CopyCat CPK Thai Chicken Pizza
Recipes poured in for our “Copy Cat” Restaurant Recipe Contest last month. We received homemade versions of dishes from KFC to Outback Steakhouse, and even ways to make Girl Scout Cookies! In the end, a Copy Cat version of California Pizza Kitchen’s “Thai Chicken Pizza” earned top honors.
Keep reading to find out how to make this copycat CPK Thai Chicken Pizza at home!
Before I show you the copycat version, I wanted to take a look at the original pizza from the restaurant so I did a little “research.” This has always been my favorite pizza at CPK so it was a pleasure to head over to the location near my house and order one to go.
It’s funny how the view from their Burbank location looks exactly like the logo!
The popularity of California Pizza Kitchen has extended into a restaurant cookbook as well. You will find their version of “Thai Chicken Pizza” in there, but as you will see in a moment, our contest winner has put his own spin on this popular dish.
Congratulations to our $1000 winner Lou Sansavero! His version tastes remarkably like the original from CPK. I think the secret is in the sauce – he nailed it! I also like how he chose to do a pulled chicken, rather than grilled and cubed. Also, I was a fan of the bean sprouts being cooked with the pizza rather than tossed on top after cooking. Let’s hear from Lou!
Lou says, “The back story to this recipe is that we lived in Lake Forest (So. Cal.) for 25 years and frequented the CPK in Laguna Hills Mall frequently this was our favourite pizza there, to make a long story short we retired to a ver-r-r-r-y small town in Southeastern Utah with the nearest CPK being about 150 miles away in Salt Lake City. It became evident that if we were going to enjoy this favourite on a regular basis I would have to dissect one and figure out what was in it and, using my experience as a teenaged pizzaiolo (pizza chef), recreate it; it soon became a favourite with my family and friends (who I’ve also taught how to make it). I think mine compares very favourably to CPK’s although I think substituting shredded chicken for chunks of chicken makes mine both more ascetically and texturally pleasing as well as more tasty.”
California Pizza Kitchen Thai Chicken Pizza (click here to print recipe)
1/2 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
4 Tbsp Teriyaki Sauce
4 Tbsp Hoisin Sauce
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
2 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
4 Tbsp Water
4 tsp Sesame Oil
2 tsp Soy Sauce
3 tsp Minced Onion
2 tsp Minced Ginger Root
2 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Authentic Pizza Dough:
1 cup Lukewarm (105°f) Water
4 Tbsp Honey
1 Envelope Active Dry Yeast
2 1/2 cups Bread Flour
2 tsp Kosher or Sea Salt
4 Tbsp Extra-virgin Olive Oil
1 cup Shredded Mozzarella
4-6 Green Onions, sliced lengthwise into julienne and then across the julienned strips slicing the onion into 1″ “matchsticks”
1 cup Bean Sprouts
2 Carrots, julienned
3 Tbsp Roughly Chopped Cilantro
4 Tbsp Crushed Peanuts
3 tsp Olive Oil
1. Put all ingredients for the peanut sauce into a food processor or blender bowl and blend for about 15 seconds until the garlic, onion, and ginger are reduced to very small particles. Pour this mixture into a small pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook for 1 minute. Don’t overcook, if you do it will become lumpy; set aside.
1. Poach chicken breasts in salted water for about 30-40 minutes. Drain the liquid from the chicken and allow it to cool.
2. Once the chicken cools, shred and place it into a re-sealable plastic bag.
3. Pour 1/3 of the peanut sauce over the shredded chicken, seal the bag and massage the bag to coat all the chicken. Place the bag in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 2 hours. Agitate the mixture every so often to make sure all the chicken gets thoroughly marinated.
Authentic pizza dough:
1. In a 2 cup measuring cup, combine the water and honey stir to combine and sprinkle the yeast over it. Let sit until the mixture is foamy, about 10 minutes. If the yeast doesn’t “proof” (get “foamy”) pour it out and start again it is important to have a live yeast mixture.
