You may have noticed in my weekly dinner menu (to the right) that Fridays are pizza night at our house. We usually make a plain cheese pizza for the kids and a pesto and tomato (using roasted tomatoes during the off season) for Jamey and I. The kids love pizza and it's a no-brainer at the end of the long school week.
We end up having my brother and his wife over on Fridays more than any other day of the week. Last week, we invited them to come for pizza and games (the games were for after the kids went to bed) and I really wanted to mix things up a bit. I know, I'm just craaaaazy! (Really, I'm not, so it makes this extra craaaaazy).
I flipped through my cookbook indexes until I found this recipe. My mouth started watering instantly and I could almost taste it- pungent, flavorful, addictive. And that it was. This pizza was a hit and the leftovers disappeared very quickly.
I am giving you the recipe as printed in Cooking Light even though I changed a couple things. It wasn't until I started mixing up the sauce that I realized I was out of rice vinegar. I used apple cider vinegar and it tasted great. This is a good alternative if you think the rice vinegar may be too strong a flavor for you or your family. I used monteray jack cheese instead of swiss because we had no swiss. I also left out the crushed red pepper and chopped green onions and used cooked chicken. Who says you need all the ingredients to make a recipe?! Who, I ask you?!
This recipe comes together very easily. The sauce can be made in the morning and kept in the fridge so that all you have to do prior to dinner is asseble the pizza crust.
Malaysian Chicken Pizza (recipe from Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2003)
(More of my little comments in italics and parenthesis)
3/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
3 tbsp. water
1 tbsp. minced peeled fresh ginger (I used bottled.)
2 tbsp. chunky peanut butter
1/2 to 3/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup shredded, reduced fat Swiss cheese
1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 12 inch pizza crust (We made our own.)
1/4 cup chopped green onions
Combine first 8 ingredients in a bowl and stir well with a whisk. Heat a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add chicken, and saute 2 minutes. Remove chicken from pan. Pour vinegar mixture into pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook mixture about 6 minutes or until slightly thickened (I got impatient here and removed a bit of the sauce, mixed in 1 tbsp. of cornstarch until well-dissolved and returned it to the rest of the sauce- this worked great.) Return chicken to the pan, cook 1 minute or until chicken is done.
(Since I knew the topping would be saucey, I baked the pizza crust for about 5 minutes by itself before sprinkling the cheeses to form a light crust and keep the pizza dough from becoming soggy-ish. It worked.) Sprinkle the cheese over the prepared crust, leaving a 1/2 inch border and top with the chicken mixture. Bake at 500 degrees for 12 minutes. When done, sprinkle with green onions and let sit 5 minutes before serving.