chicken · pizza

Pesto Chicken Pizza

Happy belated national pizza day! I didn’t even know that february 9th was a special pizza day until I saw the hashtag trending on Twitter. When it comes to food, I am very easily influenced so I just HAD to make have for NPD! Considering I didn’t anticipate on making pizza, I used the ingredients I had on hand. Toronto is in a “extreme weather warning” right now and I refuse to go outside unless I absolutely have to.

I finally perfected the pizza crust. Well, it’s not technically perfect because my pizza was a weird shape but it had the right right amount of crisp, chew and flavour. Who needs a perfectly round pizza anyway? It’s more rustic and authentic my way…

I found this awesome pizza dough recipe from ricardocuisine.com

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I cut the dough in half, wrapped it in plastic wrap, and froze one half for another time. I also didn’t use a food processor. Just my trusty hands! Make a well in the dry ingredients, pour the liquid into the hole and gradually mix the dry in with the wet until you have a nice dough. It’s sticky as hell, so you’ll want to work on a lightly flour dusted surface after the dough has risen.

As your dough is rising, time for the tomato sauce! I didn’t have pizza sauce but I did have a can of diced tomatoes. In a small sauce pan add 3/4 cup of chopped tomato and juices with oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and crushed garlic. As it simmers and reduces, add a few splashes of red wine. This should take about 3o minutes. It makes a nice chunky pizza sauce that has more texture and flavour than any take-out or frozen pizza!

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Now, back to the dough. At first I thought this pizza crust was going to be wayyyyy too thin. If you have a big pizza pan, I’d suggest using the entire dough portion instead of just half. I managed to make a thin, even pizza shape with the dough and put it on a perforated pizza pan. Then I put it in a 450 oven for 2 minutes to firm up slightly before adding the toppings.

Now for the fun part. Add whatever toppings you want! I slathered on the beautiful tomato sauce and topped it with leftover pesto chicken, green olives, sliced shallots, gouda, provolone and parmesan cheese. Then all you have to do is bake it for 10-12 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and crust is brown. Don’t forget to top it with fresh basil!  This is hands down one of the best pizzas I’ve ever made. I feel like I say that a lot, but I truly believe that each time I make one, I get a little bit better. I washed it down with one of my favorite wines from Ravine Vineyard.

Don’t be shy to fart around with the toppings. Kalamata olives and salami would be amazing on this pizza, topped with fresh arugula. Or marinated artichokes, roasted red pepper and mushrooms would be a lovely vegetarian option! Make it sans-cheese with for a delicious vegan flatbread.

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I wanted to embrace the full Italian experience so we ate it while watching “A Room with a View” which is set in beautiful Italy. It also stars Maggie Smith and Helena Bonham Carter, so you know it’s gotta be good. I will say that there is a very odd scene where three naked men frolic in a pond. It’s not everyday that you see full frontal male nudity in a film. The scene lasted about 5 minutes. Luckily I had already finished my delicious pizza before flaccid dongs started flying around the screen.

Anyway, that’s my favorite recipe from this week! I hope you enjoyed eating with me. Treat yourself by making this beautiful pizza and watching a film set in Italy. I hear Under the Tuscan Sun has some breathtaking scenes, with no chance of nudity!

See you next week!

Julia

PS Don’t forget to follow me on instagram @whatjuliaeats and watch my food vlog, Viral Kitchen on Youtube at youtube.com/funnyjules 🙂

 

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