2. Meanwhile place the flour and the salt into a sifter and sift it into the medium bowl of a stand mixer. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the olive oil and the “proofed” yeast mixture. Turn the mixer, fitted with dough hooks, to knead and turn on. Continue kneading (mixing) until the dough comes cleanly away from the sides of the bowl and forms a ball around the dough hooks (scrap the sides of the bowl to move flour into the path of the hooks as needed).
3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth but still slightly tacky (add flour gradually as needed to reach the slightly tacky state), 3 to 5 minutes.
4. Lightly oil a large mixing bowl with about 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl and turn to oil the ball on all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap cloth and set in a warm, draft-free place until nearly doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
5. After the dough has doubled in size, remove the dough from the bowl and form it into a 12-inch log. Divide the log in half and form each half into equally sized dough balls. Lightly oil a 2 large mixing bowl with about 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil. Place each dough ball into its own bowl and turn to oil the ball on all sides. Cover each bowl with plastic and set in a warm, draft-free place until the nearly double in size again, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Construction and baking:
1. Place an appropriately sized pizza stone on the middle shelf of your oven and preheat the oven to 450° F.
2. Remove the risen dough ball from the bowl and place it on a lightly floured work surface , flatten it into a thick disk and with your fingertips and palms, working from the center of the disk out to the edges, press it into a thin disk of dough approximately 10 to 12-inch round and about 1/8 inch thick (if necessary use a rolling pin to achieve the 1/8-inch thickness [don’t worry if the pizza isn’t perfectly round . . . that’s called “rustica” and it’s the way “real” Italian pizza looks in Italy]). If you’re really brave you can try the spin and toss method of forming the pie (this dough is perfect for it) just remember to use your knuckles when spinning and tossing . . . fingertips can cause holes). Sprinkle flour over the surface of this thin disk (this will become the bottom of the pie when you place the pizza base on the peel in the next instruction).
3. Distribute some cornmeal over the surface of a pizza peel (this will act as “ball bearings” and allow the dough rounds to move easily over the surface of the peel) and transfer the formed pizza base onto the peel insuring that the lightly floured side is on the bottom. Lightly spread ½ of the peanut sauce evenly over pizza base keeping a ½ -inch border of the base uncoated to form a crust; sprinkle the grated 1/4 cup the mozzarella evenly over the peanut sauce (leaving about the of uncoated dough around the edge uncoated. Evenly distribute the julienned green onion over the mozzarella, follow this with an even distribution of the ½ the shredded, marinated chicken over the cheese. Evenly distribute ½ the bean sprout over the chicken followed by evenly distributing the julienned carrots of this. Over the julienned carrots evenly distribute an additional ¼-cup of the mozzarella followed by an even distribution of ½ the chopped cilantro and finally top the pizza with an even distribution of the crushed peanuts.
4. End by sprinkling a little extra-virgin olive oil over the surface of the pizza.
5. Gently shake the peel to insure the pizza moves freely (if it doesn’t gently lift the edges of the pizza and distribute additional corn meal until it does), using the peel slide the pizza onto the stone and bake the pizza until the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 12 minute in a 450°F oven. Remove from the oven, slice into 8 wedge shaped slices and serve.
6. Repeat with the remaining dough, toppings, and cheese.
I can’t forget our four Reader’s Choice Winners as well! Since this was a month long special contest, we had a new Reader’s Choice winner each week.
Bobbie Keefer for her “Breakfast Biscuit Cups” http://breakfast.betterrecipes.com/breakfast-biscuit-cups.html
Christopher Paglino for his “Chicken Milanese” http://chicken.betterrecipes.com/chicken-milanese-1.html
Donna-Marie Ryan for her “Luscious Shrimp Risotto” http://seafood.betterrecipes.com/luscious-shrimp-risotto.html
Missmom5 for her “Chinese Restaurant Sweet & Sour Chicken” http://easy.betterrecipes.com/chinese-restaurant-sweet-and-sour-chicken.html
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