Thursday, January 23, 2014

Chicken Basil Pesto Pizza

Pizza. Who doesn't like pizza? Don't answer that question because I would rather go on believing that those people don't exist. I know it is a completely irrational and fantasy thought, but I like to live in the realm of fantasy so let me have this.

Back to what I was saying. Pizza, who doesn't love it. But let's face it, pizza can become a little same old same old. We all have our favorite pizza toppings and we all know how hard it is to stray from what we love, but I am going to urge you to do just that. 

I love pizza, we already established that, but I also love Basil Pesto. In fact a basil pesto chicken panini is my favorite sandwich. Now put that on a pizza and you have food nirvana! Don't believe me? Make this pizza yourself and tell me it's not freaking finger licking good. 

2 Chicken Breasts
2 tsp. Ranch Powder
2 tsp. Fajita Seasoning
Juice of 2 Limes
2 tsp. Worcetershire Sauce
1 tsp. Liquid Smoke

Cut raw chicken into small strips. Place in a ziploc bag with the rest of the above ingredients. Close the bag and shake. Leave in the bag and marinade for at least 30 minutes, in the sink. If you are going to marinade it longer place it in the fridge. You could even marinade the chicken the day before. Once the chicken is marinaded take out of the bag and cook over medium high heat in a large skillet, until the chicken is completely cooked. The juices of the chicken should run clear, the meat should be white or the internal temperature of 165 degrees. When the chicken is completely done remove from the pan and place to the side. This will be your meat on the pizza.

2 Garlic Cloves
2 2/3 oz. Containers of Basil (Buy bigger package if you can, this was all that was available to me)
Juice of 1 1/2 Limes
1/2 C. Walnuts
1/4 C. Parmesan Cheese 
1/2 tsp. Kosher Salt
1/2 C. Olive Oil

Favorite pizza dough
2 C. Mozzarella Cheese (Use as little or as much as you want)
Pesto (recipe above)
Chicken (recipe above)

In a food processor or with an emulsion blender combine the garlic, basil, lime juice and walnuts and blend until the walnuts and basil are well blended. The mixture should be moist but not runny. Add salt and with the food processor on (or emulsion blender) slowly drizzle in the olive oil, blending until it is a nice paste consistency. You don't want it to be super runny, but it should be easily spreadable. Put to the side. You can also make this the day before.

And now that you've made all the other stuff this is where you can grab your favorite Pizza dough recipe or buy pizza dough from the store! Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 

To assemble just roll out or stretch (I prefer stretching dough, reminds me of my old pizza days) on a pizza pan, sheet pan (cookie sheet) or whatever you plan on using spoon as much of that pesto on there as you want. This is your pizza I am not going to tell you how much or how little of something to put. Go hog wild. Top with the cooked chicken and then cover in yummy Mozzarella cheese! Cook until dough is golden brown and toppings are bubbling. Time differs depending on the crust you use.

Now take it out and drizzle some of that left over pesto on the top and eat that ooey gooey fan-freaking-tastic pizza!!!! Dang now I want some....