October 23, 2012
We recently purchased a blender (finally) and so making vinaigrettes has become a hobby of ours. However, vinaigrettes do not have to just be used to top salads. They actually make very good marinades. So, instead of just topping our pizza with boring old grilled chicken, we marinate the chicken breasts in a wonderful basil vinaigrette and the saute the chicken on the stove top to get lovely caramelized pieces of chicken. We also decided to stray away from the mainstream pizza sauces and go with a garlic cream sauce that will end up being more like a garlic cream paste. It is packed with flavor and adds even more garlic to this already garlic filled pizza (yes, there is an entire head of roasted garlic on this bad boy). We also go with more than just mozzarella for this one by adding quite a bit of shredded manchego to give the pizza almost a nutty texture and taste. This pizza is like nothing you have seen before but is everything you could ever want in a pizza (except maybe some bacon).
This is a great pizza to serve for the upcoming Super Bowl or you could just simply serve it for your family on any day of the week. This pizza is super filling and so you do not need much to feed a hungry family of four. By combining numerous fresh ingredients into one pizza, the result is nothing less than extraordinary and will have both you and your family/guests pleading you to bake more (fortunately, the dough recipe will leave you with enough to make an extra small pizza). If you feel as though the cream sauce is just too heavy for your liking, you could very easily replace it with a marinara sauce to make the pizza quite a bit lighter. Other than that, this pizza is very healthy (well, healthier than most pizzas).
So, whatever the occasion may be, we hope that you and your friends/family find our basil chicken and roasted garlic pizza delicious.
- 1¼ cup warm water (about 110 degrees F)
- 1½ teaspoons sugar
- 1⅛ teaspoons dry active yeast
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cups + 3 tablespoons bread flour
- ¼ cup apple cider
- 13-16 basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
- 2 small shallots
- 1 head + 6 cloves garlic
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 chicken breasts
- 3 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ pound mozzarella cheese (fresh, sliced)
- ¼ pound manchego cheese (shredded)
- salt and pepper
- corn meal
- In a small bowl combine the warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let sit for 10 minutes.
- Add the water, sugar, and yeast to the bowl in your stand mixer. Using a dough hook on low speed, add the oil, salt, and 3 cups of flour. Mix until the dough comes together in a ball. Once together, allow the dough hook to knead the dough for 5-6 minutes.
- Form the dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl (be sure to roll the dough in the bowl to cover it in oil . . . olive oil is preferred). Cover the bowl in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours.
- While the dough is rising, combine the apple cider vinegar, 5-6 basil leaves, oregano, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, 1 shallot, and 2 garlic cloves in a blender. Blend until smooth. Slowly drizzle the extra virgin olive oil into the blender while on high until it emulsifies.
- Transfer the vinaigrette to a resealable bag and place the chicken breasts in the back. Seal and place in the fridge until ready to cook.
- Once the dough has risen, begin preparing the toppings by first preheating your oven to 375 degrees F.
- Place the cloves from one head of garlic (paper shell still intact) on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes (the garlic should start browning). Remove from the oven and once cool enough to handle, remove the cloves from shells and set aside.
- Prepare the cream sauce by sautéing 1 small shallot (diced) in the butter over medium heat for 4-5 minutes. Add 2 cloves of garlic (minced) and cook for an additional minute. Then, add the remaining 3 tablespoons of flour. Using a whisk, combine the butter and flour to make a roux. Cook the rough for 2-3 minutes before adding the heavy cream, continuing to whisk. Cook the cream on low heat for 5-6 minutes, or just until it starts to thicken slightly. Immediately remove from the heat and set aside until you are ready to prepare the pizza.
- At this point, place your pizza stone in the oven and increase the heat to 450 degrees F.
- To cook the chicken, drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil in a high-walled skillet over medium-high heat. Place the marinated chicken breasts in the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. Turn the heat down to medium-low and continue to cook the chicken breasts, turning every 2-3 minutes until the outside is golden brown and the inside is done. Remove from the heat and let rest for 4-5 minutes before slicing into thin strips.
- To make the pizza, remove the dough from the refrigerator and cut off about ⅔ of the dough (you can use the remaining dough for breadsticks, stuff them with cheese, or whatever!). Shape the dough into a 12-14 inch circle and place on a pizza peel, coated with corn meal. Let sit for 5 minutes.
- Add the toppings by first smearing a layer of the garlic cream over the dough.
- Top with the basil leaves.
- Distribute evenly the roasted garlic cloves.
- Sprinkle half of the manchego on the pizza.
- Place the mozzarella slices on top.
- Add the chicken slices.
- Top with the remaining manchego.
- Transfer to the pizza stone in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes. The crust should start browning when it is done. Use your peel to remove it from the oven. Let sit for 5-6 minutes.
- Slice and serve!