A few weeks back, I had the pleasure of posting a recipe for a delicious savory crust pizza. This week’s new recipe uses the same crust (or any crust you like, really, whether home-made or purchased) in a different way: Grilled Chicken Parmesan Pizza. Rolling the dough out thinner than for a baked pizza, and grilling it rather than baking it, results in a crisper crust that combines wonderfully with any of your favorite toppings. Here we’re making it with a chicken parmesan topping, crowned with parmesan and one of the truly great cooking cheeses: fontina. (The parmesan is grated, and the fontina is shaved into thin slices with a cheese slicer.) The saucing method – grilling tomatoes till soft and then mashing them onto the dough and adding an herb or two – is borrowed from a classic method for saucing margarita pizza.
A note about the grilling part: Although grilled pizza is generally made on an outdoor gas or charcoal grill, my weapon of choice for such things is a stove-top grill pan, and this recipe was prepared on that basis. If you prefer an outdoor grill, heat it to about medium hot and the recipe should work just as well.
Now let’s grill some pizza! This recipe makes 4 single-serving pizzas.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
Blanch 3 large tomatoes (beefsteak or similar) for about 1 minute, rinse in cold water till they’re cool enough to handle easily, and remove the peels. Slice the tomatoes into ½” thick slices, and set aside.
Dry 1-1/2 pounds of chicken tenders or thin-cut breasts with paper towels. Brush each side with olive oil, and season both sides with salt, pepper and fresh thyme.
Put the sliced tomatoes into a hot grill pan lightly coated with olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, and few drops of white wine vinegar and heat until just soft, turning over half-way. Set the tomatoes aside. Scrape any tomato residue off of the pan with a wooden spoon.
Place the chicken on the grill pan. Cook until the chicken is browned and cooked through, turning over half-way. Set the chicken aside. After it has rested for a few minutes, cut the chicken into bite size pieces.
Divide a pizza dough (large enough to make a normal 16” pizza) into 4 equal parts on a floured surface, and gently roll each out to about 1/8” thickness.
When the dough is browned, after about 2 minutes, brush oil on the top side and turn the dough over.
Put ¼ of the chicken, 1/3 cup of shaved fontina cheese, 3 tablespoons of grated fresh parmesan, 1/2 teaspoon of chopped fresh basil, ½ teaspoon of chopped fresh parsley and ¼ teaspoon of butter substitute on the dough. (If you like some heat on your pizza, you can also add a pinch of dried red pepper flakes.) Cover with a large bowl and cook for about another 2 minutes until the cheese is melted.
Keep the finished pizza warm in the oven while cooking the remaining pizzas as described above. For an extra special touch, drizzle each pizza with olive oil before serving.
And there you have it: a special grilled treat your whole family will enjoy. (At least my whole family enjoyed it; I assume yours will too.) If you’d like a cookbook-style, notebook-ready copy of this or any other Kissing the Cook recipe, send me a note with your e-mail address and I’ll send it along.
See you next week with a special family recipe from my favorite cook. Till then, stay well, keep it about the food, and always remember to kiss the cook. ;-)