Tuesday, 6 September 2011
Hot and Spicy Roast Chicken Pizza
Pizza is a hugely popular creation. Tens of millions of pizzas are sold around the world, every single day, either in the form of fast food or as premade supermarket creations, which require only to be heated up at home. I have featured pizza before on this blog but wanted to show again how incredibly easy it is to make pizza from scratch at home. Today, we are going to prepare pizza dough, pizza sauce and pizza topping right from the stage of the basic ingredients.
Very Important Warning! This recipe can be hot and it is important that you know before you prepare it the strength of the chillis you are using. If you are in any doubt, or hot and spicy food is not your thing, simply substitute the chilli peppers with chopped bell peppers, or your own topping of choice. The bulk of this pizza recipe applies to any and all toppings.
If you are intending making your own pizza at home, the one thing which you will need above all else is a proper pizza pan. Improvisation is always possible but the results will simply not be truly authentic. Before we go any further, you may wish to take a look at some of these options for pizza pans currently available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. I promise you, the modest investment is more than worth it and once you get the bug for homemade pizza, you will more than get your money's worth from such a purchase.
This pizza recipe is perfect for using up leftover roast chicken. If you had roast chicken for dinner last night and have leftovers to use, this is a great way to do so. Alternatively, you can buy a small piece of chicken and cook it for the purpose of making this pizza. A small supermarket breast quarter of chicken like the one below will easily make a couple of 12" pizzas and can be roasted in half an hour.
Ingredients per Pizza
8oz can of chopped tomatoes in tomato juice
1 garlic clove
Pinch of dried basil
Pinch of salt
6oz plain/all purpose flour
1 tsp active dried yeast
4 fl oz lukewarm water
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
2oz leftover roast chicken pieces
1 red chilli pepper
1 green chilli pepper
2oz pizza mozzarella cheese
2oz cheddar cheese
The pizza sauce should be prepared first. The simple reason for this is that the sauce must be cooled before being spread on the pizza dough. Otherwise, it will soak in to the dough and spoil the whole pizza. The good news is that the pizza sauce can easily be prepared the night before you are making your pizza, cooled and refrigerated.
Pour the tomatoes in to a small saucepan. Peel the garlic clove and grate it in to the pot. Season with the basil and salt. Bring to a simmer on a high heat before reducing to the lowest heat possible and simmering for around twenty minutes - stirring frequently - until a beautifully lush sauce is formed. Cover and allow to cool.
The pizza dough will require to rest for around an hour, so bear this in mind when preparing the recipe. It is vital that you also be aware that the dough can easily be over rested, so early preparation is not an option for the dough.
Put the flour, yeast and salt in to a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine before making a well in the centre and pouring in the water and extra virgin olive oil. Stir with a spoon to combine and mix by hand to form a dough.
Kneading dough is fairly simple but is best explained by video rather than text. Take a look at this video below which explains the process perfectly.
Below is the pizza dough immediately after it has been kneaded...
...and after it has been rested.
Put your oven on to preheat to 450F/230C.
The chicken should be torn in to strips by hand, to the size you desire. This makes for a much better effect than cutting it with a knife.
Grate the cheddar cheese and finely chop the mozzarella. Slice the chilli peppers in to discs and be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after you are finished laying them on the pizza.
Very lightly grease your pizza pan with olive oil. Put the dough back on to a floured surface and knead the air out of it. Roll it out in to an approximate circle, slightly smaller than your pizza pan before laying it in the pan and stretching it carefully out from the centre to fill the pan.
Pour the sauce in to the centre of the dough and spread it out using a circular motion with the base of a ladle or large spoon. Be sure to leave a little border of around half an inch for the crust to form.
Mix the cheddar and mozzarella cheeses together and scatter evenly over the pizza, ensuring again to leave what will become the crust exposed.
Place the pizza in to the oven and bake for twelve to fifteen minutes, depending upon how crisp you like your base and crust. Remove very carefully from the oven and use a plastic spatula to transfer the pizza to a chopping board for cutting. Never attempt to cut the pizza while it is still in the cooking pan as this will irreparably damage the surface of your pan.