Monday, May 17, 2010

Funky Polynesian Chicken Pizza

Yet Another Original Flavor Masterpiece

Just in cace no one noticed, I pretty much took the day off yesterday after spending about six and one half hours Saturday herding Pat and the Turbo Pup back northeast across Alabama and home into Eastern Tennessee.

I did manage to make some interesting home-made rosemary hash browns with onions, Portabella mushrooms, and a splash of good Balsamic Vinegar to go with eggs and bacon at breakfast, but when it came time for dinner preparations to start mid-afternoon I knew pizza was on the menu but I wanted something different in the topping category.

Looking at my options, I ended up settling on a combination of sweet and savory based on the old standard "Hawaiian Pizza."

You know..."Hawaiian Pizza."

Pizza covered with Ham and green bell peppers and onions and pineapple and some sort of sauce.

Problem was, we didn't have any ham and green bell peppers in the house and I didn't want to get dressed and go to the grocery store, so after a little Goggling for other ideas I dug around in my pantry and Fridge and came up with the following ingredient list.

For my standard crust:

Starter Dough
1 pack dry yeast
1/4 cup 100-110 degree F water
3/4 cups King Author Bread Flour

Main Dough
3/4 cup room temperature water
1-1/2 cup King Author Bread Flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper

For the "Polynesian" Sauce:
2-8 Oz cans Hunts Tomato Sauce
1/4 tsp powdered ginger (or fresh grated ginger root if you have it)
2 tbsp Hosin Sauce
1 tsp Teriyaki Sauce
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp Oriental Five Spice Powder

1/2 pound of good whole milk Mozzarella Cheese, cubed/chunked
4 strips of bacon, fried crisp
1 boneless chicken breast, cooked medium and cut into 1/4 strips
1/2 red bell pepper, course diced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, course diced
1/4 pound good feta cheese, cubed or crumbled
1/2 of a 20 Oz can Pineapple slices, cut into 1" segments

When making a good pizza crust, I like to let my dough have plenty of time to rise and more importantly--to get a good rise regardless.

Years ago somewhere on the Internet I came across the idea of doing a pre-rise of a small batch of dough. By mixing the yeast with 1/4 cup of warm (but not hot) water and allowing it to react with a smaller quantity of flour for about 20 minutes, then adding another 3/4 cup of room temperature water to the pre-rise mixture you get a more uniform distribution of the yeast through the entire mass of dough. You add your diluted pre-rise mixture to the 1-1/2 cup of flour/salt/white pepper mixture and you have enough dough for one 15" pizza

I don't know if it's worth the effort to everyone, but I've been doing it this way for six or eight years now and I think I make a better crust than 90% of the Pizza restaurants out there...I'll leave it to you to decide I guess.

So any way, the point is, make yourself a mass of dough--however--and then kneed it out to a good consistency (I also don't over-work my pizza dough contrary to all of the crap published on the Internet demanding that you spend twenty minutes playing with a sticky ball of goo) and toss it out on to a floured cookie sheet, cover it with a clean towel, and toss it into a cold oven or your microwave to rise for about an hour and one half.

Now fix yourself a drink and contemplate your sauce and toppings.

The sauce is pretty straight forward, dump the cans of tomato sauce into a small boiler, add all of the spices and a splash of your pineapple juice from the can, and simmer everything for a half hour or so until it thickens.

Sauce done...wasn't that easy?

Now as to putting it all together.

Preheat your oven to 550 degrees F (500 deg F minimum if you can.)

Punch down and roll out your dough, toss it into the air and get it in your hair if you want to, and keep fooling with it until you have something resembling a round pizza crust.

If I haven't mentioned it before, I highly recommend the use of a pizza stone but whatever you use toss your finished crust onto it, then spoon your funky Polynesian sauce out onto the center of the crust leaving about an inch around the perimeter uncovered.

Heck, cover the whole dang thing up with sauce if you want to, but I leave a clean edge around my Pizzas.

Now evenly spread you chunked Mozzarella around on top of the sauce, add the rest of your toppings, and once your oven is up to temperature slide the whole shebang in and let it cook for 17 to 19 minutes.

Get yourself a pizza cutter and some plates, wait for things to cool down for about five minutes after you take it out of the oven, and EAT!!

Regards Y'all

The Redneck Gourmet

1 comment:

Ed Bonderenka said...

It's amazing how controversial (for some people) putting pineapple on pizza is.