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California Pizza Kitchen Thai Chicken Pizza

By Todd Wilbur

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  • $0.79

Menu Description: "With pieces of chicken marinated in a spicy peanut-ginger and sesame sauce, green onions, bean sprouts, julienne carrots, cilantro and roasted peanuts."

After the first California Pizza Kitchen opened in Beverly Hills in 1985 success came quickly: there are currently 78 restaurants in 18 states. In 1992, huge food conglomerate PepsiCo paid over $70 million for a 70 percent share of the company-just eight years after Larry and Rick started the company. As for those two, well, they pocketed $18 million apiece, or around 70 times their initial investment in 1985.

Thai Chicken Pizza is one of the oldest varieties of pizza still on the menu, and remains a favorite. If you prefer, you can make this pizza with a store-bought package dough or dough mix, but I recommend making the crust yourself. If you decide to do that, make it one day ahead of time so that it can rise slowly in the refrigerator.

Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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The Crust
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon warm water (105 degrees to 115 degrees F)
  • 3/4 teaspoon yeast
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • Pre-made pizza dough, dough mix or
  • or
  • 1 10-inch par-baked crust (like Boboli)
Peanut Sauce
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce (or marinade)
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced gingerroot
  • 1 skinless chicken breast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1 to 2 green onions
  • 1/2 cup bean sprouts
  • 1/2 carrot, julienned or grated (1/4 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons minced cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon chopped peanuts
  • Do This
    • Restaurant/Brand
      California Pizza Kitchen
    • Instructions

      1. If you are making a homemade crust, start the dough one day before you plan to serve the pizza. In a small bowl or measuring cup dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water. Let it sit for 5 minutes until the surface of the mixture turns foamy. Sift together the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Make a depression in the flour and pour in the olive oil and yeast mixture. Use a fork to stir the liquid, gradually drawing in more flour as you stir, until all the ingredients are combined. When you can no longer stir with a fork, use your hands to form the dough into a ball. Knead the dough with the heels of your hands on a lightly floured surface for 10 minutes, or until the texture of the dough is smooth. Form the dough back into a ball, coat it lightly with oil, and place it into a clean bowl covered with plastic wrap. Keep the bowl in a warm place for about 2 hours to allow the dough to double in size. Punch down the dough and put it back into the covered bowl and into your refrigerator overnight. Take the dough from the refrigerator 2 to 3 hours before you plan to build the pizza so that the dough can warm up to room temperature.

      2. Mix together the ingredients for the peanut sauce in a small bowl. Pour this mixture into a food processor or blender and blend for about 15 seconds or until the garlic, onion, and ginger are reduced to small particles. Pour this mixture into a small pan over medium heat and bring it to a boil. Cook for 1 minute. Don't cook too long or the sauce will become lumpy. (You may, instead, use a microwavable bowl and heat for 1 to 2 minutes.) The peanut sauce should be darker now.

      3. Slice the chicken into bite-size chunks.

      4. Pour one-third of the peanut sauce over the chicken in a sealed container in the refrigerator and marinate for at least 2 hours. I like to use a small resealable plastic bag for this.

      5. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a small pan over medium/high heat.

      6. Cook the marinated chicken for 3 to 4 minutes in the pan.

      7. Form the dough into a ball and roll out on a floured surface until very thin and 10 inches in diameter. Put your pizza crust onto a baking sheet or pizza pan. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.

      8. Spread a thin coating of the remaining peanut sauce (the stuff you didn't marinate the chicken in) on the pizza crust. You may have sauce left over.

      9. Sprinkle 1 cup of the grated mozzarella over the peanut sauce.

      10. Slice the green onion lengthwise into thin strips (julienne), then cut across the strips, slicing the onion into 2-inch matchstick strips. Spread the onions over the cheese.

      11. Arrange the chicken on the pizza.

      12. Next go the sprouts and the julienne carrots.

      13. Sprinkle what's left of the mozzarella (1/4 cup) just over the center area of the pizza.

      14. Sprinkle the cilantro over the mozzarella, then the chopped nuts on top.

      15. Bake the pizza for 10 to 12 minutes or until the crust turns light brown.

      16. After removing the pizza from the oven, cut across it 4 times to make 8 slices.

      Serves 2.

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