Sunday, May 22, 2011
Chicken, Pesto & Parmasan Pizza
because really, who does not love pizza? I have become quite an avid Annie's Eats follower, as you probably know, and I came across the picture of a pizza that she had made, complete with chicken, homemade pesto and roasted tomatoes from her garden. I started drooling immediatley and knew I HAD to make it. I made it exactly as the recipe stated the first time around, and it was okay. I found it lacked a good amount of flavor, so the second time I made my own pesto recipe that I have adapted from the back of a package of President's Choice basil, used a TON of parmasan cheese and only a little bit of mozzarella, and threw in not only tomatoes, but spinach leaves and mushrooms as well. It was divine. Between hubby & myself, and little kiddo who doesn't really count because she abhors eating (although, she did eat an entire piece of this!) we polished off the whole thing in one dinner.
The dough is from Annie's Perfect Pizza Dough, and it is lovely; plus if you have a stand mixer it takes about 30 seconds of effort. Not bad, especially if you have a little munchkin or munchkins hanging off your leg and attempting to shimmy up your body every time you try and prepare a meal! The recipes look time intensive, but they aren't; making the pesto is what takes time, and I love shortcuts, so would buy it in a package, but being allergic to nuts means I am destined to always make my own.
Annie's Perfect Pizza Crust Dough|Makes roughly 2 crusts
1/2 cup warm water
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast (or one packet)
1 1/4 cups water, room temperature
2 tbsp olive oil
4 cups flour (you can use either whole wheat or all purpose - I usually do half and half and it is great!)
1 1/2 tsp salt
Sprinkle yeast into the warm water (in a larger measuring cup) for approx. 5 minutes until yeast is dissolved.
Add room temperature water and oil, stir to combine.
Place the flour and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer and give it a good mix at low speed, with the paddle, until combined.
Slowly add the wet ingredients and mix at low speed until it forms a cohesive ball of dough.
Replace the paddle with the dough hook, and mix on low for about 5 minutes.
Form the dough into a ball and put into a well oiled large bowl bowl; cover with plastic wrap.
Let rise for 1.5-2 hours, punch the dough to deflate, divide into 2 and make your pizza(s)!
Chicken, Pesto & Parmasan pizza
1/2 batch of pizza dough
Basil pesto (you can buy premade, or make your own; President's Choice has a great recipe on the back of their 28g package of Basil... which I would share, but don't have!)
Shredded parmasan cheese
A small amount of shredded mozzarella cheese
Grilled chicken (I usually use about 1 breast)
Cherry tomatoes (cut in half or thirds)
Handful of spinach
Handful of mushrooms
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400.
Roll out dough onto a pizza stone.
Spread with basil pesto.
Load on the cheese.
Top with remaining ingredients, and season with salt and pepper.
Bake about 15 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and crust is lightly browned; let cool for 5 minutes to ease cutting.
Source: Pizza crust from Annie's Eats; adapted from Baking Illustrated