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 flaky deep dish pizza crust. 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 are your secrets for a good homemade pizza? Find out mine here.
- corn meal
- 1 pizza dough (homemade or store bought)
- pizza sauce (amount varies -- I use about ⅓ cup on a 12" pizza)
- fresh mozzarella, sliced into ¼ inch discs and drained on paper towel
- grilled chicken, cut into strips
- ½ 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.