A number of years ago, Steve and I, along with the kids took a trip to Rome. While we were there we ate so much wonderful food. Of course we ate lots of pasta, including a meal at a little trattoria where our waiter spoke no English (and we spoke no Italian), but he took the time to try and teach us how to order our meal in Italian. We will always remember that meal. One of the other meals that I will always remember was at a pizzeria. We stopped in there one day for lunch and we were treated to some of the best pizza I’ve ever had! The thing that was unique about this place was that they sold the pizza by the inch. The pizzas were narrow and rectangular in shape and they would cut off whatever size piece you wanted with a scissors and serve it to you on a little butcher block. This pizza was amazing! I had a simple margherita pizza and the sauce was magnificent and the crust was super crispy.
The memory of that pizza has stayed with me and has further fueled my love of pizza! Which is why I was so excited recently to try a different method for making homemade pizza. This method turned out the best homemade pizza that I’ve ever had. The crust was pure perfection! So what is this method? The secret is baking it at the highest temperature that your oven will go to, 500 or 550 degrees, on a pizza stone that’s been preheated. The crust comes out nice and brown and super crispy. I read about this method in “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day” and I am sold. I also used a quality pizza dough, which was the same dough that I used for my artisan bread.
As far as the toppings go, I made one pizza topped with pesto, chicken, parmesan and pine nuts. The other one I topped with leftover taco meat, cheddar cheese and when it came out of the oven added lettuce, tomato and green onions. Both were fabulous. Today I will share the recipe for the chicken pesto pizza.
Chicken Pesto Pizza
- 1 lb pizza dough
- 2 boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
- prepared pesto sauce
- shredded parmesan cheese
- pine nuts
- cornmeal for pizza peel
Saute chicken in a little olive oil until cooked through, set aside.
20 minutes prior to baking, place pizza stone in oven and preheat oven to 500 or 550 degrees (however high your oven goes).
Place dough on a floured cutting board and start by pressing it out with your hands.
Then with a rolling pin, roll crust out to a circle that is 1/8 inch thick and about 14 inches across, rotating a quarter turn frequently. Place crust on a pizza peel that’s been generously coated with cornmeal.
Spread a thin layer of pesto sauce on crust.
Scatter chicken over pesto.
Sprinkle with shredded parmesan and pine nuts.
Slide pizza off of pizza peel and onto pizza stone in the oven. Bake for 8-12 minutes, checking at 8 minutes.
Remove from oven and serve.
This is the taco pizza, made the exact same way, but topped with taco meat, cheddar cheese and our favorite taco toppings.
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