Saturday, May 7, 2011

Basil Thai Chicken Pizza

Confession: I don't particularly enjoy writing recipes. I love cooking food. I love photographing food. I really, sincerely highly dislike methodically measuring and recording the components of my creations. Doing so cramps my style. It ruins my rhythm and flow the kitchen, and takes the joy out of cooking.

Having said that, I present to you a recipe that is a compilation of educated guesses. Proceed with caution, but know that it can't be ruined if you decide to take my lead and forgo the measuring cups. This freedom can feel liberating.

Oh, and I guess I should introduce the meal itself. It's a "middle ground" meal that appeals to Jay's obsession with pizza and my obsession with making sure he eats his vegetables. It's a portion-controlled, Asian-inspired meal that happens to be a nice change from the tomato-based, cheese heavy American favorite.

The Edibles:
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1/3 c. orange juice
  • 2 T. sake
  • 3 T. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 T. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 T. dried cilantro (or a small handful of fresh cilantro)
  • 2 whole wheat pitas
  • 2 c. fresh spinach
  • 10 baby carrots, cut into quarters
  • 1/2 c. part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • small handful of basil leaves, sliced into strips (optional)
The Making:
  1. Place chicken breast in a gallon size plastic bag with orange juice, sake, low-sodium soy sauce, ginger, garlic, red pepper, and cilantro. Massage the meat in the bag to ensure marinade is evenly dispersed. Place on a plate and refrigerate at least 30 minutes up to overnight.
  2. Once marinaded, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Coat sauté pan lightly with olive oil cooking spray and place over medium heat. Using tongs, remove the chicken from the bag and place in the pan, reserving the marinade. Cook about 5 to 10 minutes on each side, until chicken is no longer pink and has a bit of brown color. Remove from pan and slice into thin strips.
  4. Using the chicken pan, sauce spinach and carrot sticks with a little olive oil spray and a sprinkle of garlic powder. Cook until wilty, about 3 minutes.
  5. While the chicken cooks, pour marinade into small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and allow the liquid to reduce. This will take about 5 minutes.
  6. If you want to extend your pitas, carefully tear each into two round pieces. Otherwise, you can use a whole pita as a crust. Either way, toast each pita in oven for 3-5 minutes, until cripsy. Remove from oven. Top with chicken, spinach and carrot mixture, and a light sprinkling of mozzerella cheese. Drizzle marinade over the top of the pizza.
  7. Bake in the oven for about 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted. Serve topped with basil.

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