In general, I really don’t insist on many things.
I’m not the person who insists on a certain paint color for a room…or on, say, a restaurant choice for dinner. The restaurant thing is mostly because I’m not a picky eater and can find something I’d love to eat on almost any menu. But, it’s also because I like it when other people are happy. I’m a conflict avoider.
This one time, I’m going to have to insist that you guys make this pizza. It doesn’t have to be right now….or tomorrow…or even next week. It requires a little bit of a time investment. You’re making dough, you’re dredging, you’re browning, you’re grating, you’re chopping.
But, before this winter is over, I’m insisting you have this pizza. It’s like a giant hug that somehow made it into your oven and then onto your plate. It’s the best of chicken parmesan in hand-held, dough-encased form. It’s your dinner.
See, you’re not mad I insisted, right?
- ~~~Pizza dough~~~
- 1 (1/4 oz.) envelope rapid rise dry yeast
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1 cup warm water, divided
- 3 cups flour
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tsp. salt
- ~~~Pizza topping~~~
- ¾ lb. boneless skinless chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
- ¾ tsp. kosher salt
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 ½ cup seasoned panko crumbs
- 3 T. olive oil
- 1 cup pasta sauce (I used Classico)
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
- ⅓ cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 4 oz. fresh mozzarella, cut into cubes
- 6 oz. fontina, grated
- Mix the yeast, sugar, and ¼ cup of the warm water together, and let it sit for 3-4 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix the flour, olive oil, salt and remaining ¾ cup warm water together in a large bowl. Add the yeast mixture to flour mixture. Stir well and then turn out onto a floured surface and knead, adding more flour as needed, for about 10 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic.
- Drizzle some olive oil in a large bowl. Place the dough in the bowl and turn it over so it is all coated in the oil. Cover the bowl with a clean dish towel and let the dough rise until double in size (about 1 hour).
- Meanwhile, prepare the chicken. Sprinkle chicken pieces with salt and pepper, dredge the pieces in flour, dip them in egg, and then coat them in panko crumbs.
- Heat 2 T. olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Working in two batches, brown the chicken pieces, about 2 minutes on each side. Remove chicken to a plate, add an additional 1T. oil, if needed, and brown the second batch of chicken.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- When the dough has risen, shape it onto a baking pan (16” round or 12x18” cookie sheet both work). Leaving a 1” border, poke the middle of the crust multiple times with a fork so it doesn’t rise too much in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove crust from the oven, top it with pasta sauce (again leaving a 1” border around the outside for the crust). Top the sauce with chopped basil, chicken, parmesan, mozzarella cheese, and fontina. Bake for an additional 12-15 minutes, until crust is golden brown.