When most people try out some new dish like crab, rabbit, or even frogs, they often claim it tastes like chicken. It’s not that these exotic meals have any similarity. It may simply be that chicken sets a tasting bar, and that under-exposed palates are not sure what else to compare unusual dishes to.
After all, these white meats lack the buttery consistency of fish or the colour and texture of beef, so the only other thing to compare it to is chicken. It’s likely that if these same diners were offered game meat, whether it was alligator or venison, they’d think it tastes like beef.
That said, chicken has the grace and versatility to go well with just about everything. Its distinct flavour and light texture allow it to be mixed with both sweet and savoury sides, and it’s satisfying enough that it can be eaten on its own as a complete meal.
It follows then that chicken is a favoured pizza topping. Whether it’s marinated in chilli for a peri peri or glazed in honey and barbeque sauce, chicken makes a delicious pizza staple. The difference in chicken pizzas comes from how the chicken in cooked and what it’s mixed with.
Asia is known for its spicy curries, and since cows are sacred in many parts of South Asia, these curries are built around chicken and paneer, a largely home-made cheese. In these regions, chicken tikka is a popular entrée or street snack. It’s basically a kind of chicken kebab, marinated in yoghurt and spice, and skewered over an open flame.
Chicken tikka is often served with coriander, tamarind, lemon slices, onion rings, and a chutney dip. The skewered pieces are usually boneless and are sometimes basted in ghee. If this sounds divine, it is, and it’s even tastier when served on a pizza. Since tikka is generally dry, it works well on thin crust and can be topped with green peppers and no chutney.
In many chicken pizzas, the chicken is the primary ingredient, but sometimes it’s part of a flavorful feast. In many parts of the world, thick crust barbeque chicken pizza is a local favourite. The sweet tang of barbeque sauce turns the chicken into a sugary treat.
This pizza often uses other ingredients to up the sweetness factor. For instance, sweet corn is generally spread over the pizza base, and sometimes bacon strips are incorporated too. In areas with kosher populations, the bacon is sometimes replaced with macon, a bacon substitute made using beef or mutton. Few people can tell the source meat apart.
Chicken is often paired with pork, whether it’s bacon-wrapped chicken or a Chicken Troppo pizza, where the chicken is combined with bacon and pork on every mouth-watering slice. But sometimes, chicken is combined with a slightly unusual coupling, with delicious results.
Chicken and mushroom works fine and isn’t out of this world. It’s pretty tame as a combo, even though the mingling of creamy mushroom sauce and moist chicken is anything but dull. But … poultry and seafood? That’s an interesting one. And yet a pizza with spiced chicken and tiger prawns packs a powerful punch.
This spicy delicacy uses marinated tiger prawns, Cajun chicken, chilli sauce, and roasted herbs and vegetables. It isn’t for the faint hearted or soft tongued. In fact, if you’re unaccustomed to hot food – where heat is driven by chilli rather than temperature – you might want some unsweetened yoghurt or milk nearby to cool down your burning tongue.
Some pieces of chorizo chicken sausage tie this multi-meat Jambalaya pizza together. It’s best served on a thick crust. It’s good exercise food, with its heavy doses of protein and its metabolism-speeding levels of chilli and spice.
One of the best chicken pizza combos also happens to be the simplest: chicken and avocado. It works well on thin crust because the chicken is roasted and the pizza uses baby spinach and cherry tomatoes. This pizza is flavoured with chunks of pineapple and garnished with avocado, usually added after the pizza has left the oven to avoid soaking up the crust.
The bland but distinct flavour of creamy avocado contrasts the fibrous texture of the sweet syrupy baked pineapple. These soft delicacies are held together by the bite of roast chicken. The colourful mix of green, yellow, red, and cream pleases the eyes as much as the tongue.
If chicken is your thing – and it’s pretty much everybody’s thing (except vegans) – surprise yourself with a new chicken combo today. It will satisfy and delight in equal measure.