Homemade Pizza Recipe: Chicken Basil Pizza

| August 14, 2009 | 6 Comments

rustic-pizza-2

Oh, the things I could say about pizza. It’s a family favorite around here. Will’s and Paige’s eyes light up when they see a pizza box. Heck, sometimes Will even requests pizza (the answer isn’t always yes, though). In any case, it’s something we enjoy together.

When I was planning this week’s meals, I realized that the extra chicken from our grilled chicken would be fantastic on a fresh mozzarella pizza. Onto the meal plan it went, and I set about to make it last night. When Will and Paige saw this pizza cooking on a pizza stone in the oven, there were shouts of sheer joy. I swear.

Usually I make pizza crust from scratch. I have two go-to recipes –one for a perfect thin crust and a cheese infused pan pizza crust that is wonderfully flakey. But this time, I went for speed, using a premade dough from my local grocery store. It’s a good substitute in a pinch.

The fresh mozzarella comes from a Norwalk, Conn., bakery and is handpulled. If you’ve ever used fresh mozzarella on a pizza, you know that it can make it watery. The secret to preventing that though is to drain the mozzarella on paper towel before using it. It only takes 5-10 minutes to get the cheese significantly less watery.

For the sauce, I have recently discovered Muir Glen’s Pizza Sauce. It’s got a good balance of herbs and flavors — not bland, but not overwhelming either.

As for the chicken, it’s leftovers from the other night when I broke down the chicken successfully. The basil comes from my garden. I tear it into strips by hand. So yes, this was pretty local.

Anyway, the result was a wonderfully crispy, thin crust pizza with a good amount of flavor infused throughout. The kids devoured it. Shawn and I did too. Total hit all around. We ate this with a nice green salad, tossed with blueberries and blue cheese. Mmm…

What’s your secret for a good homemade pizza?

Chicken Basil Pizza
serves 4

corn meal
1 pizza dough (homemade or store bought)
pizza sauce (amount varies — I use about 1/3 cup on a 12″ pizza)
fresh mozzarella, sliced into 1/4 inch discs and drained on paper towel
grilled chicken, cut into strips
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
olive oil
kosher salt

Preheat a pizza stone in a 500 degree oven for at least 25 minutes.

On a pizza peel, sprinkle corn meal all over. Stretch the pizza dough by hand into a circle about 12 inches in diameter. If the pizza dough is tacky, dust it with flour before handling. Once stretched to a round and thin circle, place it on the corn meal-topped pizza peel. Poke the dough liberally, all over, with a fork — piercing it.

Spread the pizza sauce around the dough, getting close the the edge. Top with the fresh mozzarella. Sprinkle with basil and chicken. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt

Slide the pizza onto the hot pizza stone in the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes, until browned. Use the pizza peel to remove it from the oven. Let sit for 10 minutes before slicing.

Category: pizza

About the Author ()

Sarah Walker Caron is a writer, editor and recipe developer who loves to create delicious recipes the whole family can enjoy together. Her work has appeared in countless publications including iVillage, BELLA NYC Magazine, Yum for Kids magazine and more. She lives in Maine with her two food-loving kids.

Comments (6)

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  1. Kalyn says:

    I love that Glen Muir Pizza sauce too! Sounds good.

  2. Sarah Drought says:

    That looks yummy! I can’t wait to try that sauce. We have been grilling pizzas this summer..I love the way that the dough tastes when it is grilled and I think that it is so much easier.

  3. OMG, you are killing me with that pizza – it looks TDF!

  4. Mangochild says:

    I love homemade pizza. One of the things I have been doing lately (if I can) is a refrigerator rise. Make the dough as usual, but rather than rising on the counter, its an overnight rise in the fridge. Somehow the crust comes out crispier (which I like) and there’s a bit more of a sourdough taste to it (also something I like)… of course, the hard part is planning and waiting overnight! I just started to try grilling pizza a couple weeks ago, and when I can’t wait overnight, I’ll turn to that method.

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