Sunday, January 24, 2010

Mrs. Bear's Famous Chicken Pesto Pizza

**Note: This is my first chicken pesto pizza recipe I ever created. There are a few varations on my website**

I am not going to lie... Mr. Bear says that my pizza is the best pizza on this planet and he thinks I should open up a restaurant sells my creations. I hope you all enjoy this recipe, for I made it up one night to impress my then 'future hubs,' and I think that is what kept him around during wedding planning when bridezilla would show her face! I cook this pizza atleast once a week!
Premade Pizza Dough (I always use Trader Joe's white pizza dough)
Homemade Basil Pesto
Chicken Breast - boneless skinless
Fontina Cheese - cut up into small pieces
Olive Oil - evoo
Black Olives - sliced
Diced vidalia onions (this is only an option - I don't always use them)
Balsamic Vinegar (or your fav balsamic dressing)
Salt + Pepper
Garlic Salt (or raw garlic if you are watching the sodium, hehe)
Pizza Stone - or cookie sheet

1. First take the pizza dough out of its packaging, form it into a big ball, put it in a deep bowl, drizzle olive oil over the top, and cover the bowl with a dish towel. The dough needs to rise and it should take about 20 mins. At the same time - preheat your oven for 400-500 degrees F. The bestest pizza is cooked in a HOT oven.
2. While the dough is rising you can cook your chicken in a skillet over medium heat. Coat the bottom of the skillet with olive oil - not too thick though or you will end up with oily fried chicken! If you are using the onions you can add them now. Sprinkle the chicken with salt, pepper, garlic salt, and any other seasoning you like.
3. As the chicken begins to cook I start to cut it up, right in the skillet, into bite sized pieces. (I hate cutting raw chicken so I always wait until the outside is tough and white.) Drizzle a bit of balsamic oil over the cooking chicken (I use a capful). It should reduce and become syrupy and sweet. I usually don't overcook my chicken because it is going to bake in the oven. Once I do the cut test and see the inside is no longer pink I take it off of the burner and allow it to cool.
4. When the dough has risen, sprinkle some flour over the top of the dough ball and onto some counter space. You can roll your dough out - but I HIGHLY advise just using your hands to work it into whatever shape pan you plan on cooking the pizza on. I usually don't put anything on my pizza stone, but if you are using a cookie sheet you need to cover it with olive oil.
5. After you have shaped your dough and put it on its baking sheet, spoon on the basil pesto. This is another time when you can use as much or as little as you wish. If you go with a little bit of pesto, make sure to add some olive oil so the pizza remains moist.
6. Bake your pizza for 5-10 min so that the crust begins to form.
7. Remove the pizza and while it is still boiling hot arrange the toppings in this order: chicken, olives, cheese. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on the crust if it is looking dry.
6. Put your pizza in the oven and cook it for 20 minutes. If you have never made pizza in your oven I recommend that you constantly check on it to make sure nothing is burning.

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