chicken Pizza
|July 8, 2014||Filled under Main Dishes|
It’s been about 26 years since my mom sat in her favorite chair in her living room in New Orleans and cut this recipe out of the Cooking Light magazine. A short time later, when I arrived for a visit with my then 1-year old daughter, I was assaulted at the front door. No, not by highly-aggressive and overly doting grandparents (though that happened, too) but by the amazing sweet, spicy, vinegary smell of this Malaysian Chicken Pizza baking in the oven. If you had laid these ingredients out on the table and said “Hey Tracy, I’ve got a great idea. Let’s put all this stuff on a pizza. I bet it’ll be awesome!” I would have called you crazy and run away. But since it was Mom who prepared it, I respectfully sat down at the table…and proceeded to shove about four pieces of this pie in my mouth and pronounce it my new favorite before I even finished chewing. Since then, we’ve had this dozens of times. Ironically, these days, my daughter (26 years after that fateful day) is now the Malaysian Chicken Pizza expert in the family. She whips these up with a great flurry of finesse and without a recipe. The one in the photos, in fact, is her creation.
This recipe is slightly adapted from the recipe Mom originally found back in the very early 90’s. All these years later it’s still a family favorite for most us. If you like barbecue chicken pizza, you’ll love Malaysian Chicken Pizza!
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons of water
2-4 tablespoons chunky peanut butter (we use 4 – you can’t go wrong with extra peanut butter!)
1 tablespoon ginger root, peeled and finely minced
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, depending on the level of heat you like
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound of chicken cut into bite size pieces
2 tablespoons each cornstarch and water, combined
1 pizza crust – you can use your favorite dough, but we simply buy a pre-cooked pie crust like Boboli.
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
3/4 – 1 cup Swiss cheese
green onions and/or chopped peanuts to garnish
Combine first 8 ingredients in a bowl with wire whisk. Set aside.
Heat olive oil in a large, non-stick skillet and add the chicken. Cook over medium heat until browned, 2-4 minutes. Remove from pan.
Pour the vinegar mixture into skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium heat and cook about 6 minutes until slightly thickened. Add the cornstarch/water and cook another 1 minute.
Return the chicken to the skillet. Cook 2-3 minutes or until chicken is heated. Remove from heat.
Place crust on lined baking sheet or pizza stone and sprinkle the cheeses over the crust (the cheese amounts are approximate – you may add more or less as desired.) Leave about an inch border around the edge. Top with the chicken mixture. (Yes, just trust me. The cheese definitely goes BELOW the sauce on this one.)
Bake at 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes until crust is crispy and golden brown, and topping is bubbly.
Garnish with green onions and/or chopped peanuts, if desired. Let the pizza stand for about 5 minutes before cutting and serving.
Makes 4-6 servings
Lessons learned over the years:
- This recipe is easily doubled to make two pizzas.
- We also tend to use all Swiss cheese rather than the blend.
- The original recipe called for only 1/4 cup of brown sugar, but we found that 1/2 cup does a better job of mellowing the vinegar.
- Thinly sliced red onions added to the sauce are delicious.
- Be sure to adjust the amount of red pepper flakes to the level of heat that your family enjoys.
- Creamy peanut butter or even almond butter can be used in the place of crunchy.
- On a pre-cooked crust, this pizza is yummy when baked on the grill!
Even though we always seem take the easy road and use a pre-cooked pizza crust, there no doubt that homemade crust will taste even more amazing. Need a good homemade pizza crust recipe? Here’s the one I use.
2/3 cup water
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups bread flour, plus more as needed
1 1/2 tablespoons cornmeal
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
In a large bowl, dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water (water to 100 to 110 degrees F) and let stand for 5 minutes.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups and level with a knife. Add flour, cornmeal, oil and salt to yeast mixture; stir until soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead until even, about 5 minutes. Add bread flour as needed to prevent dough from sticking to hands. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray and turn to coat.
Cover and let rise in warm place (about 85 degrees F) free from drafts until doubled in size, about 45 minutes. Gently press 2 fingers into dough; if indentation remains, dough has risen enough. Punch dough down into the shape of a ball.
Lightly re-spray bowl; place dough in bowl, turning to coat again. Cover; let the dough rise again in a warm place for another 30 minutes.
Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out to a 12-inch crust. Top the dough according to pizza instructions.