We are huge fans of Ovenstory pizzas in our home. I don’t know if it is the thin but soft crust, the incredibly flavourful sauces or the large variety of toppings, we go crazy for Ovenstory pizzas here. Often I act as the unofficial brand ambassador, recommending the restaurant to everyone I know. But ever since the never-ending lockdown started, we have been hesitant to order in food, so I decided to attempt my own version their Peri Peri Pizza. Full disclosure: what I made didn’t taste anything like the Ovenstory Peri Peri Pizza. BUT it did taste pretty amazing in its own way and everyone in my family approved it (which is a big deal because my family is serious about food). So, today I’m sharing the recipe for Nazia’s Peri Peri Chicken Pizza.
Now this recipe has a number of components because I made everything from scratch – the peri peri chicken, the pizza sauce, the peri peri cheese sauce and the dough. You can use store-bought pizza base and sauce, but I really recommend making it from scratch. My recipe for pizza base doesn’t require a lot of kneading or proofing and the pizza sauce takes just 15 minutes to make. It’ll all be worth it in the end.
I start by making the peri peri chicken first. The sauce for the chicken is super easy to make. All you have to do is add some red bell peppers, garlic, dried red chillies and a bunch of other seasonings to a blender and grind it into a smooth paste. Reserving about 2 tablespoons for the cheese sauce, use the rest of the sauce to marinate the chicken pieces for 30 minutes.
While the chicken is marinating, I make the cheese sauce and the pizza sauce. The peri peri cheese sauce is a breeze to make. In a small pan, mix grated processed cheese with the reserved peri peri sauce and cook it until the cheese is melted and the sauce has thickened. It is important to use processed cheese in this because it has the right amount of melty, gooey texture.
The pizza sauce also comes together in no time. Heat some olive oil in stainless steel saucepan (I like using stainless steel as it heats up faster). Add finely chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, garlic and seasonings. Cover and cook it till the tomatoes are mushy. Then allow it to cool and puree it in a blender. One of the keys to making a good pizza sauce is to season it well. When it comes to pizza sauces, I don’t skimp on seasoning. In fact, I make it a tad too salty. But once it bakes on top of the dough, it won’t taste salty at all.
By the time you finish making the sauces, the chicken would have been marinated well. Now you just plop the chicken pieces onto a baking sheet and cook it at 225 C for 15 minutes, flip the chicken pieces and cook it for another 15 minutes at 125 C.
While the chicken is baking, you can make you pizza dough. Mix half of the flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add water and olive oil and stir with a wooden spoon until fully mixed. Add the rest of the dough a little at a time and continue to stir until fully incorporated. Knead the dough for about a minute with well oiled hands, coat it with more oil and let it proof for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, you’re ready to shape the dough and make your pizza.
You can either make a large 13 to 14 inch pizza with this, or make two 8 inch pizzas. I went for the 2nd option. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions and place 1 half on a oiled, parchment-lined baking sheet. Use your fingers to shape the dough into an 8 inch circle with a ‘lip’ around the edge. I like to keep the dough pretty thin – around 1/4 inch – so that it cooks faster. Once baked, it will have a crispy exterior and a soft interior and the thickness will be somewhere between a thin crust and a thick crust.
Spread the pizza sauce on the dough, followed by shredded mozzarella cheese. Drizzle the cheese sauce using either a spoon or a piping bag. Top with the chicken pieces, and any other toppings of your choice. I went with the classic onions and bell peppers. Place the tray on the bottom rack of the oven and bake at 250 C for about 10 to 12 minutes until the bottom is browned and crispy.
And that is it! 😉 I know it seems like a lot of steps, but it is so worth it, I promise.
Peri Peri Chicken PizzaCourse: Main CourseCuisine: Fusion, Portuguese-African, ItalianDifficulty: Medium
An intensely flavourful medium crust pizza topped with tender peri peri chicken pieces, a cheesy peri peri sauce and lots of mozzarella.
- Peri Peri Sauce:
1 small red bell pepper
5 large cloves of garlic
4 regular dried red chillies
2 Kashmiri dried red chillies
3/4 tsp red chilli powder
1 T mixed dried herbs
1.5 tsp black pepper powder
2 T vinegar/lemon juice
2 T refined oil
1 t sugar
salt to taste
- Peri Peri Cheese Sauce:
2 T of Peri Peri Sauce
40g grated processed cheese (I used 2 Amul cubes)
- Pizza Sauce:
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup tomato puree
2 large cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tsp black pepper powder
1 tsp mixed dried herbs
2 T olive oil
salt to taste
- Pizza Dough:
220g AP flour (about 1.75 cups)
1.75 t instant yeast
1 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1.5 T olive oil
1/2 C + 1 T lukewarm water
more olive oil to coat dough
250g boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces
300g mozzarella, shredded
onion slices (I used 1/2 onion)
bell pepper slices (I used 1/2 bell pepper)
olive oil for greasing
- Make the Peri Peri Sauce: Grind all ingredients under Peri Peri Sauce in a blender.
- Marinate the Chicken: Reserve 3 T of the peri peri sauce. In a bowl, mix the rest of the sauce with the chicken pieces and marinate for 30 minutes.
- Make the Peri Peri Cheese Sauce: In a small heavy bottom pan, heat the reserved peri peri sauce and the grated processed cheese on medium low heat. Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes until cheese is melts into the sauce and the sauce starts to boil. Cook for a few more minutes until sauce is thickened.
- Make the Pizza Sauce: Heat olive oil in a stainless steel saucepan on low heat. Add garlic and saute until browned. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Turn heat up to medium and cook covered for 5 to 8 minutes until tomatoes turn soft and mushy. Let cool for 10 minutes. Grind in a blender until smooth.
- Cook the chicken: Preheat oven to 225 C. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and arrange the chicken pieces on top. Bake for 15 minutes. Flip the chicken pieces upside down. Turn the temperature down to 125 C and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes until the marinade has cooked off.
- Make the dough: While the chicken is cooking, make the dough. Add yeast, sugar, salt and half of the flour into a large bowl. Add the warm water and olive oil and stir with a wooden spoon until fully mixed. Add the rest of the flour a little at a time and continue to stir until you get a slightly sticky dough. Oil your hands and knead the dough for a minute. Form it into a ball and coat it with a little more oil. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.
- Divide the Dough: Preheat oven to 250 C. Line a large baking pan with parchment paper and generously oil the parchment. Punch the risen dough and divide it into 2 halves.
- Bake the Pizza: Place one half on the baking pan and use fingers to form it into an 8 inch circle, about a 1/4 inch thick. Use your hands to form a small lip around the edge of the circle of dough. Brush olive oil on top of the dough. Spread half of the pizza sauce on top of the dough. Sprinkle half of the mozzarella on top of the pizza sauce. Drizzle a little bit of the peri peri cheese sauce over the mozzarella (make sure you don’t add too much of this as the flavour might be overwhelming). Add half of the baked chicken pieces, onion and bell peppers. Top with a little more mozzarella if you like. Place the baking tray on the bottom rack of the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the bottom of the crust is browned.
- Repeat Step 8 for the other half of the dough.
- If you only have access to active dry yeast, use about 1.25 tsp of it only. Also, proof it with the warm water and sugar before adding it to the rest of the ingredients.
Are you looking for other chicken recipes? Give this easy Thai Green Chicken Curry recipe a try!
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