Tuesday, March 15, 2011

grilled chicken and pesto pizza

pizza dough (recipe below)
grilled chicken (recipe below)
simple pesto (recipe below)
roasted garlic (recipe below)
1/4 red onion (thinly sliced)
1 tomato (sliced)
1 ball fresh mozzarella cheese

pizza dough (recipe makes enough for 2 pizzas):
1 package active dry yeast
2 tsp. sugar
1 cup warm water
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tbsp. olive oil

in a bowl, combine the yeast, sugar, and warm water and set aside to proof, about 5 mins.

pour the flour onto a working surface. make a well in the middle of your flour pile and pour in the yeast mixture and olive oil. start working all ingredients to together until you start working it into a large ball. after all the ingredients are incorporated, cut in half, and make 2 balls. i wrap 1 in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for another time. and for the other 1 i place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge over night.

grilled chicken:
1 boneless skinless chicken breast
kosher salt
fresh cracked black pepper
1 tbsp. canola oil

in a medium size non stick pan heat the oil on medium high heat. season both sides of the chicken breast with salt and pepper. when the oil is hot place the chicken into the pan. cook for 5mins. and turn to the other side, and cook for another 5mins. until both sides are golden brown. remove from the pan and allow to cool for 5mins. cut on the bias into 1/8" slices and set aside and cover with foil.

simple pesto:
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts (toasted)
3 garlic gloves (minced)
kosher salt
freshly cracked black pepper

in a small pan toast the pine nut on medium heat for about 5-10 mins. or until they start to change color. mix in the basil and toasted pine nuts into a food processor and pulse a few times. gradually add in the olive oil pulsing in between. add in the garlic and parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste and blend until everything is mixed.

roasted garlic:
1 head of garlic
extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt

preheat the oven to 400°F.

peel away the outer layers of the garlic bulb skin, leaving the skins of the individual cloves intact. using a knife, cut off 1/4 to a 1/2 inch of the top of cloves, exposing the individual cloves of garlic.

place the garlic heads in a baking pan; muffin pans work well for this purpose. drizzle a couple teaspoons of olive oil over each head, using your fingers to make sure the garlic head is well coated, and a pinch of kosher salt. cover with aluminum foil. bake at 400°F for 30-35 minutes, or until the cloves feel soft when pressed.

allow the garlic to cool enough so you can touch it without burning yourself. use a small small knife cut the skin slightly around each clove. use a cocktail fork or your fingers to pull or squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins.

grilled chicken and pesto pizza:
preheat the oven to 500°F. with a pizza stone left in the oven to get hot.

roll out your pizza dough on a floured surface into a nice 12" circle, and sprinkle a bit of corn meal on the bottom of the pizza dough, and drizzle a bit of extra virgin olive oil onto the dough. start layering your pizza with pesto, grilled chicken slices, roasted garlic, red onion slices, tomato slices, and mozzarella. when the oven gets to 500°F the turn it down to 450°F and transfer your pizza onto the pizza stone and cook 12-14 mins. until crust is golden brown.

when the pizza is cooked all the way, remove from the oven and place onto a cutting surface. slice and serve hot.

enjoy :)


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